For over 60 years, Dixon Bros., Inc. (DBI) has been specializing in bulk transport, hauling a wide range of petroleum products and dry bulk products in the upper Rocky Mountain region, the Dakotas and parts of Canada.
In 1960, brothers James and Jerry Dixon founded Dixon Bros., Inc. Jim had $3,500 in operating capital and a new Mack cabover tractor. They started with one customer, delivering propane for McPherson Propane of Sturgis, South Dakota. They incorporated the company in 1961, and operated out of an office in Jim’s house. Business grew, and they needed more space. After an interim move, they moved again to the company’s current location, which is about one mile east of Newcastle, Wyoming. By the way, six decades later, McPherson Propane is still a DBI customer.
From those humble beginnings, Dixon Bros. has become a leader in the bulk carrier industry. In its operating region, the company has nine terminal locations, employs more than 150 people and operates more than 120 trucks and 300 trailers. The company’s service area includes its home state of Wyoming, as well as Colorado, Idaho, western Minnesota, Montana, western Nebraska, North Dakota and western South Dakota. The company also serves the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Manitoba.
Jim Dixon purchased his brother’s share of the business in 2002 after Jerry passed away. After a career of nearly 60 years in trucking, Jim sold his interest in the company to his children. Now, day-to-day operations are shared by his son and daughter, Jimmy Dixon and Suzette Miller. In addition, Jim’s grandchildren and son-in-law also work for the company, helping to ensure Dixon Bros., Inc. will remain a family-owned and family-run business.
As noted above, the company’s corporate office and its first terminal are located in Newcastle, Wyoming. Other terminals in Wyoming are located in Casper, Cheyenne and Gillette. There are also company terminals in Denver, Colorado; Billings and Great Falls, Montana; Mandan and Fargo, North Dakota; and Rapid City, South Dakota. In addition, DBI has transports stationed at key locations throughout its service region to better serve its customers and safely transport the following products: gasoline, diesel, ethanol, jet fuel, propane, natural gas, butane, motor oil, antifreeze, asphalt, oil, hot oil, emulsion, ammonium nitrate, cement, bentonite, fly ash and lime.
Moreover, Dixon Bros. does not broker these products; it is not a competitor of its customers. That means it has a simple mission statement: “To haul products safely, deliver them on time and with complete confidentiality.”
The delivery of petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel, propane and jet fuel, account for about 60% of company revenue. Ammonium nitrate deliveries are about 20% and the remainder comes from all other products delivered by the company.
In total, the company’s trucks travel more than 8 million miles a year. To help manage costs, each of DBI’s terminals have service areas for routine maintenance, tire upgrades and minor mechanical repairs. The company’s Newcastle headquarters location has a facility to handle major repairs and updates. In addition, Dixon Bros. has a robust maintenance program to keep its trucks and trailers in top condition. The most recent expansion in Newcastle enlarged the shop area, increased the size of the parts storage area and drivers’ lounge. In addition, a new corporate office building was constructed.
The DBI fleet includes a variety of unique trailers, manufactured to haul more per load than standard trailers (which decreases customer costs). The trailers were designed with DBI input; they are the strongest, lightest and safest trailers available. Moreover, the company will consider adding specialized equipment to its fleet to handle new projects and contracts.
The following are short overviews of some of DBI’s key trailer types:
Fuel transport trucks have the “capacity to haul from 8,500 gallons to 14,100 gallons of gasoline and 7,500 to 12,300 gallons of diesel.” DBI’s fuel transport trucks also have compartments, allowing multiple products to be delivered to customer locations.
The company’s dedicated aviation fuel trailers guarantee that this product will not be contaminated by residue from an earlier load. DBI’s dedicated aviation fuel trailers can haul up to 12,300 gallons.
DBI’s LPG trailers haul pressurized products such a liquid propane or liquid butane. These specialized trailers can haul up to 14,000 gallons per load.
DBI owns insulated asphalt trailers to ensure a load is delivered to a job site hot and ready to use. These insulated trailers have the capacity to deliver 39 tons of hot asphalt.
Similarly, DBI’s insulated chemical and solution trailers also ensure products are delivered hot and ready to use. These insulated chemical and solution trailers also have a 39-ton capacity.
Like its insulated trailers, the company’s pneumatic trailers also have a 39-ton capacity. These trailers haul cement, bentonite, fly ash and other dry bulk materials.
Community service activities
Community service has been a cornerstone of Dixon Bros., Inc. throughout its history. Founders Jerry and Jim Dixon were active in their communities. Jerry served as a Wyoming state senator, while Jim served on a number of organizations’ boards and committees including: the Weston County Airport Board; the Wyoming Highway Commission; the Wyoming Trucking Association; the Montana Motor Carriers Association; the American Trucking Associations; and the National Tank Truck Carriers Association.
Over its tenure, the company has received numerous quality and safety awards. Dixon Bros., Inc. has been recognized by the Wyoming Trucking Association, Montana Motor Carriers Association, North Dakota Trucking Association, South Dakota Trucking Association, North Dakota Trucking Association, the American Truck Historical Society and the National Tank Truck Carriers Association.
Heading into its 62nd year of operations, it is highly likely that Dixon Bros., Inc. will continue to provide service that wins and retains customers and be recognized for its efforts.
Author’s note: This article would not have been written without information found on the Dixon Bros., Inc. website and Facebook page. In addition, information from the American Truck Historical Society was also used. My thanks to these sources for information and photos.