SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — A trucking firm with a growing presence in Springfield is planning to add about 70 jobs after securing a contract with GM as the sole firm to haul new medium-duty trucks being produced at Navistar’s Springfield facility.
Wheeler Trucking, based in Flushing, Mich., opened a new location in Springfield last year after securing a deal with GM, which manufactures a cutaway van as part of a joint agreement with Navistar. Wheeler Trucking loads and ships the vans to customers across the United States and Canada. GM’s decision to award the new contract to the firm means Wheeler is the sole hauler for both GM vehicles produced in Springfield, said Rex Wheeler, the company’s owner.
The company started with 18 employees but said last year it planned to employ more than 100 workers in Springfield. The new contract will allow the company to hire about 56 drivers, as well as two mechanics and eight additional emmployees, Wheeler said. He said the firm will work with the Chamber of Greater Springfield and OhioMeansJobs Clark County to recruit new employees.
The News-Sun has previously reported the new Class 4, 5 and 6 chassis cab trucks will be aimed at fleet and commercial customers. Workers in Springfield have long been preparing for the joint venture with GM to build the trucks. Wheeler said his company will begin shipping the new product to customers across the U.S. and Canada as early as December.
Those trucks will be available in both the International and GM brands, and will be produced with engineering input from both manufacturers.