Hirschbach Motor Lines acquires John Christner Trucking

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Dubuque, Iowa-based Hirschbach Motor Lines announced the acquisition of Sapulpa, Oklahoma-based refrigerated carrier John Christner Trucking. 

The combined revenue of both companies will exceed $1 billion and will propel Hirschbach to be one of the nation’s largest refrigerated carriers. The organization will now operate over 3,000 trucks and 5,000 trailers, along with a $150 million 3PL operation. 

“These two organizations should be united and fit together like two puzzle pieces,” said Brad Pinchuk CEO and owner of Hirschbach. “JCT covers the map coast to coast along the southern tier of the US while Hirschbach’s density is largely east of the Rocky Mountains.”

“In addition to adding JCT’s 800 trucks, Hirschbach will be able to offer its customers access to JCT’s very successful logistics operation,” said Pinchuk.  

The acquisition is bolstered by the close alignment of both companies’ cultures. 

“We’re both driver-centric organizations that focus on taking care of our people so they can take care of our customers,” said Pinchuk. “We’re proud to be truckers and the roles we play in servicing our customers and feeding this great country!”

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JCT was started in 1986 by John Christner, who got his start in trucking in the 1960s hauling produce from California and returning to the coast with juice or meat, and this is still the core of what JCT does today. John handed the reins of JCT to his two sons – Danny and Darryl – who took the company to the next level by expanding the size of the trucking company and starting the logistics business.

“It’s truly an honor to have been selected by the Christner family to be entrusted with their baby,” said Pinchuk. “He (John) built his company on the values of hard work and a relentless pursuit of excellence, always walking the walk and delivering what he promised.”

While John and Darryl Christner will be retiring, Danny Christner will join Hirschbach as president of JCT.

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“We’ll run JCT as a separate company with Danny Christner as the president,” added Pinchuk. “He and Dan Wallace (Hirschbach's president) will be joined at the hip finding ways to service our combined customers, take care of our team members, and run as efficiently as possible.”

“On behalf of myself and the Christner family, we are extremely excited and grateful to be partnering with Brad Pinchuk and the Hirschbach team,” said Danny Christner, CEO of John Christner Trucking. “The ability to transition two of our owners was paramount to any agreement but equally important was the desire to retain JCT’s identity and autonomy to continue delivering on the long-standing commitments we have to our customers, drivers, and non-driving associates.”

“These are two healthy, profitable, premium service providing companies with tremendous brand value, as well as strategic network synergies to be realized over the coming years,” add Christner. 

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The transaction is set to close in early April, but both teams are already starting the collaborative process.  

“The Hirschbach and JCT teams are having a lot of fun getting to know each other and already sharing best practices which will greatly benefit both organizations,” said Pinchuk.