Jim grew up with a trucking background as his father had a small trucking company when he was growing up. Jim’s father sold all of his trucks except one which he drove himself. Once Jim was old enough, he got his Class A license and started driving for his father in the afternoon and weekends while he was in college.
Jim bought my first truck in 1983 which was a 1972 International Transtar Cab-over hauling grade B milk to a local cheese plant in Manteca. He drove it for a few years then in 1987 he graduated from college and decided he would make the trucking business my career so his father and he became partners and in 1988 they were awarded a contract which increased their fleet to eight tractors and trailers.
By 1991 they grew the company to 25 power units. The growth of their company continued during the 1990’s and had a fleet of 150 by 2000. The end of 2000 Jim’s father decided to go into semi-retirement and Jim took over as the CEO of Jim Aartman Inc. By the end of 2006 with the help of a great team the company had grown to over 950 employees, 650 power units and 720 tankers. They were one of the largest nationwide food grade carriers. In January 2007 the company was sold to a national carrier.
The next 2 years faced many challenges that no one could have predicted as well as the decline in freight making profitability difficult. CARB made trucking in California expensive to comply. Jim spent 5 and a half years with the company they sold to and he valued every day with them.
Jim then decided to move on to help a friend run his company which is California Freight in Ripon, California. The company was brokerage and warehouse only with 40 employees. With his background in the asset side of the business, they decided to grow California Freight into an asset-based business along with logistics to offer a full service solution to their customers.
Jim became a partner in the company in 2015 and today they have a fleet of 230 power units primarily food grade tankers, a brokerage office with 40 transportation brokers. They have over 550,000 square feet of warehousing space in Modesto, and yard hostlers (which is trailer staging) at 5 different locations. Today they employ 370 people with a team of growth minded individuals.