Herald JournalHerald Journal, April 19, 2004

Quasts keep on truckin'

By Jody Anderson

The slogan “Keep on Truckin” seems appropriate for Jeff and Carol Quast of JC Quast Trucking in Victor Township.

Jeff Quast, originally from Winsted, is no stranger to the trucking business; his family has been involved for decades.

He worked his way up the ladder at Quast Transfer from mechanic to driver, to being in charge of the loading dock, and later in charge of dispatch for 17 years.

During four subsequent years, he drove for a variety of companies, and bought his first semi in 1999.

But Quast was not content to be assigned routes and cargo – he wanted to be his own boss.

So, last year he became independent.

“Now we are responsible for all aspects,” commented his wife Carol.

“We’re responsible for our own destiny. The harder we work, the more money we earn,” she said.

Along with more earnings, however is more responsibility.

The Quasts own four trailers and lease to five owner/operators. “We share the responsibilities,” she said. “We’re all out there helping.”

Their son Jason, is a machinist, and daughter Rachael (who is also a princess and Miss Congeniality from Winsted) pitch in whenever necessary.

“It’s like a farm,” Carol said. “It’s a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week job. If you’re not out hauling you’re servicing.”

Carol has also worked at ABC Truss in Montrose and Dura Supreme in Howard Lake.

On the face of it, trucking might appear to be a rather dull occupation.

Jeff Quast waxes a bit nostalgic on the subject. “Years ago, we were the white knights of the highway,” he said.

“Now there are good drivers and bad drivers, and many times you have to grin and bear it, and do what you have to do.”

He also noted that although the JC Quast Trucking is limited to the five-state area, he has done extensive driving in the south and western United States, which enjoys less traffic than the East Coast.

Also stressful is the fact that although the first part of the month is relatively slow, everyone wants to ship their cargo in the last few days.

A driver is witness to some strange events and cargo as well. Jeff Quast remembers shipping imported trophy animal heads to northern Minnesota and has seen a woman driving completely nude down I-94 with the interior light turned on. “That’s not so unusual,” he chuckled.

Although the trucking business has transformed to include better relationships with competitive carriers, it is still a tough market.

JC Quast must deal with cut rates and a lack of customer loyalty.

Jeff Quast, however, is optimistic. “Everything you use is hauled by a truck,” he said.

“Our advertising had been limited up ‘til now to the logos on the trucks, and it’s putting food on the table. I couldn’t ask for more.”

JC Quast Trucking Inc. is a home based business, and does not have regular office hours.

Any interested parties may reach Jeff Quast on his cellular phone at (612) 328-2708.

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