Safely Hauling Liquid Bulk

Usher Transport, Inc.
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

For almost seventy years, Usher Transport, Inc. has provided its many customers with quality transportation services conducted on schedule and on budget, while ensuring safety from start to delivery.
Usher Transport serves all lower forty-eight states, Canada and Mexico from its headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky while continuing to build on its reputation with new and established customers alike.

The company was founded in 1946 as Boyd & Usher and was built on a handshake deal between Harlan Usher and Mr. Putnam. Still a family-owned enterprise after all these years, the business proudly continues under the Usher family name.

Usher specializes in the safe and efficient transportation of liquid bulk products for the demanding chemical and petroleum industries. Its approximately two hundred and thirty tank trailers are well-equipment to handle all liquid bulk transportation needs with the utmost safety.

The company’s four hundred dedicated employees work in strict accordance with the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program which is the safety compliance and enforcement program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Usher Transport Inc. has earned the business of some of the world’s largest and most-respected blue chip companies. Among Usher Transport’s six hundred clients of all sizes are U.S.-based petroleum refining, marketing and transportation company Marathon Petroleum Corporation; international petrochemical and building products manufacturer and supplier Westlake Chemical; American multinational energy corporation Chevron; and American multinational oil and gas corporation Exxon Mobil.

“What we transport is all liquid bulk,” says President Bill Usher of the company founded by his grandfather, Harlan. “Some of the products we transport are motor oil, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, caustic soda, solvents, gasoline and diesel fuel, and jet fuel.”

Hauling liquid oils and chemicals in bulk requires not only specialized, lined tank trailers, but the utmost respect for safety. This is reflected in every aspect of the business, which continues to receive accolades for its safety initiatives. These include the prestigious ‘Outstanding Performance Trophy’ for safety, which is sponsored by Heil Trailer International of Athens, Tennessee and presented during the annual conference of the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) which works to advance standards for safe and sustainable transportation. The award acknowledges ‘professional tank truck drivers and independent contractors who serve the industry with the most reliable and safe transportation of liquid and dry bulk commodities.’

Other accolades received by the company include its safety program leader, David Guess, being named as the recipient of the National Safety Professional Award of Excellence, presented by the American Trucking Association’s Safety Management Council. With almost twenty years in the trucking industry, Guess is certified both as a director of safety (CDS) and as a hazardous materials responder. He also serves trucking safety associations, including the American Trucking Associations Safety Council and the Kentucky Motor Transport Association’s safety council.

As specialists in bulk liquid transportation, Usher provides a comprehensive range of transportation solutions that are not only safe but cost-effective, allowing its customers to focus on other areas of their businesses. Many of its trailers are rubber-lined, and it supplies composite acid tanks for the secure transportation of liquid, chemical products, corrosives, oxidizers, solvents, and flammables. Moreover, these are just some of fluids the company transports. In addition, Usher effectively manages fuel inventories at numerous customer gas stations.

Although the company operates across much of North America, its specialty is in taking on time-sensitive deliveries within a 500-mile radius of one of its six manned terminals. Support staff at terminals are highly experienced and have the skills and industry know-how to solve any client concern. Usher uses state-of-the-art technologies, including electronic logs, as an additional factor to ensure timely, well-coordinated delivery.

Usher Transport has strategically located trucking terminals and railroad refueling terminals across the United States in Louisville, KY; Paducah, KY; Cincinnati, OH; Catlettsburg, KY; Columbus, OH; Nashville, TN; Doraville, GA; Canton, OH; and Toledo, OH. Additionally, the company established its rail services division in 1996 to serve the railroad industry. The division specialises in direct truck to locomotive (DTL) refueling with refueling terminals in Danville, KY; Bellevue, OH; Elrama, PA; Knoxville, TN; Gang Mills, NY; and Bensenville, IL.

“We want to be closer to our customers,” says Bill of the company, which was located in Paducah for many years before relocating to its current headquarters on five acres in Louisville, Kentucky.

In recent years, one of the challenges facing the transportation industry has been a shortage of qualified drivers. To address the shortage, Usher regular advertises in many places, including mailings, on employment websites like, and at its own website’s career section, where applicants can apply online.

As the company delivers nationwide, its areas of operation enable it to recruit from both regional and local settings. The majority of its fleet spends under two nights per week on overnight travel, with the majority of loads requiring a day or a day and a half.

In addition to having a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card, qualified applicants must be at least twenty-three years old. Among other criteria, they must have a minimum of two years verifiable Class A driving experience, no more than two moving violations in the past two years and tank and hazmat endorsements. Usher Transport is open to both owner-operator or company drivers, and while it prefers to hire experienced tank transport drivers, Usher also has a tank-training program available to those who meet the company’s requirements.

The company is accepting applications for several driving positions. Bill says hiring drivers is going to be the primary focus of all trucking companies, not just Usher Transport. “And the problem is, as the pool gets tighter and tighter, finding quality drivers gets harder and harder. In the industry, it’s already a tight capacity, and because drivers are hauling hazardous materials, we can’t take anyone out of school, but only drivers who have at least two years of over the road verifiable experience.”

One of Usher Transport’s many strengths is the personal touch it provides. It works closely with clients to give customer service that is second-to-none. In its almost seventy years in the transport industry, the company has developed hundreds of repeat customers, many of them faithful to the business for decades.

Remaining true to the company motto, ‘Our Only Product is Service’, the company continues to build on the foundation of trust, speed, safe delivery, and professionalism set by Harlan Usher so many years ago. To better serve customers, Usher believes in being a business that still respects an honest, strong work ethic.



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