National Carriers was the best O/O company in the country when Johnie owned it. It only started falling apart when Johnnie sold it.
Now he owns and runs TransAm. So your another one that don't know what there talking about.
take care Danny
PS oh yeal I was leased to Johnnie for 4 years .
MarK Martin's Trucking (J-Mar Trucking)
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Julian got a lot of companies started in the Batesville, Searcy area. Bill Davis, Ronnie Dowdy, Dowell Transport. All but Dowdy are left lane trucks and are teams only. Dowdy is the only one that runs chickens. I don't think even Dowdy does Wal Mart. Not the best pay from any of them but great home time, if you live in the Batesville, Searcy area.
The Martin family of Arkansas has been "moving the goods" for almost 100 years. J. Clyde Martin, the father of Julian Martin, the founder of JMAR Express, and grandfather of present owner, Glenda Martin celebrated his 100th birthday in August, 2003. He passed away in July, 2004, two months short of his 101st birthday. Clyde was interviewed shortly before his death about his life by 'The Sun Times', a local newspaper. The title of the published interview was "Clyde Martin, Trucking through 100 Years of Life".
Clyde Martin (sitting) At his 100th birthday with his two living brothers. Cleston, age 88, on the left and Clelan, age 83. Both brothers are also life-long truckers. Clyde's father, Hubert Martin, had to fend for himself at the age of 14. Hubert found lodging with a family that operated a large mill complex, including a sawmill, grist mill, and cotton gin. His initiative and mechanical aptitude enabled him to launcsh his own mill business at the age of 21. He was already married and had the first of 11 children. This mill was a water powered grist mill and shingle mill. By the time Clyde was born in 1903, water power was replaced with a more mobile steam powered rig and the prime business was sawing the huge stands of virgin pine timber into lumber. Hubert used mules to power his transportation needs until he was able to acquire a team of oxen. He acquired one of the first cars in the area, in 1917 and soon after acquired his first truck.
The first truck was a chain drive model with solid rubber tires. It actually was of little practical use because the roads of this area were so primitive. On more than one occasion the drive chain broke while climbing the steep hills in the area. The result was an out of control vehicle that was saved from a more catastrophic fate by the preponderance of trees that served to slow and stop the runaway vehicle.
Clyde started 'skidding logs' from where they were felled, to the sawmill by the time he was 12 years old. He used the oxen team for this task. He stated in the interview that "the oxen were much better in the woods because of their power and knowledge of the task. You could put the large wooden yoke over the neck of one of them and tell the other to come into place and he would do it". The main drawback to the oxen was that they were slow moving when on an open road.
When Clyde was 14, he started his first "over the road" hauling. He used his fathers team of mules for the task of hauling lumber from the sawmill near Banner, Arkansas to Batesville, a distance of some 20 miles. The route went down the steep and rocky 'Brock Mountain', then crossed White River via a ferry. According to Clyde the ferry was manually operated by use of a ratcheting lever attached to a cable strung across the river. The cost of the ferry crossing was a quarter. At that time commercial steam packet boats were plying White River and when the steamboat with its tall smoke stacks approached the ferry site, the boat would blow its whistle and the ferry operator would lower the cable into the river so the boat could pass.
Upon reaching Batesville, Clyde would unload the lumber and stay at a hotel or sleep in his wagon at the livery stable overnight. To keep from 'deadheading' home, Clyde would check with the wholesale merchants in town to see if they had any merchandise to ship to the local retail stores along his return route. In a precursor to the refrigerated transportation of today's J-Mar Express, Clyde recalls hauling ice cream packed with dry ice and insulated with tarps and straw. The return trip up Brock Mountain was a rugged climb. He would stop at the bottom to rest and feed the mules. His pay for this operation was $6 a thousand board feet for the lumber and he could haul 800 feet, resulting in $4.80. The fee for freight on the return trip was fifty cents a hundred pounds. After expenses he typically netted about $6 for the two day trip."I had to stand up and ride the brakes all the way down the mountain to keep the wagon from overrunning the mules"By the time Clyde was 19 he was yearning to see the sights of the big city so with $15 his father advanced him, he bought a $11 train ticket to St. Louis. He lived on the remaining $4 until he got a job at the Atlas Tack Company maintaining their machinery. He really wanted back into the transportation business so as soon as he had saved some money, he and a friend bought a coal and ice delivery business. They initially had two Ford Model T trucks and delivered ice to homes and businesses in the summer. They loaded four 800 blocks of ice in each truck at the start of each run.
As winter neared they would switch to delivering coal for furnaces in homes and businesses. Clyde later acquired a Ford Model A truck and his partner bought a new Chevrolet. This business prospered but Clyde saw that electric refrigerators were going to replace the old 'ice boxes' so a change in business was in order. He also had married his sweetheart, Robbie Stuart, from Arkansas and they decided to return home to Arkansas to raise their family. Clyde bought a new Model A truck for $900 and set out for Arkansas to build a home and make a living 'trucking'.
