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dan beardenDancor Transit is a recognized leader in the interstate trucking industry, with headquarters sitting on nine acres in beautiful Van Buren, Arkansas. But the company probably wouldn’t exist today if it hadn’t been for a slowdown in construction in the late seventies.

Dancor founder and president Dan Bearden was born in 1947 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, 157 miles from Van Buren. He enjoyed a simple childhood then in 1966 enlisted in the Navy, where he served two tours in Vietnam aboard the USS Ozbourn. After that, he went to work.

“I’d been working construction and doing well, but work had got slow, so in 1980 I took a job driving a truck,” Dan recalls. Trucking had always interested him, and now he was on the road. In 1982 he bought his first truck, a Mack Cruiseliner, which he leased for six months to a transit company out of Odessa, Texas. Now he was an owner-operator.

Dancor is launched
At the end of the lease, Dan decided to start his own company: “By 1985, I had a few trucks in service, and I purchased the property that’s now Dancor’s main terminal facility in Van Buren.”

Dan has never left the area. Today he lives in Fort Smith, across the Arkansas River from Dancor’s headquarters.

“Back in the old days, in the 1800s, when the river was crossed by ferry, Van Buren was a larger town than Fort Smith,” Dan says. “Fort Smith was the location of the old fort and the federal courthouse, where Judge Isaac Parker was. They called him the hanging judge. He came in to clean up the lawlessness in the Indian territories. You’ve seen the movies Rooster Cogburn and True Grit? Well, all that happened right here. I went to grade school in the fifties with the judge’s granddaughter. The name of the school was Parker Grade School.”

Strategic hub
Choosing to keep Dancor in Van Buren was a no-brainer for Dan and his daughter, Jeri Lynn, co-owner of the company. The main terminal is conveniently located at I-540 and Hwy. 59, right below I-40, the country’s most-traveled east-west interstate route, spanning from California to South Carolina.

Increased access to the north and south will be realized with the completion of a trade corridor between Kansas City and the Gulf of Mexico. I-49, as it will be known, will pass five miles to the east of Dancor.

“We’re sitting right on one of the major intersections in the U.S. for truck transportation,” Dan says.

van buren headquartersSlow and steady gets the job done
Dancor’s growth has been gradual and predictable – and Dan wouldn’t want it any other way. “I attribute our success to steady growth over twenty-five years,” he says, “instead of trying to shoot for unrealistic rapid growth. Control is the key.”

The result of that growth and control is a fleet of 160 power units and 850 trailers with some 200 employees taking care of business every day. In order to keep the trucks rolling for years to come, Dan has a simple but critical philosophy.

“Number one, you have to make a profit, of course,” he says. “And you have to offer a competitive rate, and you have to be able to pay your employees a competitive wage. You could have a brand new truck and trailer and high-paying freight, but if you don’t have a driver, it’s pretty much meaningless. Dancor’s employees are the most important asset this company has.”

After that, it boils down to service that exceeds expectations. “You have to give the best service you can give, always,” Dan says. “If you don’t give good service, you’re not going to be that shipper’s carrier for very long. It works for us: Dancor is still serving some of the same customers it served in 1983.”

Find out how Dancor Transit can keep you running smoothly. Call (800) 322-3202 today.

©2007 Dancor Transit Inc.  |  625 Kerr St. |  PO Box 849  |  Van Buren, Arkansas 72957   |  866-677-4333
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