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Bronn Trucking survives by expanding its services

Scott N. Miller smiller@vaildaily.com
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GYPSUM, Colorado – The days when a guy could make a living running a few dumptrucks are past. That’s why Steve and Dede Bronn are now in the trucking business, the diesel-repair business and, now, the heavy towing business.

Steve Bronn started his trucking business in 1996, when his brother David’s excavating business needed a trucking company it could depend on. The brothers are close but never became business partners.

Over the years, Bronn Trucking gained more clients and eventually was running a half-dozen trucks to job sites all over the valley. With most of the company’s trucks rescued from salvage yards, the Bronns started Spring Creek Repair a few years ago. It, too, grew to work for other clients.

But the trucking and repair businesses slowed down when the local construction business nosedived in 2009. Like everyone else still working today, the Bronns learned to get by with less and different work.

“And we were lucky – we had all the equipment paid for,” Steve said.

So the Bronns took any work they could find – at the moment, they’re fairly busy hauling topsoil to clients doing landscaping work.

The repair business has expanded its scope, too.

“We’re doing a lot more medium-duty trucks now,” Steve said. “We used to only work on dump trucks and tractors.”

Earlier this year, the Bronns found another way to expand, thanks to their friend Steve Carver. Carver told the Bronns that Eddie Havener was ready to sell his towing business, which focused on heavy trucks.

Havener had been in the towing business for years and had hauled plenty of the Bronns’ trucks.

“Eddie took care of Vail Pass before (Interstate 70) was built,” Steve said. “Without those heavy tow trucks, that road wouldn’t stay open.”

With the Haveners ready to move, the Bronns decided to seize another opportunity and got into the towing business.

“We plan to run the towing business like Eddie did,” Dede said. “That means doing it right.”

Steve runs the tow truck and said there’s a difference between hauling dirt and hauling broken trucks.

“It’s a lot more work,” Steve said. “Towing requires a lot of paperwork.”

And towing takes the right attitude, too – the Bronns learned from the hauling business that treating people right the first time is a good way to get a second and third call.

“Nobody likes to see the tow truck,” Steve said. “But if you need one, you want to be treated right.”

Running three businesses is tougher than just running dump trucks around the valley.

“But if you can, it’s a great time to diversify,” Dede said.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.


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