Dunn County trucking company owner Travis Styer’s fleet usually hauls corn and soybeans, but with the Super Bowl so close to home this year, in Minneapolis, they spent last week hauling tables, chairs, bar stools and flat-screen TV’s out of U.S. Bank Stadium.
“It was kind of neat,” said Styer, who owns Pine Point Farms, a 2,500-acre grain farming and handling facility north of Menomonie. “It didn’t surprise me that we got tied into it since we do a lot of broker trade.”
Pine Point Farms’ 18 drivers run a total of 56 van trailers and 20 semi-trucks. Styer said that when they’re not busy hauling grain, they work through a broker to get other loads including trade-show freight, such as delivering the Volkswagen display from Milwaukee to the Twin Cities Auto Show.
“This helps out during the slow times,” he said.
While he and his drivers typically fill the slow season with broker jobs like this, he said, being part of the Super Bowl offered a unique experience. After working with a broker and determining that they could handle the job capacity-wise, they spent a few days last week hauling about a dozen loads from downtown Minneapolis to storage facilities in Watertown.
After dropping the hopper bottoms from trucks and hooking up to vans, they were ready to hit the road, he said. Using three trucks, they hauled as many as five loads out of the stadium every day for three or four days.
Styer said they drove their trucks right onto the field of U.S. Bank Stadium to pick up a wide variety of freight — “signs, letters, you name it.” Many items came out of the stadium suites. While there, some drivers had the opportunity to tour the Minnesota Vikings’ locker room, and some were able to take home souvenirs from the big game such as signs directing football players and cheerleaders that otherwise would’ve been thrown away.
However, they didn’t have a lot of time to waste, as the stadium had to be cleared quickly in preparation for the next event, he said. “Whenever something big like this comes into town, they’ve got to move it, and it has got to be moved pretty fast. ... That’s why they bring in independent carriers like me.”
An avid Green Bay Packers fan, Styer said “it was good to see the Vikings didn’t make it” to the Super Bowl, and he was rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles to emerge victorious over the New England Patriots, which they did. It was a great game to watch, he said, adding, “I’d like to see it again.”