- Associated Press - Sunday, March 6, 2016

ENID, Okla. (AP) - For more than 80 years, Groendyke Transport, which has called Enid its home all those years, has remained one of the largest tank truck carriers in the nation.

Enid News & Eagle (http://bit.ly/1njALba ) reports that the company was founded in 1932 by Harold Groendyke when he hauled his first load of kerosene from Borger, Texas, to his hometown of Beaver. Three years later, the company moved to Enid, where its two largest customers, the Champlin and Eason refineries, were based.

In 1960, Groendyke moved its corporate offices to its current location at 2510 Rock Island Blvd.

In 1973, Groendyke Transport won its first Heil Trophy, presented by National Tank Truck Carriers for the best safety record and program in the nation.

Company officials said to think of it as the Heisman Trophy for safety in the tank truck industry. Groendyke Transport has won five more Heil Trophies: in 1975, 1990, 1991, 1999 and 2000.

Groendyke has honored more than 300 drivers for driving more than a million consecutive miles without an at-fault accident and has also honored 83 drivers who have driven 10 years without an at-fault accident, 51 who have driven more than 2 million miles, nine with more than 3 million and two with more than 4 million miles.

The company boasts more than 50 state awards in Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Louisiana and Arizona.

Today, Groendyke Transport employs about 1,400 people at the corporate office in Enid and in 29 terminals in 11 states. About 150 employees of Groendyke work at the Enid corporate offices and the Enid terminal.

Companywide, drivers drove 77.7 million miles and hauled more than 480,000 loads in 2015. That’s more than 3,100 trips around the Earth, or about 162 round trips to the moon.

Groendyke Transport provides service to 48 states, Canada and Mexico, hauling primarily fuel, chemicals and other hazardous materials.

In more than eight decades in business, Groendyke Transport has maintained its family roots. Company officers are John Groendyke, CEO and chairman of the board; Greg Hodgen, president; David James, chief operations officer; and Mike Barnthouse, chief financial officer.

David Snapp, vice president of operations, said Groendyke Transport plays a large role in events in Enid and surrounding communities.

“We donate a lot back to the community,” he said, “whether it be time or monetarily. We try to provide support and donations to our employees.”

Snapp said not all the company’s employees live in Enid, some live in Drummond, Kremlin and other communities.

“We kind if spread it around to make sure we’re involved in all the different communities,” he said.

Snapp noted evidence of that include Groendyke Transport banners hanging in area schools.

It takes a team to keep Groendyke Transport operating in 11 states in the region.

“We have terminal managers at every facility, and they report up through the regional directors, which covers a certain area. Each regional director covers a certain three to five terminals each,” Snapp explained. “We also have a central dispatcher located here at our corporate office. They do a number of functions, from support our chemical, over-the-road network to helping move trucks and drivers to areas that may need additional help.”

He said the company also uses a dispatching software, which serves as a GPS and a load-tendering purpose and is a communication tool to connect the company to its drivers.

“We can see all of our trucks, all of the time,” Snapp said. “We can pull up a map and see all of our trucks.”

He said there is room for growth for the company.

“We’re always looking for opportunities. Mostly, opportunities are likely to come from an association, rather than organic growth,” Snapp said. “We just grew organically in Shreveport, La., prior to that it was in Phoenix, Ariz. There is some opportunity for organic growth. We’re just not a big ‘take a truck somewhere and put up a brick and mortar.’

While other companies have shuttered doors or moved corporate offices out if Enid, Snapp said Groendyke Transport is here to stay.

“The family lives here. The Groendyke families lives here. They like it here,” he said. “It’s people-friendly. It’s a good place to raise kids, I think.

“I think everybody knows the Groendyke family. What you see is what you get. That’s how they treat their people. With respect.”

Snapp said whenever he meets someone from the community who learns where he works, he’s always asked if they know a specific Groendyke Transport employee.

“It’s kind of neat to get those kinds of questions. To me, it connects to people. … It’s going out to terminal and knowing people. People aren’t just a number here.”

Snapp will soon reach a major milestone in a company known for its milestone. In June, he will have worked at Groendyke Transport for 30 years.

“It’s a great company,” he said. “The Groendyke family has been good to me, and it’s a great company to work for. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”

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Information from: Enid News & Eagle, http://www.enidnews.com

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