Our History

Polman Transfer is a family-owned and operated trucking company in Wadena, Minnesota, which began as one man’s effort to fulfill the American Dream: To provide for his growing family and to teach his children the value of combining integrity and hard work to live successful, satisfying lives. In 1946, Duane Polman, Sr. hit the road in a new Chevrolet, transporting the company’s first load. Growth was never his main objective, and with that very first delivery, Duane made a commitment to what would become the company’s signature: Safe, secure, on-time deliveries. More than 7 decades later, Polman Transfer has developed a reputation as being the most reliable, service-oriented tucking company in the industry.

Polman’s original fleet consisted of 1946 and 1948 single-axle, gas-engine trucks that topped out at about 130 horse power. “It wasn’t easy driving,” Duane said of those humble beginnings, “but we always made it on time. You just had to leave on time, and you would make it, even with Highway 10 being a two lane. It took extra time to drive, but we always made it.” Duane’s focus on safety meant that Polman Transfer’s early fleet operated without radios. “The reason,” Duane stated, “is because you needed to be attentive to your truck; you needed to listen – was the engine running right? Maybe a tire would blow, so you always needed to be listening and aware of your truck.”

Trucks with sleepers weren’t introduced to the fleet for another 15-20 years. Until that time, drivers slept in the same seat from which they drove. “All drivers that drove would either sleep sitting up or lying down on the seat,” Duane reminisced.  In time, Duane purchased fiberglass sleepers which attach to the backs of the trucks.  “When installing them, they would bust out the back window of the cab so the drivers could crawl through to sleep.” The sleepers were attached by rubber sealing, similar to inner tube material, which maintained flexibility while driving down the road. On hot days, drivers air conditioned their cabs by rolling down the windows.

As technology has advanced and the trucking industry has grown, Polman Transfer has improved conditions for our drivers and remained dedicated to the customers we serve. We now pilot late model, modern, equipment which keeps our drivers comfortable and safe while on the road. Delivering to all 48 states and Canada Authority, our drivers pull vans, reefers and flatbeds.

As a trucking company, Polman Transfer has long understood importance of maintaining our family owned and operated status, because we believe this culture benefits both our employees and clients. Every employee is a valuable member of our trucking family, and we are keenly aware that we would not be here today without our drivers. Because we are family operated, not corporately owned, the decisions that affect our employees are made by people who know them, understand their circumstances and appreciate their loyalty. With this solid support and dedication to their well-being, our drivers are better able to meet the needs of our individual clients by providing the safe, on time deliveries to which Duane was so committed.

With heavy hearts, we said goodbye to Duane Polman, Sr. in January of 2018, yet his legacy lives on in the dedication to excellence exhibited by the entire Polman Transfer family. We honor his memory with every single safe, on-time delivery we complete.

For more than 7 decades, Polman Transfer has worked hard to develop a reputation as the most reliable, service-oriented business in the industry. We are a company on the move! Contact our office today for more information.

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