Joe Grady Randolph began his enterprise during World War II when he transported laborers to do work for local farmers. After the war, Randolph recognized the potential in the trucking industry, particularly in the hauling of limestone rock from quarries to outlying farms where it was used to neutralize the acidity of the soil. He hauled limestone for a local trucking company, until 1947 when he decided to branch out on his own. With just three flatbed trucks, he set up shop and hauled aggregates throughout Cherokee County and to neighboring counties while Martha managed the office and handled bookkeeping.
In 1956, Randolph Trucking expanded beyond Grady and Martha’s own backyard to a new facility in the small town of Grover, NC. It would become the company’s headquarters, eventually housing a maintenance shop, tire repair facility, and office space. As the company grew, a number of satellite offices were added in the surrounding area.
As the number and size of South Carolina farms diminished over the years, so did the portion of the company’s business dedicated to hauling limestone. But that doesn’t mean the company stopped growing; to the contrary, J. Grady Randolph kept pace with the times, shifting its focus to the hauling of pre-cast concrete used in building and stadium construction and gravel used in road building and maintenance.
To accommodate for the growth potential in this new line of work, in 1994, the company moved its headquarters back to Gaffney, where they opened a brand new office complex and set up a state-of-the-art maintenance facility. In addition to housing the company’s corporate offices, the Gaffney location was the headquarters for the dump operation, which had satellite offices in Spartanburg and Columbia, SC. The tractor operation was strategically headquartered in Greenville, SC, with satellite offices in Atlanta, GA, and Nashville, TN.
Over the years, Grady and Martha began to receive assistance from their four sons and one daughter, who grew up learning the business by washing trucks, changing tires, and eventually driving loads. Each of the children was drawn to a different aspect of the business, and as they matured began to make their own niches within the company.
The eldest son, Grady, took over leadership of the company when his father retired; Joe saw to the company’s finances; Charles enjoyed the hands-on responsibility of fleet operations; Arthur preferred sales; and their daughter, Marty, took on payroll and human resources. When the children purchased the company from their parents in 1989, they kept these roles through a period of rapid growth and unprecedented success.
With the pre-cast business taking off and government road projects becoming increasingly common, Randolph Trucking entered the 21st century well positioned to continue the company’s success into the new millennium. Yet to reach this potential in the current economic environment, the company knew it would need focused leadership and a singular vision. Randolph Trucking obtained both in 2008 when Charles L. Randolph, the third son of Grady and Martha, became president and chief executive officer of the company. The tractor division split off into a separate entity headed by Mark and Jimmy Randolph-the children of Grady and Martha’s eldest son.
Today, Randolph Trucking, LLC serves locations up and down the east coast and beyond, with a fleet that includes almost 100 dump trucks. Many of the company’s employees have worked for the family for decades, just as their own parents did, and in the process have become like Randolph family members themselves.
The tradition that began with a single truck and a determined young couple in 1935 has become a $10 million/year operation that employs over 100 individuals. Randolph Trucking is still very much a family business, but it’s hard to believe Grady and Martha ever imagined their family–or their business–would come this far.