A bright blue truck with a flatbed full of tree saplings cruising across the North Fork has been a familiar sight.
Allan Glover, the man in the driver’s seat, has been hauling goods across Long Island and the tri-state area since he was 18. He drove for his father before starting his own business, A.W. Glover Trucking, in 1968.
Mr. Glover, 73, celebrated 50 years in the business last November, and some of his original customers came to recognize the accomplishment at a gathering in Southold, he said.
“We had folks from the city, some from a market in Jersey where I deliver produce, and some folks from Cutchogue, naturally,” he said.
For the past 25 years, the business has been on Depot Lane, where he’s worked with his assistant and part-time driver, Jimmy Mulhall of Southold.
“I haven’t moved a mile in my life,” the Cutchogue native laughed.
When North Fork farms are up and running in May, Mr. Glover said, he mainly transports vegetables. Despite driving well over 500,000 miles throughout his career, Mr. Glover doesn’t consider his job tedious.
“I never figured I’d make it this long,” he said. “I enjoy being on the road and that’s what helps — it doesn’t feel like it’s a business or it’s work. When I get in that truck, I’m just like, ‘OK! Bye!’ ”
So the story goes, Mr. Glover said, he used to drive from Cutchogue to Massachusetts and Rhode Island with a flatbed full of harvested potatoes, fertilizer and limestone on a regular basis.
“We used to haul potatoes all winter because there were more potato farmers out here,” he said.
Now it’s primarily shrubbery, he said.
Glover Trucking partners with local nurseries like Shade Trees Nursery in Jamesport, North Fork Nursery in Jamesport and Marders in Bridgehampton to transport trees, shrubs and potted plants across the Island. It was an adjustment he made for the community, Mr. Glover said.
“I didn’t get into nursery stock until probably 30 years ago,” he said. “But … I had to branch out.”
When he’s not operating the truck, Mr. Glover is likely at the Cutchogue Fire Department, where he’s volunteered for 55 years. The retired fire chief serves as a truck officer.
Every March, the fire department borrows his equipment to transport goods for St. Patrick’s Day events, and Mr. Glover lends some of his trucks to the Mattituck Lions Club for the annual Strawberry Festival in the summer.
Mr. Glover said he feels like Glover Transportation has outlived most other transportation companies on Long Island.
“It seems like the last few years there’s been people coming me asking me to haul that I’ve never worked for,” he said. “I think a lot of people have given up doing it, so I’m one of the last ones left.”
Photo caption: Allen Glover has been operation out of Cutchogue for 50 years. (Kate Nalepinski photo)