The company just sold two bodies that entered service in 1964. They range in size from 41 trucks at one of the two distribution branches in Houston to 10 trucks in Kansas City and nine trucks in Harlingen, Texas. 1920s:Family begins delivering ice cream in Sioux City, Iowa. Older 14-ft trucks use a single compressor to freeze the plates. In 1911, ice cream for local consumption began production. The average trip for transport trailers is 300 miles. For that reason, Blue Bell uses only manual defrost. Several dealers may be involved on some deals, while a single dealer gets the whole order at other times. 1977: Wells' Dairy, Inc. is incorporated. Shop Target for Blue Bell Ice Cream & Frozen Dairy Desserts you will love at great low prices. We’re firm believers that a happier day is just a spoonful away—a spoonful of ice cream, that is. The exception is in West Texas where the sparse population is more scattered. In fact, the company has been known to remove an older narrow format unit, cut a larger hole in the trailer nose, remount a new unit, and put the trailer back in service. Once Blue Bell gets a foothold in the ice cream case, the company embarks on a campaign of advertising to educate consumers about Blue Bell and its traditions. The company evaluates route trucks three times a year-January, June, and September, picking out the 20 worst chassis for replacement each time. The second plant is on the eastern edge of town. Blue Bell Creameries, a limited partnership with headquarters in the rural town of Brenham, Texas, and more than twenty branch offices, is a manufacturer of ice cream and frozen dessert products that distributes to southwestern states including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and New Mexico. Founded in 1907 as the Brenham Creamery Company, Blue Bell began operation making butter. While eight years or 200,000 miles is the average, trucks actually selected for replacement may range from six to 11 years in age with mileage from 150,000 to 325,000, Winkelmann says. Tractors selected for replacement are usually at least seven years old and have logged 700,000 miles or more. Old decals are stripped off; the body is sanded, prepared, and repainted. At big customers, someone from Blue Bell is in the stores an average of twice a day. Blue Bell, the little creamery in Brenham, keeps getting bigger, so big in fact that it now operates four production locations and sells its premium ice cream in parts of 13 states. The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. All route trucks are equipped with eutectic plate refrigeration. In-House Body Remanufacturing For all practical purposes, truck bodies are completely remanufactured during the remount process. Our aim was to use local or British produce wherever possible for our very special, very British Ice Cream! Frost is swept off the plates daily. Ice cream distribution was limited to the small town of Brenham in the Brazos River country of south central Texas about 70 miles west of Houston. Rosemary Brown had often made her own ice cream from the milk from the cows on the farm (milked by Husband Geoff and Son Oliver) so this was a perfectly natural step up!! New decals are installed before the chassis and body are returned to service. The fleet average is about 28,000 miles a year.". The standard Blue Bell route truck was 14 ft long prior to 1985 when 18 ft was adopted as the company standard. Responding to demands for lower calorie confections, the company began using NutraSweet, and holds the distinction of being the first major United States ice cream manufacturer to make a "lite" product in 1986. The larger branches get at least one load a day. Over the years, Blue Bell has diversified its products with the development of frozen dietary desserts, nonfat frozen yogurt, and frozen snacks, including Blue Bell Ice Cream Sandwiches, Snickers, Nestle's Crunch, and Eskimo Pie. When over half of a container of Ben & Jerry’s is made up of dairy cream and milk, it is no surprise that we only want to use the best dairy for our ice cream. Font size: In 1990 the original Brenham plant, which incorporated building elements from the American Cotton Gin Company and included a one-story main building in the Art Moderne style, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its role as an agricultural processing facility. "We can rebuild a body in a week, but it usually takes longer. Distribution started in Atlanta in 1998 where Blue Bell now is the third best-selling ice cream brand using three distribution branches with 15 trucks each. When trades between plants are necessary, loads are relayed instead of making single trips. Since it is located in the heart of dairy country, the company has never needed to own its sources of raw materials, but continues to depend on farmers in the surrounding area. These branches range from Atlanta to Kansas City to Big Springs, Texas. accessed November 11, 2020, The company is just as successful in other markets. Thinly insulated walls tend to deteriorate faster than thick ones, he says. The 73 tractors are divided among the plants.