Anthony Hart. A name recognized by many in an industry where names come and go just as quickly as the latest fads. Anthony Hart along with his wife Kay Hart, are responsible for nearly five decades of growing, raising, and nurturing a brand loved by so many. Mr. and Mrs. Hart have raised three daughters along with a company that might as well have been the fourth.
Here at Hart we are approaching the celebration of fifty years of manufacturing quality horse trailers. Fifty years in any industry is something to be recognized. Fifty years in an industry that is so easily and directly effected by the direction of the wind is even more incredible. Over the next few months we will be taking you into the very heart of this amazing company. We know that we would not be where we are today without our incredible customers that are also our friends and our family. We have so much in store for you and we cannot wait to share! Part of that journey begins here.
A rare walk through the very family tree that is the flesh and blood of a company that so proudly wears the name as a badge of honor, that is visible on every single trailer that we have ever put on the road.
This morning I set down with Tracy Hart, the daughter of Anthony and Kay Hart. After decades spent out here herself, Tracy officially took the reins in 2010. Being the daughter of a couple who worked hard every single day to see their company succeed has come with so many lessons and invaluable tidbits of wisdom that most do not get the opportunity to glean. I gave Tracy seven questions about her father, Anthony Hart, and asked her to give me her take. Keep reading to see what she had to say!
How old was your Dad when he became a part of Hart Trailers?
“Dad started when he was 28 in 1968.”
How long did your Dad come into the office every day and the plant?
“For forty-eight years, he was here everyday.”
What hats did your Dad wear in his years at Hart Trailers?
“When dad came here, he did everything with the exception of invoicing and payroll. When we first started there were around seven employees so dad was very hands on. He sold, welded, trimmed, cut parts, pretty much anything else that needed to be done. He said “when we first started I had to learn how to build the product and how to develop it into a quality trailer. I was the new kid on the block and was trying to get the trailers started and put out the best trailer I could.”.
What do you admire most about your Dad’s approach to his time behind the wheel at Hart?
“I have always admired his attention to detail and building such a quality trailer. He was always sure that whatever we did at Hart Trailers, we did to the very best of our ability. The fact that he never took short cuts, which is the reason we have trailers that are thirty to forty years old still going down the road. He was playfully teased my entire life over the fact that everything had to be ‘industrial strength’. It didn’t matter if he was hanging a picture on a wall or building a trailer. It’s that attitude that I carry with me today and will continue to carry with me as long as I’m running this company. We will always build the very best trailer that we can because it is the standard that my father set and one that I will never let leave this company.”
What character trait do you think people notice first about your Dad?
“I think people recognize his honesty first and then his kindness and gentleness. He also tends to be a man of few words so when he speaks people tend to listen.”
Are there any funny stories you want to share about your Dad and anything that has happened during his time at Hart?
“I think Dad has always been a very humble man who never saw himself any different than any of his employees.”
What area of Hart Trailers do you think that Anthony Hart has influenced the most?
“Quality and friendliness. Those two because he would only accept the best for the trailers and friendliness because he always cared and it shows still today in the number of long term employees that we have. “
Thank you Tracy, for taking the time to answer these questions.
Thank you Anthony and Kay for setting such a standard and for laying the groundwork for something that is so much more than just another ‘trailer company’.
For the rest of you, stay tuned and we will definitely have more to come!