Clyde found a lot of work the first several years back in Arkansas hauling 'bolts' (short split sections of hardwood trees used in making wooden barrels). Wooden barrels were the preferred packaging method for many commodities in those days, and hardwood trees to make the bolts were plentiful in that part of Arkansas. He was paid $1.50 to $2.00 a cord to haul the bolts from the roadside, near Banner, to the Ozark Stave Company in Pleasant Plains, a distance of some 20 miles. He soon saw that he could increase his income by rigging the Model T with a trailer (his first 'Semi'). With it he could haul 1.5 cords, but there was a power (or lack thereof) problem. On some hills the Model T would not make it up the hill. His method was to rev the engine, pop the clutch and leap forward a few feet, then have his helper 'scotch' the wheels with a rock ---- then repeat the process. (The Fords may not have had much power but the clutch must have been rugged).
To better utilize his equipment, Clyde started hauling the finished product at night from the stave mill in Pleasant Plains to the railroad car at Bradford, a distance of 18 miles. He was paid $3 per thousand board feet for this operation. He hired his brothers and a brother-in-law to run the night shift while he hauled the bolts in the daytime. He bought a new Ford truck with a V-8 engine about 1935. It was dual wheeled and long wheel base, with a 12 foot bed. It was the first long wheel base truck of that vintage sold in the area. It had much more power and could haul the same loads much quicker." I had to get the storekeeper to leave a can of gas on the porch so they wouldn't run out of gas on the night runs"The great depression of the 1930's hit the entire country hard economically, including the stave bolt business, but Clyde stayed busy trucking all during the depression years, hauling a wide variety of items. He went into business with his brother-in-law, Doyne Stuart, in the late 1930's. Doyne had the post office and a general store at Banner. They expanded into the livestock feed business after Clyde joined the firm, with Clyde doing most of the feed hauling. They saw the potential of the commercial poultry business after the end of World War II and they, along with a few others in the area began to specialize in feed and supplies for that business.
Most of todays huge integrated poultry operations in the north central Arkansas area can trace their roots to Stuart and Martin Feed Company in Banner or to J. K. Southerland's similar operation in Floral. J. K. Southerland was a life long friend of Clyde Martin and Doyne Stuart.
Julian & Charles in 'Ole Blackie', a 1948 GMC 300 'Five Window' Trucking was an integral part of the feed and poultry business and that was always Clyde's specialty. His son, Julian Martin, learned to drive a truck at an early age while sitting on Clyde's lap and steering as they drove loads of logs over the rugged roads of northeast Cleburne County. During the summer of 1948, Julian who was 13 years old, and his cousin Charles Stuart delivered hundreds of tons of feed from a warehouse to poultry houses in the area using a GMC Model 250 one ton flat bed truck. Poultry feed in those days was packaged in 100 pound bags and shipped in boxcars to the nearest railhead, then trucked to the warehouse where it was later delivered to the farms.
The next summer, Julian was armed with a learners permit (Charles now had a real drivers license), and they could venture farther afield and they graduated to a GMC Model 300 to do their feed hauling. The business also had acquired it's first semitrailer, a 2 ton Chevrolet with a 20 foot Nabors flatbed trailer. This was soon upgraded to a KB-7 International with a 22 foot Fruehauf van. The "Cornbinder" with 25,000 pounds of feed, made short work of 'Brock Mountain', that had caused Clyde and his mule team so much grief many years earlier.
Julian and his 1958 Ford C600 Julian continued to work in the trucking part of the poultry business, hauling feed, live chickens and other products. He was one of the first in the area to transition the trucking side of the poultry business from a necessary sideline into the major industry it is today in Arkansas. Julian, who died in an accident in 1998, was a major influence in the start of many of the trucking companies in the area.
Julian bought the first truck of his own in the spring of 1959. It was a 1958 Ford C-600 bob truck with a 292 V8 gasoline engine. He financed 100% of it at Citizens Bank of Batesville. He said "all I had was a smiling face and my sleeves rolled up". He started out hauling eggs and chickens to Memphis but eventually "hauled everything I could get through the doors". He sold the truck while unloading in Falls City, Nebraska in the spring of 1960, walked to the highway and waited for his uncle Clelan Martin to pick him up in his 1957 B61 Mack with a 1958 Trailmobile grain trailer. Before they got home Julian had bought the truck from Clelan and he continued hauling everything he could handle.
Glenda and Mark circa 1961 Like his father before him, Julian had his children Glenda, Mark, and Sarah learning to drive vehicles of all types from the moment they could sit on his lap and see over the dash.
The first van trailer Julian owned was a 1952 Trailmobile, 32 feet long, with an ice bunker in the nose and a Briggs and Stratton cooling unit. The trailer was assembled by Julian and his cousin, Troy Lynn Jeffrey from three junked trailers found in a Batesville 'boneyard',. In Julian's words "refrigerated trucking has never been the same since".
Julian's first company, Julian Martin Incorporated (JMI) was founded in 1960 and grew rapidly to a fleet of more than 300 trucks and trailers, but he was happier when he could have his finger on the pulse of every facet of the operation so he sold JMI and after a short break founded J-Mar Express in 1986. The goal was to be the best but not the biggest. J-Mar Express has a nationwide reputation for achieving that goal.
Providing Dependable, Fast, Coast-to-Coast Temperature Controlled Service for 22 Years
J-Mar Express Inc.
731 Taylor Road
P.O. Box 9198
Searcy, AR 72145-9198
Phone: 800-233-9602Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
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