Living in Society Writing

Postcards from Iowa #7

The Pine Barn Inn, Danville, Pennsylvania

Reverse side: The Pine Barn Inn — Danville, PA 17821 As Featured in ‘Back Roads and Country Inns’ Photo by C.G. Wagner, Jr.

I stayed at The Pine Barn Inn while director of maintenance for a large transportation and logistics company. For many years we bought Fruehauf Trailers built in Fort Madison, Iowa. I was in Danville to evaluate a Strick Corporation trailer manufacturing plant as prelude to picking a new vendor. By 1993 the writing was on the wall that Fruehauf was going out of business.

A leveraged buyout in 1986 by the company’s management left Fruehauf burdened with debt, and in 1989 the company was broken up and sold, though one segment, the truck trailer unit, retained the name Fruehauf Trailer Corporation. That corporation declared bankruptcy in 1996 and was sold to Wabash National the next year.

Fruehauf Trailer Corporation Wikipedia.

While many in the truckload segment of the transportation business were buying Wabash National plate trailers, the owner of our privately held company was apparently not a fan. We chose Strick for a non-Freuhauf plate trailer build over others I evaluated.

I traveled a lot during my transportation and logistics career. It came to a point where I would wake on an airplane and not know where I was or where I was going. The job had me traveling to both coasts and from Florida to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I had a heavy carbon footprint in those days.

When I supervised a driver recruiting operation I had offices in Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Missouri. We even did driver recruiting in Astoria, New York near LaGuardia Airport. I met people from everywhere and spent a lot of time in transit.

I don’t remember much about The Pine Barn Inn, except it was clean and met my personal needs. That’s what I wanted during business trips. Today I hope most of my traveling is finished. At least I still have this postcard.