CRST International celebrates 50th anniversary

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CRST International will celebrate its 50th anniversary by opening a 500-square-foot museum at its Cedar Rapids, Iowa, headquarters on May 19.

Items on display will include company newsletters, photographs, toy CRST trucks, the company’s first time clock, the typewriter used by founder Herald Smith to type invoices in the early years, wheel alignment equipment from CRST’s repair shop, and a microfiche fuel bill reader.

Smith founded CRST in 1955, when he realized that livestock trucks returning empty to Cedar Rapids from Chicago cost somebody money. Smith purchased Cedar Rapids Steel Transportation and hired the livestock drivers to haul steel on their return routes.

Today CRST International is the nation’s 10th largest truckload carrier, with $620 million in revenues in 2004. Its three units are CRST Van Expedited, CRST Logistics and CRST Malone.

Other anniversary events include the publication of In it for the Long Haul: The Story of CRST, visits by CRST trucks to Cedar Rapids schools, a CRST exhibit at the Carl and Mary Koehler History Center in Cedar Rapids, and donations to local arts agencies, including sponsorship of the 2004-2005 season of the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra.

The company also is sponsoring an “On the Road with CRST” photo contest for CRST employees and owner-operators. For more information, visit