Wisconsin-based leased fuel hauler Seth Taylor has been good friends with Rodney Nyhof for quite a while. Taylor, in his early 30s, grew into trucking with so many then-soon-to-be owner-operators in his area under the influence of Rodney’s father, Carl Nyhof, the 74-year-old owner and operator of the R model Mack you see up top, well preserved for its 35 years in service under just one owner. Nyhof purchased the unit when it was new from a local Mack dealer called Karstaedt’s Services, Taylor says, and has run it ever since.
Rodney Nyhof and Taylor “have talked for quite a while about cleaning up the truck and submitting it to your magazine,” he told me, and this past weekend, with Carl out of town, provided the perfect opportunity.
Taylor calls the elder Nyhof a “a great mentor to a few young owner-ops like me, and the history behind this submission is a really big deal among ‘short-haul’ guys like us that look up to Carl and his way of staying independent. Never much for flash or things that shine, Carl has never gotten much credit for all his years of dedicated work.”
It’s credit that he no doubt deserves for a generous spirit he’s well-known for throughout the area, particularly among the trucking generation coming up behind him. (Taylor, to this day, parks his 2012 Pete 386 at Carl’s yard, a home base for all manner of new-business assistance, including the “quite a few he’s helped out over the years” getting a CDL. Taylor makes note of a friend Nyhof put on the books for a while to help him learn driving, among others. “Carl will wait around long after he would normally be gone to help me if I’m ‘limping home’ for repairs,” Taylor says.)
“He’s a household name in our area for his generosity,” Taylor adds.
So, without further ado, here’s Taylor’s tribute to the independent owner-operator, his truck and his business in and out of area gravel pits and other tough spots, working longtime with local contractors.
35 years and humming: Carl Nyhof’s 1984 Mack
Carl Nyhof bought this Mack R model new in 1984 with a 285 and a 6-speed transmission. Not liking any of the electronics in the new trucks, Nyhof has transplanted a Mack 300 and a 9-speed into the Mack, and still runs the tractor daily. He loves it now more than when it was new.
Nyhof bought his first truck in 1973 and leased on with Hribar Trucking, a local aggregate hauler. Following deregulation, in 1982 he got his own authority and became Carl Nyhof Trucking. Nyhof and his wife, Phyllis, have operated Carl Nyhof Trucking ever since, with Phyllis taking care the business side while Carl does what he does best.
They have had many loyal customers over the years, several of which are still cared for today. Hauling all types of freight over the years, Nyhof has always stayed heavy in aggregates and equipment hauling for contractors. He’s also dealt with a lot a scrap metal, and still operates a concrete crusher (which he built himself) to process demo material from contractors he hauls for.
Over the years, Nyhof has had three sons and even a few grandsons working in the family business. Because of his dedication and work ethic, Carl and his son Rodney, leased on with the business as an owner-op, continue to be the go-to guys in their area for hauling anything local, no matter what size or type of trailer. –Seth Taylor