An Indiana carrier undergoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy plans to use the process to settle debts and pivot.
Elmer Buchta Trucking and related businesses filed for bankruptcy in federal court in Indiana last month, and CEO Doug Prohaski told Trucking Dive the company’s strategic decision aims to restructure operations and expand.
“This has simply to do with long-term debt reorganization that allows us to be more nimble with regards to getting our fleet current and growing our fleet with new reliable equipment,” he said in a phone interview in early October.
Elmer Buchta Trucking seeks to add 30 new tractors and shed 15 to 20 older models over the next 18 months if possible, Prohaski said.
The company said declining coal prices affected its customers, creating cash-flow issues for the carrier. Elmer Buchta Trucking will continue hauling the commodity as long as it’s viable, its CEO told Trucking Dive.
The firm is actively recruiting drivers and is aiming to diversify by possibly hauling scrap metals and expanding its road rock capabilities, Prohaski said.
In a Sept. 26 letter to the public, the carrier maintained it’s not closing its doors. The company is continuing its day-to-day operations and positioning itself for expansion, the letter said.
Elmer Buchta Trucking expects to remain primarily a local or regional hauler where drivers are home “nightly or a very frequent basis,” Prohaski said. “So it’s just kind of a natural evolution.”