Well, I maybe a few days late to the party on this one, but it's time to say good bye to another one. Falcon Transport of Youngstown, Ohio.
From a one horse operation in the early 1900s to a major power house and rolling conveyor belt for the steel and auto industry through the 1990s and 2000s Falcon Transport was the major carrier on the Ohio Turnpike.
East to West Toledo to Youngstown, you would see Falcon trucks racing down the highway pulling turnpike doubles either flatbeds or dry van.
But, things change and Falcon around the modern era started to take a bit of a dive. They were a family owned company that was highly tied to the auto and steel industry in a depressed area of the country.
Youngstown, Ohio area has been in a bad way for the past 40 so odd years and has gone through it's boom and now slow bust cycle that part of Ohio and the country has always kind of been in straights for awhile.
Anyhow, back in the 2000s and even more recently you used to see Falcon, PI&I and PGT all pulling turn pike double flatbeds down the Ohio turnpike. Now not so much this week I counted 1, that's right 1 PI&I set of turn pike doubles. I can't tell you the last time I saw a set of PGT Turnpike doubles.
So clearly that era is over. Falcon though shut down there dry van turnpike operation sometime ago.
Boom or bust economies there's always going to be companies that don't make it because lets face it not everyone is good at everything and not everyone can just shift to serve another market.
Falcon was an auto-parts and steel hauler and tied really heavy to the auto industry. The auto industry has been very cyclical for sometime. Now it's real easy for some to say "Oh well they should have gone after another market."
Well that's a lot easier said then done. What market should they have gone into? There not an entertainment hauler I.E. concert tours and stuff, there management doesn't know that business or how to do that kind of work. They wouldn't have lasted 2 minutes doing that kind of work.
There not going to compete against Schneider or Werner there not big enough for the accounts those companies do. They had no where to go and nothing to do and there customer base dried up.
Falcon was tooled up to serve the business in the area and the business in the area Youngstown, Ohio was auto manufacturing. Well cars are no longer built in Youngstown, Ohio so Falcon's services were no longer needed the business ran it's course. It served a niche market and it was done.
The owners of the company I think had started to see the writing on the wall around 2008 and Falcon there trucks started getting a little older and instead of buying new trailers they just started running a bunch of rental trailers with no logos on them and in 2017 the family the real owners of the company did the kiss of death and sold the company to a private equity firm.
Usually when a company is sold to a private equity firm that's not always a good sign that means the company is going to go under. When you see that the real owners or founders of a company sell to some nameless faceless unreachable private equity firm from far away that means the owners are cashing out the business has run its course and there retiring.
In this case according to the Youngstown, Ohio Vindicator News Paper that exactly what happened in 2017 the owners of Falcon got out of the business and sold to a private equity firm from Los Angeles, CA that specialized in mid risk and mid level business and basically the investment company pumped what they could out of Falcon and that was the end of it. When you see these companies get bought out by a private equity firm and those firms start buying and selling the business that means that business doesn't have much long. Private equity firms are like vultures they buy a company take the few crumbs that are left and leave it for dead. This was the case with Falcon. In 2017 when Falcon was sold there was still some semblance of a business there some private equity firm figured they could buy falcon recoup there investment keep the place going for a couple years down size and then kill it off and leave it for dead and that's what they did.
Restaurant chains are famous for that, there's been many restaurant chains that were bought out by private equity firms and run straight into the ground and are now gone.
You know this is one of those times when it's not anyone's fault nothing lasts forever, Falcon had a good 100 year run, but there time is over and in the industrial world the means of production change hands and move fast. These business come they make there money and the owners cash out when they see the product or service life cycle is about to close. Usually then a clean up man comes in that's usually the nameless faceless private equity firm they come in buy the place up pick up the crumbs and bury the operation in the ground.
So R.I.P Falcon Transport.
RIP Falcon Transport Youngstown, OH The OH Turnpike Changes Again
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Sad state of affairs.
The answer to this problem is to be more conservative and less liberal.
If the company conserved more of its money it would have more money today and could have survived. Same problem GM , Ford and Chrysler have. To liberal because of the labor unions. That is why Ford is in bad shape and GM & Chrysler went bankrupt. Conserve your cash and live on , blow your cash and poverty ensues.
Lima Ohio is tank country, for the Main Battle Tanks we build and rebuild there. I believe there might still be a need for work and parts to continue evolving the Abrams main battle tank and the prospective Bradley's Vehicle which itself is about to receive generation two reactive armor and other serious upgrades.
Yes the auto section is pretty bad. The individual American cannot be bothered to buy a new vehicle at 700 dollars a month that they do not have plus full coverage insurance running upwards of a hundred a month.
The salvation continues to be used cars. Until that part of the market falls below a price point at which dealers will refuse to stay in business. They will not be taking the trouble to sell a 3000 dollar car for about a 400 dollar profit when they can sell you a 2014 something for 10,000 at about a thousand dollar profit.
Our last used vehicle was sold to the dealer at precisely 7900 dollars, they sold it to us at 9500 12 years ago. It was a good vehicle, just prone to a eventual failure of a 1800 dollar transmission actuator made of plastic instead of metal.
My run tonight took me to the now closed GM Lordstown Plant. Cassens the big car hauled company has a terminal right next to the plant which had a lot of trucks but very few cars to ship, It’s now a ghost town out there. What used to be a bustling auto plant which used to have Falcon trucks going in and out constantly is now a dead deserted ghost town.
So actually for the first time this week I saw a PGT truck over on the I-80 state route 5 junction yard in eastern Ohio. It was the first set of PGT turnpike doubles I saw this week. Actually it may have been the first PGT truck I saw this week LOL!
Security at least. A few maintenance people so when GM un-mothballs the plant everything hasn't rusted so bad it's unusable.
That sort of thing.
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