TheHytrolStory_19 (1)

As Hytrol entered 1964, orders continued to come into the new Jonesboro plant. Sam spent a lot of time on the road, holding sales meetings and visiting potential new distributors. Occasionally Tom would fly Sam to some of the distributor firms in the Hytrol plane. Once, during a visit to Langley Handling Equipment Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Tom and Sam were getting ready to return to Jonesboro. Bernie McCallum, then president of the firm, looked at the darkened sky and remarked that he wouldn’t go up in that kind of weather. But Tom didn’t seem too concerned so he and Sam took off for home. As they were flying low over West Virginia, Tom strained to see through the gloomy weather. “Watch out for towers and look for railroad tracks,” he said to Sam. Towers could be dangerous, but Tom reasoned if they flew over railroad tracks there wouldn’t be anything to hit! When they could, Tom, Chuck, Sam, and Ralph had lunch together. It was during these informal meetings that they often brainstormed together and tossed ideas back and forth. These “bull sessions” shaped the future for Hytrol. It was during these meetings that they often came up with new ideas for the company or dealt with problem issues. Shipping from Jonesboro was an ongoing issue. And, as sales continued to increase, so did this problem. The four men spent a lot of time discussing this dilemma. If a solution couldn’t be found soon, Hytrol’s sales could begin to show the effects and ultimately start falling off. One day, Tom Loberg asked the question, “What if we had a warehouse in Memphis or St. Louis and stocked our standard conveyor line there?” The major trucking lines all had offices and transit warehouses there and this would help ship the conveyors out much faster. Someone else suggested stocking enough of our standard conveyors at this warehouse to enable Hytrol to ship them in 24 hours! The room became electric with these suggestions! Everyone was immediately excited and by the end of the meeting it was decided that Hytrol’s warehouse would be located in St. Louis. Tom, Chuck, Sam, and Ralph had several more meetings and made plans to open Hytrol’s first warehouse. The decision was made to ask Hytrol’s distributor in St. Louis, W. W. Munroe Equipment Company, to set up the warehouse in their facility. Hugh and Don Munroe, owners and operators of the firm, agreed, and they began making room in their facility to stock the conveyor models. 11 t h e s t o c k y a r d