ATS is born:
Long distance service for Cold Spring Granite and gross vehicle truckload weight increased after WW2 ended. As soon as the Andersons figured out how to haul a bigger block, Cold Spring Granite engineered a bigger derrick. The quarry block dimensions continued to grow in size. By 1950, they were hauling up to 80-ton blocks to the railroad.
In 1955, with the encouragement of the Cold Spring Granite, the Andersons purchased the assets and operating authority of a common carrier known as Granite City Transfer. The business was principally in the transportation of granite monuments and building granite to 20 states. Incorporated as Anderson Trucking Service, Inc. on January 3, 1955, ATS began operations on March 1st of that year.
At the time of the purchase there were two active drivers, two usable trucks, five partial trailers and an old wooden warehouse with a 12 x 12 office. The employees consisted of two drivers, one mechanic and one dispatcher. ATS began with one operating authority allowing the transportation of granite, stone and the machinery used for its fabrication in the Midwest.
To assist Granite companies with less than truckload freight Harold Anderson created Granite Consolidation Services in 1956. This allowed the granite companies to haul freight without paying the entire minimum required for hauling. The thought process that went into the idea was completely out of the box and an extremely innovative addition to the trucking business. Central Minnesota granite industry was extremely competitive, and it was Harold’s vision to sell the service to each company and move the companies together.
In 1957, ATS expanded its St. Cloud facility with the addition of a separate office building and shop with 2 service bays. At the time, ATS had two operating authorities, both involving granite and stone transportation. This year also brought the transporting of granite outbound from Texas. 1957 also brought forth construction of the Interstate Highway system. Upon completion, the expansion proved to be a major development for the trucking industry.
In 1958, ATS purchased a Minneapolis based carrier, thus acquiring its first operating authority not related to the granite and stone industry. This authority permitted ATS to transport heavy machinery, construction equipment, materials, supplies, as well as size and weight commodities within the states of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. ATS also began transporting granite and stone to western states from quarries and facilities in the Dakotas. During this period of time, ATS also signed its first four independent owner/operators.
1959 brought about ATS’ involvement in the transportation of machinery and building materials, which resulted in increasingly concentrated movements between Milwaukee, Chicago and Minneapolis. In addition, ATS established their first out-of-state terminal in Lansing, IL, to effectively handle the Chicago-Milwaukee-Minneapolis traffic pattern. These factors, combined to help ATS further expand the scope of its service to machinery manufacturers, contractors, and building and construction materials, manufacturers and suppliers.