In 2006, Kendall Davidson, a certified diesel mechanic, established a trucking company with a 1979 dump truck he literally built with his own hands. At the time, Kendall's Hauling had just one employee- himself. Despite the difficult road ahead, he wanted more, he said. Fortunately, he connected with industry influencers who were committed to creating sustainable pathways for minority and disadvantaged business owners. Thom Kuhn, the President of Millstone Weber, was among those who helped Davidson get established in the competitive, highly regulated motor freight transportation sector. "Millstone Weber was my catalyst to success," Davidson said.
Today, Kendall's Hauling LLC has dual certification as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), a fleet of dump trucks, side dumps and fuel tankers, 15 employees, and a contract to collaborate with the men and women who helped the family-owned transportation business get rolling 14 years ago.
Originally, I was one man, one truck. Now I'm the only African-American in the whole state of Missouri who owns a petroleum business.
Kendall's Hauling is the Millstone Weber I-270
Protege receiving capacity building support, training and assistance through the MW Communiversity. Kendall's Hauling is a three-tier haulage and cartage company: petroleum sales, delivery and storage; dirt, rock and asphalt hauling; and, heavy duty freight delivery. As a Millstone Weber contractor for the I-270 North Design-Build Project, Kendall's Hauling will transport diesel fuel for construction equipment, and haul excavated material from the construction sites.
"Initially Millstone Weber changed my family's life. Now they continue to have a positive impact on my employees," Davidson said. My employees are "average blue-collar Joes with high school degrees," he said. Most live in the North County neighborhoods, near the I-270 North Design-Build Project. "My employees are people who look like me, working real jobs with a prevailing wage, bringing money back to their communities. They've been able to buy houses, cars, pay property taxes, and send their kids to college," Davidson said. Davidson currently lives in St. Louis city, but grew up in North County. He attended Lutheran North High School and North Technical High School.
Davidson is also a 2010 MoDOT Fastrac Business Development Program graduate. He credits this program with making him a businessman. "Participating in MoDOT's Fastrac Program is a phenomenal opportunity for minority and disadvantaged business owners," Davidson said. "I already knew diesel truck maintenance and repair; Fastrac taught me how to run a business, and helped me network with equal opportunity officers who led supplier diversity and contracting activities at key companies."
When asked about the impact of COVID-19 on his business, he stated that due to his I-270 North Design-Build contract, he does not expect his business will be negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. "We're working, and we'll stay working."