Viking: Sail on into History

Hookman

Just passing thru on my way home
PREMIUM
Credits
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Viking freight lines was big on the west coast & well respected in days gone by. Though their flag has been laid aside their memory brings smiles to many a driver. Even though they like other companies have been rolled into the Fed Ex Freight umbrella in the minds of many drivers they will always be Vikings. Rumor has it that Trucking Boards favorite son Big Dave was born in a trailer at an undisclosed terminal in southern California that was spotted in door #3 next to the OS&D trailer in door #1. Light that funeral pyre if you must but remember this: Old truckers never die, they just get a new Peterbilt & Viking's just sail away.

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Respect the hat.
 
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I was with Cole Enterprises in Bangor Maine when we were sold to Roadway Services in 1992.
In addition to the 6 state LTL operation, we had a 10 state TL division with both company and O/O sleepers, owned two Freightliner dealerships, a driver training school, warehouse and a retail tire store.
We were put into the RRG (Roadway Regional Group) along with Viking, Spartan and Central.
RRG was led by Randy Bangham, one of Viking founders.
We added 17 terminals in a year and a half for ten state coverage, as major competitor
StJ closed. Eliminated the TL Div and put all drivers into LTL linehaul.

Added much new equipment with Viking color scheme, except COLES had orange where Viking had light blue. Divested all of the other businesses.
 
In my opinion, Roadway Services caused the demise of the RRG Regional Group. At COLES we would purchase low mileage single ax tractors off leases, paint and run in P&D.. Once we were sold we had to purchase new KW's for city use.
We ran long trailers in LH, they wanted pups. So we asked for 40 and were told to buy 80 to
fill out a Roadway order commitment. We operated 5 days and were ordered to run breaks and LH 7 days.
Add these costs to the startup expense of opening 4 terminals in new markets every quarter and guess what happened to the P&L
 
After COLE'S became part of ROADWAY REGIIONAL, we had joint meetings of COLES, VIKING, SPARTAN AND CENTRAL FREIGHT.
At one meeting, Terry Bradshaw was the speaker and I had the luck to be at his table. Despite having autograph seekers show up mid-meal, he would smile and sign....NICE !

The Viking CFO misread Bradshaw and made a few wisecracks as he introduced Terry. Major error as the CFO became the butt of jokes all night.
 
After COLE'S became part of ROADWAY REGIIONAL, we had joint meetings of COLES, VIKING, SPARTAN AND CENTRAL FREIGHT.
At one meeting, Terry Bradshaw was the speaker and I had the luck to be at his table. Despite having autograph seekers show up mid-meal, he would smile and sign....NICE !

The Viking CFO misread Bradshaw and made a few wisecracks as he introduced Terry. Major error as the CFO became the butt of jokes all night.
Lou Creekmur, a (hall of Famer) NFL was our labor relations guy in the 60s.
I had a lot of dealings with him, (nice guy)
I don't recall who he played for.
He had muscles he had never used, and always threatened what he would do if he lost a labor case, (just joking)
Thank goodness!
 
I was with Leaseway Transportation for a short while about 1980, we had a Regional Manager named Ordell Braase, former Balt. Colt lineman, a local hero in Balt. They had a big sales meeting with a local account and Braase brought Johnny Unitas, {who worked for International Harvester} along for some reason. They stopped by the shop for a tour. Somewhere in my vast empire I have a Leaseway hat with both their signatures on it.
Braase was arrogant and loud, Unitas just the opposite. Braase had a Super Bowl ring and when he went to shake hands, he put the ring in your face before reaching down for your hand. Interesting character he was.
 
I was with Leaseway Transportation for a short while about 1980, we had a Regional Manager named Ordell Braase, former Balt. Colt lineman, a local hero in Balt. They had a big sales meeting with a local account and Braase brought Johnny Unitas, {who worked for International Harvester} along for some reason. They stopped by the shop for a tour. Somewhere in my vast empire I have a Leaseway hat with both their signatures on it.
Braase was arrogant and loud, Unitas just the opposite. Braase had a Super Bowl ring and when he went to shake hands, he put the ring in your face before reaching down for your hand. Interesting character he was.
Johnny U was one hell of a Q B
 
I was with Leaseway Transportation for a short while about 1980, we had a Regional Manager named Ordell Braase, former Balt. Colt lineman, a local hero in Balt. They had a big sales meeting with a local account and Braase brought Johnny Unitas, {who worked for International Harvester} along for some reason. They stopped by the shop for a tour. Somewhere in my vast empire I have a Leaseway hat with both their signatures on it.
Braase was arrogant and loud, Unitas just the opposite. Braase had a Super Bowl ring and when he went to shake hands, he put the ring in your face before reaching down for your hand. Interesting character he was.


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