Indiana trucking company files bankruptcy, leaves bills behind

| 7/23/2008

Say what you will about Hoosier Tradewinds, but the trucking company didn’t leave home without its plastic.

The Indiana trucking firm recently filed for bankruptcy, leaving many drivers unpaid for loads billed.

According to court documents, Hoosier Tradewinds of Arcadia, IN, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 10 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana.

Court documents filed by Hoosier Tradewinds show the company’s largest debts include $293,819 to American Express for credit card purchases; $283,095 to Fleet-Tech Transportation in trade debt; and $102,169 to Stoops Freightliner in trade debt. Other debts include $41,024 to Chase Card Services and $102,051 to TCH of Ogden, UT, which offers fuel cards and other financing services.

The company estimated it owes money to anywhere between 200 to 999 creditors, and listed its assets within a range of $1 million and $10 million.

Federal bankruptcy case administrator James Curry said his phone has been ringing from creditors with claims against Hoosier Tradewinds, though he couldn’t estimate the total amount of debt the company had racked up.

Truckers owed money by Hoosier Tradewinds can visit the court office’s Web site at, and click on the bankruptcy forms link to download a “proof of claims” form.

“They need to file a proof of claims form,” Curry told Land Line.

A July 11 court filing by the company detailed its relatively short history, starting with the company’s 1997 founding by J. Andrew Cook and Benjamin H. Cook as a mostly dry van business to its recent operation in the 48 contiguous states.

“In early 2008, the debtors began to suffer the effects of the perfect storm of significantly increased fuel costs, a sharp reduction in credit by vendors (particularly fuel vendors), an increased cost of all goods, and the current economic downturn,” the document states. “In an effort to combat these issues and maintain profitability, the debtors began to significantly reduce their fleet in May 2008 down to its current 80 tractor size from its high of 150 tractors.”

One online publication at reported Hoosier Tradewinds and Jim Palmer Trucking may be just the start of “a wave” of trucking companies beginning to file bankruptcy, succumbing to high diesel prices and a bad economy.

Hooiser Tradewinds’ company Web site didn’t list a contact phone number, and the company didn’t immediately respond to Land Line’s e-mail request for an interview.

Will Hoosier Tradewind’s debt eventually tally into the millions?

“Probably,” Curry replied.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer