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Member Spotlight Conrad Heinson, Allied Oil & Tire Company PHOTO: CALLIE KNAPP, RIGHT EYE DIGITAL

BY TODD TRAUB Contributing Writer

As long as wheels keep rolling, so will Allied

Oil & Tire Company. And the wheels have been rolling a long

time for company founder, chairman and CEO Conrad Heinson. “Te enjoyment of the business,” said

Heinson, 90, describing what he most likes about his involvement with the company he founded, more or less out of necessity, in Omaha in 1958. With 288 employees and distribution and

service centers in eight locations, Allied has blossomed from the two employees and $7,500 cash on hand Heinson started with. “Te trucking industry has been very good to

Allied,” Heinson said. From bulk lubricants for trucks, automotive

and industrial applications to DEF, along with new tires, Michelin Retreads, tire service, roadside service, alignments, oil changes and preventive maintenance, Allied provides loving care for vehicles while looking at continued ways to stay on the cutting edge with new products, expanded services and more locations. “You have to do right by your employees,

customers and vendors always,” said company president Steve Phillips, 50, paraphrasing Heinson’s philosophy. Prior to 1958, Heinson was a salesman

for an oil company out of Kansas City, but flooding at the company facility and the death of the owner in an auto accident left his employer on hard financial times. Heinson saw an opportunity to start an oil business in the Iowa-Nebraska region and put his knowledge


of the area and product to work. “I didn’t really have a choice,” Heinson said. By the end of one year Allied was doing

$140,000 worth of business and is up to $130 million today. Te company achieved a number of milestones on its way, including becoming the first 1 million gallon (and 2 million gallon) provider of bulk Shell oil in the nation as well as the largest seller and retread provider of wide- based Michelin X-One tires. With improved technology seeing to it that

tires and oil changes last many more miles than they used to, Allied continues to embrace new materials, products and methods, including Custom Mold retreads which are equivalent to a remanufactured tire. Looking to the near future, Phillips said,

Allied wants to utilize its facilities and people in the realm of light mechanical maintenance — helping truckers maintain CSA requirements for their equipment — as well as eyeing potential expansions into the Minneapolis area, hopefully in the next two or three years. Te company has grown over 30 percent the

past five years and “we are looking to maintain that pace,” Phillips said. For Phillips, the most rewarding aspect of

the job has been Heinson’s willingness to give him the chance to apply his entrepreneurial spirit and desire “using Conrad’s money” Phillips said jokingly.

“Basically the family recruited me to run

the business,” Phillips said, noting that his hiring means that Allied is committed to new perspectives, input and ideas for greater customer service and efficiency. “It does touch base on the sense of why I’m

here,” Phillips said of the relationships that have been built. But Allied is definitely a family business.

With some pride Heinson pointed out the involvement of daughter Tammy Heinson- Fowler as owner and executive vice president and grandson Kyle Fowler as CFO. As far as being part of the Nebraska

Trucking Association family, the benefits are clear. Heinson and Phillips agreed that association membership means regular contact with the most important people out there, those who use the kind of products and services Allied offers. “It keeps us physically and mentally with

where our customers are,” Phillips said. “We have over 100 trucks ourselves and are basically a trucker too.” With respect to the needs of drivers and

government regulations, association support is invaluable, Phillips said. “Not only is it an opportunity for us to

network, it’s a chance to be supported by the Nebraska Trucking Association and their efforts,” he said. NT


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