Interstate Wood Products / Signature Transport – serving the wood industry and poultry market
Interstate Wood Products was founded in 1966 by Don Lemmons with three trucks. The company has grown leaps and bounds in 52 years, and much of that is due to the strong family values that the company was founded on, and that remains strong today.
In 1979 Dale Lemmons began working for Interstate Wood Products as a truck driver. He has served the role as President for 15 years and is very proud of the advancements that have occurred throughout his tenure with the company. In 2007 Dale and Deanna purchased the assets of another trucking company and started Signature Transport. With this new company came a contract to transport live chickens to the processing plant. The companies now work side by side to serve both the wood industry and the poultry market.
The company leadership is a family affair. His wife Deanna serves as Office Manager. Their son Bryce serves as General Manager, focusing on personnel, safety, and compliance while another son, Craig serves as maintenance director.
Since 2007 the companies have continued to grow. Together they have 95 employees consisting of 75 drivers, ten full-time maintenance staff and ten administrative staff including management and dispatchers. This is an increase of well over 100% in the past ten years.
Employee and workplace safety is of utmost importance to the team at Interstate Wood Products. By remaining safety oriented, the company can ensure that the job gets done and that the ultimate, uncompromising goal of getting everyone back home after their shift, is met.
To this end, they have purchased many new trucks and trailers in the past three years all equipped with rollover prevention and collision avoidance technology. Trailers are all being equipped with automated rollover tarps, so drivers no longer need to climb on top of the trailer to level the load in order to tarp it.
These technology initiatives have helped reduce recordable incidents by over 50% and DOT reportable accidents by over 80%.
As the driver shortage has worsened, they are developing relationships with the Chamber of Commerce, Employment Security, and driver training schools to fill the pipeline of new driver candidates, developing a scholarship program so there will be an ongoing pool of drivers for years to come.
Dale’s involvement in FRA began in early 2005 when he was invited to attend Western Region meetings. His invaluable ideas and input were quickly noticed, and he was soon asked to become a Region Policy Committee Member, become involved in meeting planning, chair the Regional Transportation Committee, and in 2015 became an FRA Board Member. He now serves on the Executive Committee, is the Region Policy Committee Vice-Chair, and is a member of multiple national committees.