Most dump trucks and trailers look rather workaday, engaged as they are in an inherently dirty business. Not so with the colorful and meaningful graphics on rigs operated by Mike’s Trucking, headquartered at West Jefferson in central Ohio.
Mike Culbertson, founder of the materials-hauling fleet, identifies his company with a snappy pink, teal, and white logo, and in the last 10 years has applied advertising and theme designs to some of his aluminum dump trailers and truck bodies.
“I’ve done a flowing American flag, a POW-MIA, autism [awareness], and the fight for a breast cancer cure,” Culbertson says. That message adorns a Vantage end-dump trailer decorated with a big “Find The Cure” pink ribbon on either side. A recently acquired dump truck sports multiple pink ribbons for the anti-cancer campaign. Cabs on the Kenworth tractor and Peterbilt truck chassis are painted bright pink. Other trailers carry ads for a group of auto outlets, a farm and garden implement dealer, and a radio station.
After the cost of producing and applying the wraps, the commercial ads produce monthly revenue that goes to his company’s bottom line. The radio station gives him reduced rates for his own commercials promoting his trucking service. The theme work he did out of patriotism and to support research efforts to find cures for the afflictions. Several female friends have had breast cancer.
Route 40 Signs in Springfield collaborates on the designs, then produces and applies the vinyl wraps, according to Ryan Lee, a principal at the business. Mike’s Trucking has been a regular customer for about five years, so gets a discount from the usual $2,000 to $3,000 price for printing and installing a wrap. Application takes about a day, and they can later be quickly removed and surfaces prepared for newer vinyl graphics.
Culbertson has 50 late-model power units and 60 trailers, and brokers loads for 15 owner-operators. He credits three children who are now involved in the business and “many good employees” for the company’s prosperity.
Mike still drives on occasion — “I love it” — but looking back at his 33 years in business, he summed up another key to success: “I have worked very, very hard, and when I work, I go, go, go.”