Oklahoma City-based refrigerated carrier Freymiller is celebrating its 50 years in trucking, holding events for staff and drivers to mark the milestone.
Founder Don Freymiller, who turns 80 in December, started the business in 1968, originally hauling livestock before adding a refrigerated trailer in 1970. By 1973, the company had sold its livestock trailers and moved to all refrigerated freight.
“I had no idea in 1968 that we would grow to be this size,” said Freymiller. “It wasn’t one big plan. I just knew we would operate by the rules, treat people right and offer great service, and we have.”
When the trucking industry was deregulated in 1980, many carriers went under, said Freymiller, but his previous experience in the business gave him an edge to move forward.
“A lot of companies didn’t survive deregulation, they just could not operate under the new system,” he said. “Spending time early on as a lease operator, I knew how to run a profitable business, and I was surrounded by outstanding people who I could trust and knew would do a good job.”
Freymiller is a family-run business, and the founder’s sons and daughters all found places within the company. Don’s son David Freymiller has been the company’s president and CEO for the past 24 years, and his oldest son Dennis is the vice president of sales and marketing. His daughters Diane and Denise also hold positions within the company.
Looking ahead, Freymiller said there is no telling where the trucking industry will go, but he hopes that changes to regulations and pay increases will improve life for drivers.
“I think the FMCSA will be making some changes in our HOS that will make things easier for the driver, such as split sleeper rules,” said Freymiller. “Another exciting change currently happening is driver pay increases we have been able to give and [we] believe even more will be coming.”
To celebrate their 50 years of growth and success, the company held a celebration in October for their office and shop employees and business partners. They are also held driver luncheon celebrations every week in the month of November.
“I appreciate each and every driver out there, whoever they work for,” said the company’s founder. “They do a tough job day in and day out, so America can have that jar of pickles on the shelf when wanted.”