Logan Frank joined U-Haul in 1955, and this summer he will be the first team member to celebrate 60 years with the Company. Here, in his own words, he reflects on his U-Haul journey, which started with a fancy dinner but quickly turned into a life of $2-a-night hotels.
My U-Haul Journey
By U-Haul Pioneer Logan Frank
My U-Haul journey started in August 1955, when I was 25 years old. I was managing a Sunoco service station in Miami, Fla., when I saw a help wanted ad in the local paper. It said, “Help needed moving trailers.” I thought it was moving house trailers, because I had never heard of U-Haul.
When I showed up to answer the ad, there were about 60 other applicants ahead of me. I filled out a one-page application and I must have made a good impression on L.S. Shoen and Anna Mary Carty Shoen, the co-founders of U-Haul, because they hired me that night.
The next night, Anna Mary and L.S. took me and my wife, Dee, to a fine dinner at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach. Once I found out how much I would make—$315 a month with a $5 per diem—I realized that was the end of the Fontainebleau for me! But I liked Anna Mary and L.S. from Day One and I have been happy with my 60-year adventure with U-Haul.
On the road again
There were only three area field managers (AFMs) in Florida and southern Georgia at the time. My territory, as AFM, covered half of the state of Florida, so I was on the road most of the time. I stayed at a lot of $2 a night motels. Sometimes I would just sleep in the cab of the truck and clean up at the dealership the next morning.
When I was hired, the big trailer-rental companies were Nationwide and National. They had way more trailers than we did, but they did not have a centralized control structure. H.D. Bohannan was the president of National Trailer Rental Co. at the time, located in Tampa, Fla., and George Nelson was President of Nationwide located in Miami, Fla. Over time I became a business friend with Bohannan, and my brother, Ron Frank, became a business friend with George Nelson.
After some time they both became U-Haul Dealers and the huge inventory of yellow Nationwide and National trailers faded away.
Onward and upward
I was appointed rental company manager in January 1956, and regional director of 15 states in 1961. In 1963, Dee and I, and our 1-year-old daughter Yvette, moved to Palm Springs, Calif., where L.S. Shoen, Tom Safford and I had an office. There, we worked on the birth of U-Haul Moving Centers and modular signs, among other things.
The first U-Haul Moving Center opened in 1974. What followed was a whirlwind few years, with about six of us practically living in a twin-engine plane buying new locations, mostly closed service stations. In 1980, we opened our 1,000th moving center in Oklahoma City! I learned a lot from U-Haul Pioneers such as L.S. Shoen, Joe Shoen, Mark Shoen, Jim Shoen and Hap Carty.
It’s gone by fast
Was it only yesterday that we started with U-Haul? It’s gone by so fast, but it’s worked out real nice for us. I’ve enjoyed every one of my years with U-Haul. I tell people, “I’ve enjoyed life and I’ve enjoyed U-Haul.” Your job should be fun, not funny. If you’re not having a little fun on the job, then you have the wrong job. You want people to WANT to join our team.
My, oh my! Space prevents a book full of great experiences I could share.