Transportation/logistics’re probably thinking of USA Truck and ABF now right? Did you know we have small, locally owned and operated logistics companies here in The Fort? In fact, our office neighbors are CRF Logistics. Chris Freeman and Heath Wood started CRF last year after working in the trucking industry most of their career, Chris has been in the industry since he was 22, Heath since he was 20, both working various roles. Chris is a Fort Smith native, but Heath moved to the area about two and a half years ago for employment. He originally wanted to move to NWA, but things fell into place here in the Fort, and we’re glad they did! Chris is technically the sole owner in CRF but is humble enough to admit he couldn’t have done it without Heath. The two met at their previous job and have been friends since. Chris has always been an entrepreneur at heart and has owned a few businesses in the past. After being in trucking and logistics for so long, and tired of working long corporate hours, he decided to go his own way and start the small business. The first CRF truck was on the road in April 2017. Heath was involved in the planning from the very beginning but didn’t join CRF full-time until August. Chris mainly focuses on recruiting and safety, while his wife takes care of the books and getting everything to the accountant. Heath, on the other hand, runs the day-to-day operations (he’s ALWAYS on the phone!) and his wife helps with billing and payroll.
When asked what they have learned from starting this business, Chris replied that learning how every little thing integrates into the bigger picture is something that really opened his eyes. When working for someone else, you see one tiny step that you’re responsible for, but once you’re the owner, you have to understand how everything works together. Chris brought up how transportation can get a bad reputation, but there are so many positions available in the industry anyone can find a place to fit in. Trucking can make a difference in people’s lives, providing jobs for drivers, accountants, marketers, sales reps, and just about any other job you can think of is available within the industry. A reminder from CRF Logistics: be respectful of the trucks you see on the road. Most people don’t realize how much it takes to get them to turn, stop, or how many blind spots are around them. If you’re going to pass, do so on the driver’s side so they can see you coming. If you’re going to move in front of them, give them plenty of space. If you’re behind one, give them plenty of room.
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