February 22, 2007 - Posted at 5:30 am CST
Independence CO. - In the 60's and 70's many areas saw a boom in trucking, but not like Batesville.
"There were so many drivers available back then. It was a good job, you don't see that too much these days."
Ronnie Dowdy, owner and operator of Ronnie Dowdy, Inc. started the business in 1984. And it's one of the largest employers in Independence Co.
"We can continue strong through the years because the availability of freight. That was a key factor when we decided to start our business here. Con Agra and Townsend's are two of our biggest customers, and since we are a refrigerated carrier, it only made since to be located here."
The company is just up Ramsey Mountain, a little different than most trucking companies that are located off the interstate.
"Arkansas is a bridge state, otherwise, freight moving east, west, north, south, so there's a lot of lanes that move through the area. We're fortunate because we are just a few miles from our biggest customers."
As he looked across an empty lot, Dowdy said this is what the trucking industry is.
"There aren't many trucks, and that's good. That means we are out getting the job done."
But after the early 90's, trucking saw a decline, and employers were struggling to find good drivers.
"We are always looking for good drivers. It's not as easy as it once was, but the industry is changing, drivers want more time with their families, less time on the road. But driving a truck is one of the better paying fields today and there is a lot of opportunities within the industry. It's only going to improve over the next 5 to 10 years."
But the company isn't just about making the all-mighty dollar. They give back to their community and create a positive work environment.
"We support the education systems here, the Batesville School District, Lyon College, and UACCB. With higher education means better drivers. We are involved within the county of trying to maintain jobs and find ways to work to bring new jobs into the county."
And the best part, they're hiring!
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