Ed Nagle is president and CEO of the Nagle Companies.

J.D. Pooley | Sentinel-Tribune

MILLBURY — Ed Nagle was born to be in the trucking business.

His grandfather Joe Bugyi operated Bug-Eye Transportation (that’s how the last name is pronounced). When grandpa wanted to open his own independent terminal, Nagle’s father quit his job with Dana Corp., to help run it.

Nagle’s parents opened that terminal together in 1977 at the “Toledo 5,” Union 76 truck stop. This terminal eventually morphed into Nagle Companies, occupying 14 acres on Moline Martin Road in Lake Township.

“Once you get diesel in your blood, there’s no centrifuge strong enough to get it out,” said Nagle, who is president and CEO of Nagle Companies.

Nagle started in the trucking business in 1978, “literally cleaning toilets at a truckstop,” he said.

When Toledo 5 closed in 1984, Nagle’s father approached his son about starting another company. Eventually, his three brothers also joined the company. Pat Nagle is still with the company, as president of Nagle Logistics Group.

The Nagle trucks service primarily Northwest Ohio to the East Coast, between Grand Rapids, Michigan, down to Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

The trucks and logistics are based at the Lake Township hub. There is also a maintenance garage, which also services other fleets, and a warehouse.

The 16,500-square-foot warehouse is being expanded by 50,000 square feet and will be completed early this summer.

Nagle Companies, which employs 115, specializes in transporting temperature controlled commodities, mostly food.

Most of the employees — about 65 — are truckers. There are 10 who work in logistics and others who work in the maintenance shop.

Nagle Companies built on Moline-Martin Road in 2005. It’s an ideal location because of its access to Interstates 75 and 280 and the Ohio Turnpike.

“We were a little ahead of our time, and now people are seeing the importance of it. This has been a great location,” Nagle said.

The motto of the company is honesty, morality, ethics and respect.

“My greatest passion and motivation is knowing that trucking provides Americans with a standard of living,” Nagle said. “I challenge everyone — look around your house, look around the office and tell me what has not been on a truck at some point.

“Whether it’s your food, your toiletries, your clothes, your furniture, your carpet, your window dressings — whatever it is, it’s been on a truck.”

Truck drivers need to be appreciated — mightily, Nagle said.

“It’s by the sacrifices up the drivers —putting up with terrible traffic conditions, long hour,” he said. “They make those sacrifices so we have better lives. I’ve been preaching that message for 35 years.”

On the road again

Loading. Off-loading. Reloading. Sitting in traffic.

That’s the gist of a trucker’s life, according to longtime long-hauler Bill Overby, who works for Nagle Companies, a truck company based in Lake Township.

A typical day will start anywhere between Michigan and the East Coast.

A meticulous plan is laid out before the truck engine is started. How to avoid rush hour and rest stops must be forecasted.

There’s a certain amount of hours that Overby can actually drive, so that has to be accounted for — he can work 14 hours a day, but he can only drive 11.

Overby said he prefers to be in the parking lot — or nearby — of his first pickup point of the day. After dropping off his first delivery, he has to wash the trailer out before heading out for the next load.

A stop for food, a bathroom and refueling almost requires a whole separate plan.

“You’re hauling 80,000 pounds, it’s not like being in a car,” he said. “By the time you come off 65 mph, get off the exit ramp, find a parking spot, get it parked, go in, sit down, eat, get back to the truck, do your pre-trip and get back on the road, that’s about two hours.”

Fueling a truck and trailer with 200 gallons usually takes about 12 minutes.

Truck parking is in short supply.

“There’s only … maybe 10 truckstops in New Jersey — for 10,000 trucks,” Overby said.

Some truckstops have reserved spots.

“But that doesn’t always mean that you’re getting one. Sometimes others park in them and don’t pay for them,” Overby said.

He has been a truck driver for 32 years. He loves the independence.

“I don’t have to get up in the morning at a certain time. I don’t have to punch a time clock, take my lunch at a certain time, punch out at a certain time. It’s different every day.”

One day in February, he got on the road in Maryland and drove seven hours straight through to Cleveland.

Overby keeps himself occupied in the cab with a CB and satellite radios.

He said that he appreciates Nagle because the company pays a salary, not by the hour.

Being a trucker requires patience and great visualization skills.

There’s a six-week course offered at Trainco or Owens Community College to get started on a career, said Ed Nagle, president and CEO of Nagle Companies.

After the written test, there’s a driving test to pass.

Nagle said he hires people with at least two years experience and age 23 year or older. New drivers are also paired with experienced drivers for three to six weeks.