65b3c2be7f4e92001e7fff54 Hercules Building

Reefer truck body specialist changes hands

Jan. 26, 2024
Jeffrey A. Caddick, who owned the 120-year-old refrigerated vehicle manufacturer for 20 years, sells the Kentucky-based business to former employee Justin Wilson.

Hercules Manufacturing Company, which builds customized refrigerated vehicles, is under new ownership.

Jeffrey A. Caddick, who bought the Henderson, Kentucky-based company from his father 20 years ago, recently sold it to Justin Wilson, a Henderson native and former Hercules employee, who now will serve as president and CEO.

The transaction was completed Jan. 1, the company reported.

“It’s time to rebuild a foundation that this company can rest on for another 120 years of excellence, [and] I believe we are in the critical stages of doing so as we speak,” Wilson said in a news release. “This ownership transition is just another brick laid to ensure our company is set up to serve our employees, customers, and communities for generations to come.”

Caddick now will serve as a senior advisor, Hercules said.

The 120-year-old company serves customers in the dairy, meat packaging, and food delivery services, shipping trucks “to every corner of the United States.” Wilson said he plans to refresh the brand by increasing its community involvement and boosting efficiency by automating the customer experience.

“We have been working with Hercules for close to 20 years. I remember the first day Justin started working there. I could see the same thing in him that Jeffrey Caddick saw—the desire to grow, learn, and understand everything that he could about the business,” said Jim Michael, Smithfield Foods senior DSD fleet manager.

“I am excited to watch Justin take the reins and carry on with the same business model that Jeffrey and those before him created, one where they always strive to make sure the customer is happy, especially after they have received their new truck body.”

Caddick said he looks forward to watching Hercules flourish under Wilson’s leadership.

“In 1957, my father, George L. Caddick, purchased a controlling interest in Hercules Manufacturing Co. and relocated the company from Evansville, Indiana, to Henderson, Kentucky,” Caddick said. “Thirty years ago, I started coming home to become involved in our family business, and 20 years ago I purchased the company from my father.

“Jan. 1, 2024, marks a new beginning for Hercules as Justin Wilson has purchased our family business and is now the owner of Hercules. Hercules is now his family business, and I am so excited to see what Justin and his Hercules crew are going to do for the next 30 years.”  

Hercules is partnering with the Henderson Chamber of Commerce and Henderson Economic Development to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on Feb. 1 at 800 Bob Posey St. The community is invited to the event, Hercules said.

“Our team is passionate about our culture and mission. That is what will bring us success in the long run,” Wilson said.

“They continue to move the needle every day leading our company from the front.” 

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