HARRISBURG, PA…. For 70
years Clark Transfer has been making sure that “the show will go on.” Louis Molitch
revolutionized transportation for the entertainment industry in 1949, when he
acquired authority to deliver theatrical materials to all 48 states. Prior to 1949 everything was delivered by
rail, requiring additional loading and unloading of equipment, and limiting
theater-goers to a handful of metropolitan cities, mostly in the
northeast. Clark Transfer was the first,
and for a while the only, company in the USA to be granted this authority. Norma Molitch Deull, President of Clark
Transfer and Louis’s daughter, states, “For three generations, Clark Transfer
has been a leader in a very specialized arena.
We proudly serve the entertainment industry, providing reliable,
cost-effective solutions to the logistical and transportation challenges of
getting the stuff of live entertainment where it needs to go and when it needs
to get there. Since our modest
beginnings just after World War II, much has changed. We have grown, we have adapted, and we have
learned. But one central commitment has
always remained constant: we are fanatically dedicated to service. You can count on us to get your show on the
road. Because there is, after all, no business like show business.”
Clark Transfer has hauled equipment from Broadway shows like Hamilton, The Lion King, and Phantom of the Opera, orchestras like the New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops, Berlin Philharmonic and Boston Symphony, operas and dance companies like The Metropolitan Opera and Moscow Ballet, and even popular music icons like Willie Nelson and The Rolling Stones. The company has set the standard for show-business logistics and transportation. This tradition carries on to this day with Clark Transfer still being owned and operated by the same family.
Clark Transfer utilizes 100% owner-operators in their fleet. It is a very specialized job. Drivers must deliver on time, every time. Their delivery rate is better than 99% on time. Clark owns the trailers and owner-operators run irregular routes throughout the country. Many drivers are pleasantly surprised when they learn that they can earn as much or more money at Clark Transfer as with other trucking companies, but by driving up to 40,000 miles less per year.
There is a 180º difference from freight hauling. All of the loads are 100% no-touch. Drivers may stay with show tours anywhere from a single day to multiple weeks, depending on the show itineraries. Drivers are compensated for each day that they sit. Sometimes they will be dispatched to another load and compensated for all miles traveled under load and deadhead. Many times, 10-20 drivers will be dispatched to serve a single show. Most solo drivers run 70-90,000 miles annually and earn $155,000 to $185,000, while most teams run 75,000 to 95,000 miles per year and earn $200,000 to $250,000. Clark pays for all miles traveled, pays fuel taxes, and offers a cash safety bonus. Clark guarantees an annual average of $3,000 per week worked for their solo contractors and $4,000 per team. The company also has a $5,000 referral bonus.
The company is leasing contractors across the USA. Owner-operators like working with Clark Transfer not only because it is a small company operation (80+ trucks), but also for the family atmosphere. This is evident from the low turnover rate of under 20% that Clark Transfer has averaged for the last 10 years. Clark has six or seven drivers who have been with the company for more than 20 years. Many of the drivers who leave Clark Transfer are doing so to retire. There are owner-operator leases available with Clark Transfer while they grow their fleet. The company is striving to expand from 80 contractors to 120 to haul the abundance of available entertainment freight. Power units must pass a DOT inspection and be California compliant.
When asked about the future, Clark Transfer President Norma Molitch Deull said, “We hope to be in business for another 100 years! We are a company that is dedicated and committed to its drivers, employees, and customers, who are all part of the Clark family. We are growing our fleet to provide even more service to the entertainment industry, doing the vital work of getting the show on the road.”