Hammer Down History
The Hammer Down began in 1993 as a monthly newsletter published by and for the truck drivers of the former Better-Bilt Aluminum Products Company located in Smyrna, TN and Prescott Valley, AZ.
The Hammer Down featured information for the drivers from Sales and Marketing to fuel stops, updates on D.O.T. regulations, changes in customer's receiving hours, new customer information, route detours as well as updates on new Ryder Truck Rental locations for fuel and service.
What began as a monthly publication for approximately 40 drivers and two dispatch offices between the two manufacturing facilities soon reached a monthly circulation of nearly 400 copies being printed and distributed to everyone in both plants in addition to all of the District and Regional Sales Reps across the United States. Anyone who had information that could help the drivers better serve the customer and increase customer goodwill contributed to the newsletter.
On April 1, 1995, the conglomerate that owned Better-Bilt Aluminum Products downsized the traffic departments, terminating the company drivers, turning over all of their trucking operations to the former Leaseway Driver Services. The now former Better-Bilt drivers were informed they could no longer print and publish the Hammer Down newsletter. By the end of 1995, the Hammer Down name was copyrighted and registered to one of the drivers. We continued to print and publish our newsletter at our own expense and mailing the newsletters to the homes of the drivers and anyone who still wanted a copy. In 1997, with the onset of the Internet, the Hammer Down made its debut on the World Wide Web and the rest is history.
Many of our drivers have since passed on but with the efforts of a few drivers, we have established a "Driver's Reunion Breakfast" every 2 to 3 months during the year. These breakfast gatherings have grown to include many drivers from other companies who used to run the same highways and regions of the country as the Better-Bilt drivers. Besides the Better-Bilt drivers, we now have former drivers of the H.D. Lee Company, Cumberland-Swan Drug Company, Teledyne, Safety Clean, Werthan Bag Company, Hill's Department Stores, and former car haulers (Volunteer Transport) from the early Nissan Automotive plant days in Smyrna, TN.
We call ourselves "OLD SCHOOL TRUCKERS", most of us having begun our driving careers as far back as the 1960's. Our driver breakfasts are open to anyone who considers themselves an "old school trucker" from WAAAY back. Our breakfasts and gatherings are also open to anyone who worked for any of the companies listed above. After all .... we call this our "reunion" of sorts.
If you would like to be put on our driver breakfast mailing list, simply click on the blue e-mail link and send us your name, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, and info on some of the trucking companies you drove for.
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