With roots and company still in Huntington, Hiner rolls on

Despite expanding from a single tractor trailer entity in 1967 to a company employing 260 people in five states, and being bought by a larger company in 1999, Hiner Transport has maintained its roots in Huntington.
Despite expanding from a single tractor trailer entity in 1967 to a company employing 260 people in five states, and being bought by a larger company in 1999, Hiner Transport has maintained its roots in Huntington. Photo provided.

Originally published Dec. 28, 2009.

In 1967, Homer F. Hiner purchased a single tractor trailer and entered into the then-growing trucking industry.

The new Hiner Transport company soon added a second truck, and has since grown to a company that possesses more than 225 tractors and over 600 trailers in addition to providing work for 260 employees in five states, with the majority of those positions in Indiana.

Hiner Transport is one of the country's leading trucking services, providing service to nationally-recognized companies in each of the 48 contiguous states. Often, such companies are based in larger metropolitan areas, but Hiner Transport has stuck to its roots, keeping its headquarters on South Jefferson Street in Huntington for years.

And Hiner's location has seemed to work well for the trucking company.

"In the last 10 years, we've tripled in revenue," says John Young, chief financial officer for Hiner.

Even in light of the recent economic conditions, Young says that Hiner remains strong, though he says the company's success depends on the overall success of Indiana's economy. In fact, Hiner is currently the largest trucking company for new hires in the state - unique in an industry that has seen no growth overall in the past two years.

Part of Hiner's success rests on the numerous awards and recognitions the company has received. In 2008, Hiner Transport was named the safest fleet in Indiana by the Indiana Motor Truck Association in both the "Local" category and the "Over-the-Road" category - the eighth time the honor has been bestowed on Hiner since 1995.

"It's one of the top awards in the industry," Young says.

In addition, Hiner Transport can boast that it has more Master Truck Drivers than any other Indiana trucking company in the state, an award also distributed by the IMTA. That honor recognizes drivers who have maintained a citation-free, accident-free record for 1 million miles or 10 years, and who have also been active in the community.

In June 1999, Hiner was purchased from the Hiner family by Service First Corporation, which didn't change anything major, but provided Hiner with a parent company that allowed for both businesses to expand, says Young.

For example, Hiner Transport also has a brokerage division, which allows Hiner to delegate to other companies some freight that Hiner cannot transport due to limited capacity, as Hiner can transport every type of freight.

"For some of our customers, we can't do all of their freight, but we can do a good portion," Young says.
Hiner Transport also plans to stay involved in the community, continuing to sponsor charities and providing a trailer to be filled with food for the needy.

As for the future, Hiner has no plans to move out of the Huntington area and continues to operate a separate terminal in Indianapolis in addition to its headquarters and garage in Huntington. The company is also modernizing its fleet with 80 new tractors that are more fuel efficient and have reduced emissions, and plans to replace its entire fleet with the new environmentally-friendly vehicles as older ones need replaced.

Further securing Hiner Transport's place in Huntington is that the company is not directly dependent on the local economy for growth, as the company can expand statewide and nationwide, ensuring jobs and economic benefits for Huntington County for years to come.

"If local business doesn't grow, we can still grow outside of (Huntington)," Young says.