Nobody wants to give away their secret, but there is no secret here. Hard work, experience and good people have made WANSHIP a success, from the early years when Mike Peery started with two trucks and a dream . . . to today, running the a modern fleet running 6 million miles per year.
The people of Wanship Transportation are continuing to write the history, by evolving with a changing industry, while maintaining their commitment made at their foundation to provide a timeless, commitment to customer service. Building a business with a schedule our drivers and customers can build a life around.
Wanship was started in the spring of 1989 by Mike Peery, at age 49 after having spent his life in the trucking industry. Necessity pushed him into his own business, with two trucks, and six young kids to feed, he put his boots on and started working, the trucks were old and the running was hard. Drivers like Ed Ney and Joan King put down as many 200,000 miles per year solo, those are the ‘good ole days’ the old truckers talk about.
After graduating high school, Mike’s son Dallas stepped to his father’s side. By now Mike’s battle with emphysema was starting take a toll, but Dallas had worked weekends and summers since the onset and was groomed to be part of the business. At this time Wanship was running 7 trucks and a hand-full of owner operators. The people of Wanship wear a lot of hats, the dispatchers are drivers and the drivers are mechanics!
Debbie Head did the books and Steve Jorgensen kept the trucks and trailers on the road. We were servicing the 48 states, running hard and providing great service to few customers,
The times were tough at Wanship through this time. The addition of a few trucks had complicated things for the young company, and failing health of Mike meant a loss of focus. The youth of the next generation proved to be a costly learning experience.
“I remember distinctly the day Dad (Mike) said he didn’t think he could work full time anymore… It’s up to you” he said.
That day Dallas sat down, and as he had been taught, matched up trucks and loads, he was inspired to ‘pick a lane’ and from that point forward Wanship focused strictly on providing service between Utah and California.
Mike lost his eye sight in the spring of 2001 due to cataracts surgery. He wanted to work, but a lifetime of hard work and the raising of 14 kids had taken a toll, so he retired that fall and turned over control solely to Dallas early 2002.
In a time of uncertainty, and an industry full of change and plagued with challenges, Dallas, at age 25 dug deep, and asked for help. And GOD delivered in February of 2002 the greatest thing that has ever happened to Wanship Transportation.
Bruce Brinkerhoff, a hard nosed accountant, with a lifetime of experience in the trucking industry, came by referral, and was in a place in his life where the job was a great fit. Dallas remembers him specifically saying “Kid, you got a hellofa mess on your hands here, but if you’re willing to work hard, I think I can help,” and help he did. Bruce said, the most important thing is to know what your costs are, and don’t run for less than your costs! It sounds simple, but as our industry has proven time and time again, overcoming that obstacle is something that is easier said than done.
During this period, Dallas was supported by the dedication of some of his siblings, Cait Smith, Roark Peery, Mark Peery, and Riley (Peery) Wilson.
Wanship had a lot of success partners through that time, Dallas recalls, many would allow us to pay our bills when we could, having faith that we would always honor our debts. Kenworth Sales Company took a risk and helped us to get some new trucks, Ed Miles let us pay our licensing over an extended period of time and Denny Dunn sold us fuel on terms, this allowed us to dig out of the hole we gotten into.
Wanship moved to its current location in North Salt Lake, and began a new era of normal, a modern transportation terminal had an enormous impact on productivity and morale!
Mike succumbed to emphysema, in February of 2006 at age 66. He spent the last years of his life getting to know his children, and enjoying his wife and care taker Debbie, who had been at his side for the 15 years.
Our first profitable year in a decade, we were overjoyed, and we’ve never looked back!
During this period, Wanship started a change, graduating from a majority of truck loads to an LTL service provider.
We celebrated 25 years in business.
We operate 37 line trucks, all less than 3 years old, all Kenworths and Peterbilt, and 75 trailers all less than 5 years old, we ran 6 million miles in 2013.
Bruce has threatened to retire, but at age 71, he is still heavily involved in the decision making.
Riley has proven to be irreplaceable, having learned the industry from the ground level, she brings a great balance between high productivity and great customer service.
Jamie Craddock, another great contributor, has spent most of the last 20 years loading LTL trucks from Northern California to Utah, and has been with Wanship since 2007.
Lane Paxton, came in a the right time, and has assumed the role of setting the pace for our fleet.
With a calm and steady focus, his dispatching and customer service skills keep the ‘up tempo’ rhythm that our customer and drivers expect.
Mark Peery, after 14 years of driving and a variety of other responsibilities has accepted the responsibility of managing the warehouse and distribution service. He has made dramatic improvements over the last year.
Bill Bertelsen has completely turned around our maintenance program over the last two years, he has taken the emissions systems of trucks and trailers and his personal challenge—and he has WON, so have we.
Our thanks to many others, including some drivers that have worked here over ten years, our office personnel, our delivery drivers, our warehouse personnel and shop people are the best going.
Thanks to all who have contributed and to those who continue to contribute to our success !