Here For The Long Haul: The Big Rigs Tanker Service Story
Big Rigs Tanker Service, Inc. has been delivering quality service for decades, but the roots of this family owned and operated business go even deeper. The Smith Family is a trucking industry family, three generations born to be on the wide-open road.
Roger and Rosemarie (Rose) Smith founded the company with the purchase of an ’85 Peterbilt fuel truck and trailer in 1996; that truck, while currently retired today, still sits in the yard and can be utilized from time to time as needed.
Who are the family members driving this company today?
ROGER SMITH – Vice President, Owner
Roger’s father was a mechanic for 27 years. At age 16, Roger started learning the various trades by working side by side with his father when his parents, Claude (Smitty) and Joanne Smith, opened Smitty’s Fleet Service in 1971, a diesel repair shop in Tacoma WA. Roger worked with Smitty until a life changing car accident happened in 1990. After Roger’s lengthy recovery, he retrained to work in private security – a career field that really didn’t have a hold of his heart the way mechanics and driving did. In 1996, Roger convinced Rosemarie to invest in their future by purchasing a tanker truck and trailer. With the keys in hand, Roger went to work hauling heating oil from Seattle and Tacoma to a bulk plant in Bremerton. After a full day of driving, Roger would get out of the truck to turn wrenches in order to keep his equipment in top-notch condition. Slowly, more trucks and trailers were purchased and added to the company’s fleet as it is today. Eventually, Roger entrusted the responsibility of the driver dispatch reins to his son, Aaron.
ROSEMARIE SMITH – President, Owner
Roger’s wife, Rosemarie, has been an intricate part behind the scenes at Big Rigs since its inception. She worked in the healthcare industry from 1972 until 2006; first as a medical assistant before working her way up to admin assistant at Pediatrics Northwest Tacoma, WA. She had a few pauses during her time at Pediatrics Northwest which included not only having 3 children, but also working at the Puyallup Fair, at a local Christmas tree farm, and operating her own in home daycare, just to name a few. After 34 years, Rose decided to shorten her commute from 17 miles one way to a one minute walk from her doorstep to the Big Rigs office. There, she did anything that fell under administrative jurisdiction – a virtual “one man band,” as she says. Since 2017, Rose has been teaching the office ropes to her daughter-in-law, Krista, and is reducing her workload from doing everything to currently just keeping the company’s accounts payable department in order.
AARON SMITH – Operations Manager, Owner
Roger and Rosemarie’s son, Aaron, works in a senior management role as a driver, truck boss, company dispatcher, head of customer relations, and sales director – all often from within the confines of the seat in his rolling office. Aaron got his commercial license at 18. He went to work at a local dairy company (“literally hauling crap”) before moving into a job at Sumner Tractor. Shortly thereafter, he learned the skills of dump truck and concrete delivery while working at Corliss Resources in Sumner. Aaron joined the family business, working full time, around 2002, and has been hauling fuel and hot oil while steadily expanding the company’s fleet and customer base.
KRISTA SMITH – Admin
Aaron’s wife, Krista, decided that April Fool’s Day in 2017 would be a lucky start date to make the transition from a part time Big Rigs employee to working full time in the company’s office. Krista brought with her a background of working in the dental industry where she was an office manager for Oral Surgical Associates in Tacoma WA for more than 14 years. Krista currently manages the company’s human resources, marketing, accounts receivable and daily operations.
Gunner Smith and Gabriel Smith – DIT (Drivers in Training)
Aaron and Krista’s two sons, Gunner and Gabe, are still obtaining their primary education, but they are daily involved in the working components of the business and are already counting down the days until they can get their commercial drivers licenses and drive for Big Rigs!
Big Rigs: Today and Tomorrow
Over the years, the company has steadily expanded its fleet to include 27 trucks servicing three divisions: fuel transportation, hot oil delivery, and flatbed hauling. Customers today include some of the region’s top fuel distributors, steel producers/shippers, pipe importers, lumber producers, gas station operations, The US Military, and major fuel brands.
There are countless reasons why our customers trust Big Rigs Tanker Service: quality service, well-maintained equipment; clean, uniformed, courteous drivers; and flexible billing to name a few. Most importantly, customers say they like working with the Smith family; they speak candidly, give straight answers, and always deliver on their word.