Henry Vander Pol, a trucking pioneer who helped establish two motor carriers in the Pacific Northwest, died Wednesday in Auburn, Wash. He was 95 years old.
Vander Pol was the owner and, until 1997, president of Oak Harbor Freight Lines, a less-than-truckload carrier in Auburn, Wash., with roots dating back to 1916. Henry Vander Pol was the younger brother in a family that included siblings John and Gus.
The trio purchased local cartage hauler Oak Harbor Transfer in 1936. In 1942, the Vander Pol brothers acquired Oak Harbor Freight Lines and merged it with the original cartage operation, keeping the LTL carrier’s name.
The acquisitions didn’t stop there. The brothers purchased LTL carrier Tooker Motor Freight in 1951, renaming the company Peninsula Truck Lines.
In the early 1970s, Gus Vander Pol purchased Peninsula from Henry Vander Pol and R.W. Smith. Henry Vander Pol became sole owner of Oak Harbor Freight Lines.
Oak Harbor ranked 33rd on the Journal of Commerce list of the top LTL carriers last year, with $129 million in revenue in 2010, according to SJ Consulting Group data. The regional carrier’s territory now covers the West Coast from Washington to Southern California and inland, with terminals in Idaho and Nevada.
The next generation of Vander Pols run both trucking companies today. Henry’s sons Ed and David Vander Pol are co-presidents of Oak Harbor Freight Lines, while Gus’ son Stan Vander Pol is president of Peninsula Truck Lines.