Truckload refrigerated motor carrier Freymiller has reached the half-century mark, with founder Don Freymiller declaring that his family and extended family of staff, drivers and business associates have always been the fuel for the company’s success.
“I had no idea in 1968 that we would grow to be this size” said Don, who will turn 80 in December 2018. “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.”
Don first hauled cattle and hogs before adding a refrigerated trailer in 1970. By 1973, he had sold the livestock trailers and moved to all refrigerated freight. When the industry was deregulated in 1980, he said many carriers went under.
“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.”
Among those Don has in key positions are his four grown children.
“Not many fathers can say their family has been with them in business every step of the way, but I can,” he said. “My youngest son, David, used to stand on a wooden box in the shop to help wash diesel parts.”
For the past 24 years David has been the company’s president and CEO. Like his father, David doesn’t hesitate to credit the people of Freymiller.
“We have been blessed over the years to have so many wonderful drivers and employees that have helped take the company to where we are today,” said David.
Dennis Freymiller, Don’s elder son, is vice president of sales and marketing; daughter Diane is the billing and credit/receivable manager; and daughter Denise is the company’s executive administrator, and David’s corporate assistant.
All of the Freymillers are quick to give special credit to their driving force.
“I appreciate each and every driver out there, whoever they work for,” said Don. “They do a tough job day in and day out, so America can have that jar of pickles on the shelf when wanted.”
Looking to the future, David says he believes some impending changes will improve the driver’s job.
“I think the FMCSA will be making some changes in our HOS that will make things easier for the driver, ie, split sleeper rules,” he said. “Another exciting change currently happening is driver pay increases we have been able to give and believe even more will be coming.”
To celebrate 50 years of growth and success, the company held a celebration in October for their office/shop employees and business partners. They also had driver luncheon celebrations every week in November and will celebrate Don’s 80th birthday at corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City.