Talking it Over

Reprint of an article published in the GN employee publication 'Talking it Over' of May 1963, page 4-5 

(More pictures to be included.)


Centered at Great Falls

Montana Truck Operations Speed LCL Service


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TRAILING black smoke from the diesel engine, Charles Ackermann heads out of Great Falls on the run to Butte.


For twenty-eight years Great Northern's trucking operations in Montana have provided fast LCL service to shippers and consignees in the Treasure State. The trucking service offers customers great flexibility throughout much of Montana, and moves commodities much more rapidly and more economically than can be accomplished by way freight service. Stemming from Great Falls, the hub of the trucking operations, the highway freight routes fan out over Montana like wheel spokes. From that point, the runs lead to terminating points as Butte, Augusta, Dupuyer, Sweet Grass, Whitefish, Kalispell, Lewistown, Billings, and Williston. Longest run, 327 miles, is from Billings to Glasgow. Basically, the Great Falls-headquartered truck service is a peddle operation by highway units which make drops and pick-ups at freight stations on a schedule in the communities served on the runs.



GREAT FALLS truck terminal has a bowstring truss roof allowing a 35,000 square feet, column-free service area. Trucks enter terminal center, are serviced and leave through a rear exit.


Free PUD Service

GN offers free motor truck pick-up and delivery (PUD) service with its own trucks to customers in Great Falls, Billings, Cut Bank, and Havre. In other communities, local independent cartage firms make deliveries to consignees and pickups from consignors. This service is included in the rate. The trucks also handle U.S. mail between Great Falls and Augusta, Billings, Butte, Havre and Sweet Grass, and between Havre and Williston. Headed by S. J. "Stan" Warner, supervisor of truck operations, the highway service rolls up a total of more than 2 million miles annually. Warner has been supervisor since 1956 and was a PUD driver from 1939 to 1949. A crew of 14 mechanics maintain and overhaul the tractors and trailers in the Great Falls terminal service shop. It is open 24 hours each day to keep the trucks rolling every day in the week. A new tractor costs about $20,500-$22,000 after it has been modified at the shop and is ready for the road. At least 12 of the 42 in the Great Falls fleet have traveled 1.5 million miles in LCL service. All of the 60 trailers in the Montana fleet are refrigerated and heated. A new 40-foot unit costs about $15,000. including the addition of the heating and cooling unit. Three of the 55 PUD drivers have been at the wheel since the truck operation was formed in February, 1935. They are W. H. O'Krush, L. E. Eschler, and E. D. Clark. In addition to the scheduled freight runs, Great Northern also operates a bus daily between Great Falls and Havre, and a bus, truck, and cargo coach between Williston, N.D. and Scobey, Mont.

Handle TOFC Shipments

Trailer-on-flatcar piggyback shipments are handled by GN Motor Lines at ramps at Billings, Cut Bank, Glasgow, Great Falls, Havre, Kalispell, Lewistown, Malta, Whitefish and Wolf Point for movement to or from these points into or from points located on its runs.


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GN's coordinated rail-truck service hauled giant 52-foot sections of Minuteman missile launch tube to missile construction sites near Minot last year.


  GN Motor Lines played an important part in furnishing materials for the construction of the Minuteman missile complex in Montana which extended from Lewistown to Augusta.

It is also a very important factor in providing truck transportation of materials for the Minuteman missile complex within a 75-mile radius of Minot. Materials for these mammoth projects moved 


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  MISSILE launch tube section is lifted off flatbed trailer by two derricks and gently lowered into silo. Other sites will be built in northeastern North Dakota.  

in via rail and were transported to sites via truck. The motor lines are an important link in the coordinated truck-rail and piggyback service offered by GN to its customers.