Clayton Homes is launching its own transport operation
Clayton Homes is launching its own transport operation that will use company trucks to deliver homes to retail home centers.
The company held a ribbon-cutting Dec. 8 at its Clayton Appalachia home-building facility in Andersonville to mark the introduction of Clayton Home Transport, which will be part of the company's home building and manufacturing division.
The plan is to eventually establish Home Transport operations at all Clayton home-building plants, Kevin Clayton, president and CEO of the company, said.
“This is the first facility that has taken this on, and over the next year, we will be rolling it out to our 40 facilities across the country.”
Clayton said about 150 trucks, plus their escort vehicles will be needed for the Home Transport section and that will mean hundreds of jobs.
“We will be hiring drivers all over the country,” he said. “We ship about 41,000 homes annually, and some of them come in multi-sections so that will mean a lot of drivers.”
Having its own in-house transport operation will give Clayton Homes better control over the delivery of its product, Clayton said.
“The reason we are doing this company wide is we are trying to do everything we possibly can to improve the customer’s experience,” Clayton said. “There are the customers who buy the homes, but then the retail centers that buy the homes to sell are our customers also. We are doing this to deliver a much better product to them.”
Up to now, Clayton Homes has used contractors to deliver its homes to the retail centers. Keith Holdbrooks, president of Clayton's home building group, said the company will be able to use standardized, high-quality equipment and assure that highly trained drivers are making the deliveries.
'Our drivers spend weeks of their training in the home building facility learning all the processes and safety procedures before they deliver any homes,' he said in a statement.
Clayton said the trucks will all have GPS, be equipped with cameras and have governing devices on engines so they are not able to exceed speed limits.
A Berkshire Hathaway company, Clayton Homes, which marked its 60th year in 2016, has been expanding into new markets. The Maryville-based company announced in April that it had acquired Alabama-based River Birch Homes, which makes and markets single and multi-sectional homes in nine states. That same month, Clayton Homes announced the acquisition of Gallatin, Tenn.-based Goodall Homes, giving it a company that operates in the site-built home market.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Ed Marcum
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