February '19

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52 • RV PRO • February 2019 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S T he third time proved a charm for the Schrock family. After having gone broke as dairy farmers and then later in the restaurant business, in 1984 they started Horizon Transport, an RV delivery com- pany in Wakarusa, Ind., with little capital. "It was just my dad, his partner and three other guys, and within two years it had grown to 40 drivers," says Marion Schrock, the company's chairman. "He built it from nothing and we now have more than 1,600 drivers. It's the story of the American Dream." The growth has been "phenom- enal," says Schrock's mother, Ruth Ann, who is secretary treasurer, but has also worn many different hats since Horizon was founded. "It blows my mind how meagerly we started out and where we are today." Schrock joined his father, Melvin, and mother in 1986 when he graduated high school, and assumed ownership in 2004 after he learned the business from the ground up. "My parents always gave me enough rope, but not enough to hang myself. I was given room to make mistakes and grow on my own – I succeeded more than I failed," says Schrock, who recently stepped into the chairman's role. Horizon elevated longtime employee Joe Braun to president to handle the company's day- to-day operations. Except for 2009 – when the RV industry's tailspin forced Horizon to cut its staff in half – the transport company has continued to prosper. "Since 2010, the company has grown each year," Schrock says. "We'll be cele- brating 35 years this year, and we attri- bute our longevity to our service and grit. It takes a lot of sweat and tears and requires making some tough decisions over the years." Trucking companies can have a short life span due to large liability exposures, as one bad accident can wipe a busi- ness out with insurance claims that can run into eight-digit figures. However, Horizon has been a stickler in safety and making sure its drivers are compliant, according to Schrock. "There have been hundreds of RV transport companies and many last only a few months or a couple years," he says, "so for us to have been successful for so long in this industry is an accomplish- ment. It's taken a little luck, too." Horizon's motto is "Integrity, Ded- ication and Excellence." Braun, who has been with the company for 14 years and became the president in 2018, says the company's safety training is mod- eled after its global best practices, such as having its contracted drivers Smith System certified. "Our training comes from the highest A 35th anniversary and new president bring in the new year for tech-savvy Horizon Transport, the country's oldest RV delivery company. By Rob Merwin A Horizon Transport flatbed driver hauls a load of three Winnebago trailers across Alaska. Horizon is celebrating its 35th year in business. Horizon Shines Brightly PHOTOS COURTESY OF HORIZON TRANSPORT UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

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