In late 1989 a company named Buckeye Fleet Services came into business as a result of the purchase of a company known as Prime Fleet Services. The new owners, Tom and Linda Ewers, had determined that a rebalancing of business, customers and assets was necessary to ensure that this new company would grow and prosper. The company was restructured with a solid financial base which allowed growth and a brighter future.
The company was originally located in a very inefficient facility with very difficult working conditions. A more efficient and work friendly facility was needed to allow growth to take place. In 1991 the business was relocated to a much more efficient and friendly location in Hilliard, Ohio. It was also during this time that the company upgraded road service equipment, and increased parts inventory, which allowed expansion of the demographics of the customer base. Growth was soon realized!
In early 1994 the company purchased land in the Dublin area, designed a new facility, and construction was completed by the end of December, 1994. It was this move and a new facility that allowed the company to be awarded the Ottawa Terminal Truck dealership in early 1995. This dealership allowed the company to expand from a strictly service based business to one that now had product representation. This move opened up new opportunities for growth with increased customer exposure and areas of service.
As the company’s success with Ottawa grew, it brought an additional opportunity to increase our area of coverage. We opened the Cincinnati office as an Ottawa dealer in 1997 in a 3000 Square Foot facility in the Sharonville area of northern Cincinnati. This location and business is known as Yard Trucks of Ohio.
In 2000 the Columbus location was awarded the dealership for the Western Star brand of heavy duty trucks. The brand had not been represented in the Columbus market since 1987 so it was a challenge to revive the brand awareness. At this time the decision was made to change the name of the company in Columbus to the name we carry today which is “Buckeye Western Star”. The quality of the Western Star truck and the dedication and efforts of our parts and service organizations combined to make the Western Star brand a contender in the Columbus area.
With the combined products of Ottawa Terminal Tractors and the Western Star trucks it soon became evident that a much larger facility was needed to allow the inventory of both products to grow and meet central Ohio’s growing demand. We acquired 10 acres of ground fronting on State Route 33 just 2 miles off Interstate 270 in Dublin. A whole new set of criteria was needed for the planning of this new facility and with a lot of effort from many people, we met the challenge.
In 2001 the company moved into its new 25,000 Square Foot facility on Commerce Place off Industrial Parkway. When the land was acquired there were 32 business locations in the Industrial Parkway Association, and as of January 2020, there were over 130 business locations in the Parkway Association.
Things continued to progress for the company. In 2005 the Yard Trucks of Ohio location in Cincinnati was awarded the Hino Truck dealership. Just prior to that dealership announcement the company had relocated to a 10,000 Square Foot facility in the same area of Cincinnati. This move allowed the increase in needed stock inventory for both the Ottawa product and the Hino truck product.
During the years from 1995 through 2005 the company made strategic moves that enabled it to grow in additional areas. We secured certifications in multiple engine lines like Detroit, Mercedes Benz, Cummins and Caterpillar, thus enabling us to be of greater service to our customers. In addition, certification in Allison Transmissions as well as many other products helped to facilitate a steady and continuous growth.
When the announcement came that the Sterling Truck product was no longer going to be produced, a real opportunity presented itself. We were able to become the authorized service representative for the Sterling line and we remain so to this day. We have been able to help our customers maintain their Sterling trucks. Many are working daily in the Columbus area. Most importantly, with the Sterling change we were able to have a number of quality people join our organization from the previous Sterling representative. As always, good people are always your greatest asset.
When a great opportunity comes along, like the Sterling service representation, it also comes with certain hurdles to cross. With the additional storage requirements, we were out of storage space. In 2009 we added a parts warehouse to help this problem.
As time progressed, the popularity of the Western Star product grew dramatically. The durability and performance had made it a favorite for many applications. So, sales grew. This occurred as well in the Ottawa product along with demand for rental units for repair work and peak season needs. With this growth came the increased demands for service needs. In 2017 the company added a large service operation to meet the demands of the Ottawa products. Doing this allowed the main service bays to be totally devoted to the Western Star and all makes of heavy truck service needs. This allowed us to take the necessary steps to do all we can to service our customers well.
Since 2015 we have been recognized annually by Western Star Trucks as the top dealership in our district for our year to year sales growth. This again reinforces our goal and mission to do the very best we can, on a daily basis, to satisfy the needs of our customers.
In 2019 a separate sales facility was built with a two-fold purpose in mind. The sales department needed more room for interaction with customers and a quiet area to talk with those customers. In addition, with the increased sale of trucks and space demands in the service area, we were having issues with the pre-delivery inspections and minor add on work in new trucks. With the new sales building we added additional open space inside for exactly that demand. In inclement weather, we can now bring trucks inside for customer evaluation of both new or used equipment.
We have been here to serve the Columbus and Cincinnati markets for 30 years! With the Western Star and Ottawa products, we have earned a reputation for quality service and product satisfaction. With the Western Star, we have attained significant growth with inventory on hand to meet your needs. With the Ottawa product, we are one of the top dealers in the country and have inventory on hand as well as a sizable rental fleet to meet those peak demands or service replacement.
You have our commitment that we will make all efforts to make sure that your experience with Buckeye Western Star/Yard Trucks of Ohio is a positive experience.