A Solid Foundation: History of Hunt Transportation

At 87 years old, Hunt Transportation is the oldest flatbed trucking companies in Nebraska. Founded in 1927 by Louis Hunt. Hunt began as a milk route, and later moved into hauling bulls, which continued until the 80s. In addition to owning Hunt, Louis also owned Happy Cab, Yellow Cab, and Checker Cab companies in Omaha, NE. When his daughter Gloria married Ben Butler, Louis gave the newlywed couple Happy Cab as a wedding present.

Eventually, Louis retired and transferred all of the companies into Gloria’s name. In a very sad turn of events, Gloria contracted a strange disease and passed away at an early age. Her husband, Ben Butler took over all of the companies, and took care of Louis as well.

Throughout most of it’s storied history, Hunt was an owner operator company. They had only a handful of company drivers, who were hired on to drive investor trucks. When Ben took over operations, he and a few attorneys formed Salt Creek Leasing, purchasing Freightliner Conventionals as the first company trucks.

When Ben was diagnosed with cancer, his son Matt decided to move home to learn the trucking business. At the time, Matt was an actor living in Hollywood. After his father passed away, Matt sold all of the cab companies to his brother-in-law, and oversaw Hunt Transportation.

In 1999, Matt sold Hunt Transportation to Duane Acklie, and the company became part of the Crete Carrier family and has since grown to be one of the nation’s premier flatbed and specialized transportation providers. Hunt now operates over 250 power units and 600 flatbed, drop-deck RGN, and curtail side trailers, serving the entire continental United States. With a history in agriculture, it is no surprise that a large part of business is hauling agricultural equipment throughout the US.

“I love the variety of equipment we haul here at Hunt,” says Daniel Kinsman, Hunt Transportation Driver. “My favorite is hauling combines. It is always a challenge that makes you think. You have to be able to quickly judge whether or not you will be able to make it through something or not. The combines give me a challenge because they are big. Each one secures differently and reacts differently on the trailer.”

Hunt Transportation began as a family company, and today is an integral member of the Crete Carrier family, one the nation’s largest, privately owned transportation companies in the United States. Hunt strives to build personal relationships with all of their drivers.

“I have been with the company for thirteen years,” says John McKinley, Hunt Transportation Driver. “I like visiting the Omaha headquarters because they know my name when I walk in the door. I love my career because I get to see so many interesting places, and I like that I feel like part of the family here.”

For more than 80 years, Hunt Transportation has been a premier carrier on the highway, with some of the best professional drivers. Hunt prides itself on stability, and because of this, drivers stay with Hunt Transportation three times longer than the competition.