Halvor Lines: Family Owned; Family Successful - April 18, 2011

Jon Vinje knows all about partnerships and loyalty. He learned it from his dad, Bill, who started Halvor Lines in 1968 with four of his friends – all of whom were owner-operators at the time.

They combined their trucks to start a trucking company with their first customer being Halvorson Equipment out of Duluth, Minn., a distributor for Bombardier Corporation (think snowmobiles) out of Quebec.

During this era of regulation, Halvor Lines gained I.C.C. authority and over the next 10 years, the company secured authority to haul for various shippers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The five entrepreneurs grew the business, and while they did, they found yet another partner. And, this one had cash for expansion. The partner was PACCAR Financial.

“My dad started financing with PFC about 40 years ago,” recalled Jon Vinje, who took over for his father as president of the company in 2001. “And we’ve never looked back when it came to financing.”

While partners can come and go – the elder Vinje bought out his partners’ interest in 1977, when the fleet was at 40 tractors and 50 trailers – Halvor Lines has remained loyal to PFC. “I’m a second generation business owner,” said Vinje. “When my father passed away in 2001, we had 40 more Kenworths we were planning to finance with PACCAR Financial. With my fathers unexpected death, I very much appreciated that PFC stood behind us through that crisis and continued to finance the vehicles – it allowed us to continue to follow the business plan we had in place.”

Today, Vinje runs a fleet of 325 Kenworth trucks, mostly T660s, and 900 trailers. The vast majority of the tractors are financed through PFC – using a variety of programs, including standard financing, TRAC leases, and FMV leases.

“It’s very important for our business to work with PFC because they do understand the trucking industry,” said Vinje. “They understand our business, but, more importantly, they understand the different cycles our industry goes through. We’re in it together.

“We have some relationships with local banks which are necessary for our business,” added Vinje. “But for our tractors, we pride ourselves on our equipment, and we need a good financial partner for equipment acquisition. PACCAR Financial provides the financial resources to make us successful.”

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