TheHytrolStory_19 (1)

With the building and property in West Allis finally sold, Tom and Rigmor Loberg and their family moved to Jonesboro early in 1963. Ralph Pocobello was named Vice-President of Production, and the Jonesboro factory was in full swing. Sam Leone continued to travel and market the Hytrol line. Everyone was trying hard to make the transition from West Allis to Jonesboro as smoothly as possible. Of course, the main concern of Tom, Chuck, Sam, and Ralph was to continue servicing the growing network of Hytrol distributors. Jonesboro, Arkansas, at this time, was somewhat isolated from the main highway thoroughfares. At the time, with a population of about 18,000 and almost no factories, it wasn’t considered an industrial city. There was no four lane interstate from Jonesboro to Memphis or St. Louis and most of the major truck lines maintained offices in these two cities. Most distributors had favorite trucking companies and wanted those firms to be used in conveyor shipments to customers. Shipments had to be trucked to the warehouses there and be shuttled to one of the major truck lines. Consequently, Hytrol began to experience delays in shipments. Some distributors incorrectly blamed the work force in Jonesboro as the source of the problem. Sales faltered. Tom, Chuck, Sam, and Ralph were well aware that the Arkansas workers were not to blame. Each one had proven to be extremely capable, hard working, and dedicated to the company. Many of them came directly to Hytrol from the farm environment and had experience in welding and machine tooling. They learned quickly how to run other types of machines. Assembling conveyors was a snap. Tom, Chuck, Sam, and Ralph knew they had a first-rate work force. 10 t h e f i r s t h y t r o l d i s t r i b u t o r c o n v e n t i o n