In June, Grow West® Trucking combined forces with Clark Trucking Service, bringing together their respective crop-input and fresh-food hauling services. Clark Trucking Service, Inc. has provided consistent hauling services for pear, peach, and rice growers since 1957. Now fresh food producers can work with just one company for their season-to-season needs – from fertilizer delivery to harvest pick-up – increasing their efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
The relationship between the two companies began long ago when Les Lyman, Chairman of Grow West and Dick Cunha, owner of Clark Trucking Service became childhood friends while growing up in the Sacramento Delta. They went on to build their own companies, and now have reunited their family-owned businesses under the Grow West umbrella.
According to Mark Kaye, former co-owner and General Manager of Clark Trucking Service, Inc., the synergies extend beyond trucking-related criteria. “We had been looking for the right partner to fuel the next chapter of growth and opportunity for our company and employees. Grow West is the perfect fit. Both companies are driven by commitment to customers and focused on helping them reap the rewards of the crops they grow. The family-owned, team-driven culture at Grow West also aligns with the way we’ve done things in our operation.”
Grow West Trucking, with the expanded resources of Clark Trucking, now operates from approximately 30 tractor trailers during off-peak to as many as 110-115 trailers during peak hauling seasons. In addition, logistics are simplified by using the same drivers on routes to and from farms and food processing plants; drivers get to know their customers, as well as the ins and outs of drop-off sites, etc., to make deliveries go smoothly.
“We believe in building and maintaining long-term relationships,” said Joe Carrasco, Grow West’s Trucking Division Manager. “That allows us to understand our customers’ businesses so we can offer them the best service from field to slab, and from slab to storage, even when conditions change. For example, trucking schedules are dependent on labor availability, harvest timing, field break downs, etc., to ensure that we have great communication with our drivers and customers, and that we are able to make adjustments in real time. We also do continuous fruit bin inventory management. That’s all part of offering a great customer experience; we want to be known as the company that jumps through hoops for its customers.”
Grow West now hauls for pear, peach, rice and grain growers, as well as a lot of the local vineyards that supply grapes for regional wineries.
“It’s very exciting to be working with the knowledgeable, experienced team from Clark,” added Carrasco. “We were already covering the same territory, and had many of the same customers, and by vertically integrating our trucking services, we can serve customers even more consistently and efficiently.”