BIRMINGHAM , Ala. – J&M Tank Lines Inc. is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a family-owned and operated trucking company, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.
J&M was founded in 1948 by Jimmie McClinton with a loan of $125 from the Peoples Bank in Selma, Alabama, according to a news release.
McClinton began with one truck, hauling primarily baled cotton and peanuts across the Southeastern U.S.
In the early 1960s, Harold Sumerford Sr. joined J&M as a bookkeeper/assistant manager at J&M’s headquarters in Americus, Georgia, soon becoming a strong partner of McClinton’s.
Following the death of McClinton in the early 1980s, Sumerford Sr. became sole owner of the company with more than 500 tractors and a variety of flatbed, van and tank trailers.
During its 75 years of business, Harold Sumerford Jr. and Peter Sumerford have also come to call J&M home, following in their father’s footsteps. Sumerford Jr. began in the late 1970s, and P. Sumerford began in the late 1980s — both working from the bottom up with stories of sweeping shop floors, washing trailers and pulling nails out of flatbed trailers.
“I am proud to be a part of such a massive accomplishment, for any company, but especially one my family has been a part of for so long,” Peter Sumerford, J&M president, said. “The work our drivers do every day to deliver on J&M’s promises to our customers is remarkable.”
Beginning in 2002, Sumerford Jr. and P. Sumerford took leadership of J&M following the retirement of Sumerford Sr. The two transitioned J&M to specialize in tanks, focusing on building a superior dry-bulk company with custom services for customers.
Today, J&M operates 450 tractors and 800 trailers at 11 terminal operations throughout Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. Sister companies such as TransChem USA, Specialized Delivery Systems and Sumerford Logistics allow for a strong reach and quality service for customers and drivers alike.
“I often tell people, I feel like I have never been to work a day in my life, even after 40 years of service to this industry and J&M,” Harold Sumerford, Jr., J&M CEO, said. “I love what I do and take great pride in the success of our company. We have built our reputation on being first-class and plan to uphold that image as we grow.”
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