In late 1989, Buckeye Fleet Services, Inc. came into existence after the purchase of the business. The new owner, Tom Ewers, determined that the business would require a rebalancing of assets and the growth of the new company in a changing environment so that it could prosper. The first step to the future was to completely restructure the company and build a credit history for the new company. Today, Buckeye Western Star has an impeccable credit rating, and most importantly, is a profitable organization.
One of the most rewarding aspects the first year of transition was the fact that many of the original employees remained with the company and many of them are still with us today. Currently their efforts and commitment are being rewarded by an excellent medical plan toward which the company contributes as a reward for tenure, a 401-K plan, a 125 plan, life insurance and a profit sharing plan.
Originally, the business was located in a very inefficient building with only one door. In July of 1991, Buckeye Fleet Services relocated to a ten thousand square foot facility in Hilliard, Ohio. We realized that our business could not survive without this change, and during this time, we also upgraded our entire road service fleet and substantially added to our parts inventory to better serve our growing customer base. In early 1994, we purchased land in the Dublin area of Columbus and began the design of a new facility. Ground was broken in June of 1994 and the new facility was completed and occupied in December of the same year.
In 1995, Buckeye Fleet Services was awarded a dealership for the Ottawa Terminal Trucks. In April 1997, Buckeye Fleet Services opened it's second facility, a 3000 square foot building that was leased, in Cincinnati and was given that sales territory for Ottawa. The Cincinnati operation did business as Yard Trucks of Ohio. In the years since that time, Cincinnati has increased its sales every year and is on track to do so again this year. Columbus has continued to increase its sales volume of the Ottawa product and with both operations combined will rank as one of the top dealers in the United States.
In 2000, we were awarded the dealership for the Western Star product and we changed the company name to Buckeye Western Star. The product had previously not been represented in the Columbus market for 13 years prior. Since being appointed a dealer it has increased its volume of sales annually and today the Western Star product is a known and recognized product in the market. In addition, the service department at Buckeye Western Star is respected in the area as one of the best for solving problems and giving quality service.
In 2000, Buckeye Western Star realized that we would have limitations in the current facility and needed to plan for future growth. 10 acres were purchased with excellent frontage exposure on SR33 in the Dublin area. A 24,000 square foot facility was designed and built in 2001 and has 3 acres of paved surface. The facility features a quick-lube drive through bay for PM services that allows services to be pre-scheduled with appointments.
In 2005, Buckeye Western Star was awarded the Hino franchise in the Cincinnati market. Also, Yard Trucks of Ohio had moved from its leased facilities to a purchased facility in Sharonville, Ohio. This facility is located on 4 acres of ground that is entirely fenced and secured.
In 2008 we had the good fortune of acquiring the Sterling product line from Graham Ford & Sterling in the greater Columbus market for continuing parts and service. We were able to welcome many of the key people from Graham Ford & Sterling to our business family. We are extremely proud of our growth over the years and feel strongly that this is a direct result of our continuing dedication to deliver the best value and the best trucks.