Hayden Truck Repair of is the winner of the 2018 Montana Family Business award in the “old” business category (operating at least 50 years), presented by Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship State Farm Insurance Family Business Day.
Harry Hayden built a prosperous trucking company from nothing. He left home to live on his own at age 13, with an 8th grade education. He purchased his first truck in approximately 1948 in North Dakota.
He brought his trucks to Belgrade, Montana in 1980. He continued to own a trucking company until his death in 2013.
He overcame many obstacles including lack of start-up capital, bankruptcy, divorce, embezzlement, poor economies, trucking industry regulation and yet the business survived and flourished. His four sons all worked in the family business, at one point or another, and two sons became independent owners operators.
Dale Hayden started working in the shop at age 13 and was managing his father’s fleet by the age of 18. Dale continued to work for his father both driving an asphalt truck and doing the maintenance work for the fleet. In 1998 Dale and Linda Hayden opened a separate repair company while continuing to maintain Harry’s trucks and working out of the same location.
Dale and Linda’s partnership brought to the company the combined background of hands-on experience and education, with Linda having a degree in business management from Montana State University.
The third generation Amanda, Jacob and Keaton Hayden (Dale and Linda’s kids) grew up around the business performing various jobs growing up from cleaning to filing, etc.
Recently, the older two Hayden kids have taken more full time, advanced roles in the business. Amanda is performing bookkeeping and marketing, while Jacob is a mechanic and handles the evolving technology needs and Keaton does maintenance jobs, now and then.
All of the third generation has some post secondary education, with Amanda receiving a bachelor’s degree. This generation is very helpful in taking the company into the future.
They all have different interests that help the company to innovate and incorporate technology. The family is agreeable that they would like to see the company take on new directions, just as it has in the past.