Hine Bros. Inc. located in Southbury and Hine Bros International in Bridgeport, Connecticut hosted a highly-successful, well-attended Open House celebration of the company’s iconic 70th anniversary. Co-owners Ken, Jay and Jay’s wife, Laura Hine hosted the well-received community-wide event at their 67 Main Street South location in Southbury on Thursday, October 26.
The celebration was held in honor of the company’s founding brothers James and Richard Hine, and the continuous ambition of the current second generation Hine Bros. family members to successfully “carry on the tradition of serving the community and our customers.”
Hine Bros. Inc is a renowned and respected seller and servicer of trucks manufactured by International and Hino. The company has continued to grow for the notable past 70 years due to its exemplary customer service and attention to details. One of the original settlers in the Town of Southbury, the Hine family has played an active role in the Southbury community throughout the years. The generations who followed were taught the value of doing well by others and maintaining integrity.
“Our father, Richard and his brothers, James “Jimmy” and Howard Hine began the company following their return home after WWII,” stated current managing owners Ken and Jay Hine. “Our dad and Uncle Howard served in the Merchant Marines while our Uncle Jimmy served in the Army Air Corps.
“When they returned to Southbury with no jobs, they bought a parcel of farmland from their Uncle George on Main Street and built a gas station with repair facilities. While the building has changed over the years, our company is located on the same land they purchased in 1947. The station started with Chevron gas and evolved into a Mobil station which is now the only full-service gas station remaining in Southbury.”
The three original entrepreneurial brothers sold and serviced Studebakers plus a variety of models International Harvester offered along with Cub Cadet Tractors. When Howard moved to Florida, his brothers, Richard and Jimmy continued running the business supported by multiple family members over the decades. Current co-owners Ken and Jay commented during the October 26 dedication ceremony that they, “Grew up at the garage helping out as soon as they were old enough to push a broom.” They bought the business from their father and Uncle Jimmy in the 1970s.
“We wanted to expand the thriving business,” stated the brothers. “The business was growing, but there wasn’t enough space in Southbury to expand. In 1997 we bought 3.0 acres at 1001 Wordin Avenue in Bridgeport. In 1998 we opened our current 20,000 square foot facility at that location which is a full-service International truck dealership with service and parts for all makes.
“At our Bridgeport facility, we are able to display and warehouse more of our inventory of trucks and parts in what is a significantly larger space than what we have had at the original Southbury location for the past 70 years.” Currently, the International trucks and Hino diesel trucks that Hine Bros. sells and services range from 15,500 to 80,000 lb. GVW.
In 2002, the three current Hine Bros. Inc. and International owners opened a third company, Park City Truck Equipment LLC at their Bridgeport location that sells and services the highest quality of truck bodies, plows, sanders, and hydraulics. A variety of brands are sold including Duraclass bodies, Western snow plows, and Henderson snow and ice products. This company installs and replaces truck frames, creates custom truck forms and frames, and assembles cross-members and complete truck frames.
In 2014, the co-owners opened a fourth company, J & K Idealease offering a safe, cost-effective and efficient alternative to commercial truck ownership through its comprehensive truck leasing, truck rental, fleet services and dedicated maintenance services.
The notably-successful 70th-anniversary celebration of the family-owned Hine Bros. Inc. was held from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.Attendees were enthralled by a display of Hine Bros. trucks that ranged from a 1941 International Woody Wagon to a 2018 International HX, plus numerous Hino trucks and a notably-impressive International tractor collection. They also enjoyed photos displayed throughout the Hine Bros. garage of the founding family members and the generations that have followed.
The celebration began with many delighted attendees arriving in a disco party bus arranged by Hine Bros. with Carriage Limousine of Southbury to transport celebrants from an off-site parking area. Upon their arrival to Hine Bros., attendees enjoyed a sumptuous continental breakfast followed by celebration speeches by the brothers.
During the dedication ceremony, Ken and Jay Hine recognized the notable accomplishments of many of the company’s employees and welcomed remarks from Southbury First Selectman Jeffrey Manville. Mr. Manville proudly commented that Hine Bros. has been an “outstanding contributor to the Southbury community for many decades”, and that he was “one of the many people in the audience today who worked here as a young man.”
Following the dedication ceremony, a lavish lunch was served that included specialty pizzas freshly made by the Green Pizza Truck which used a specially-outfitted restored 1940’s International Harvester truck that served as a mobile pizzeria. Hors-d’oeuvres, home-made salads, and ‘astonishing desserts’ were served. Each of the approximately 500 attendees received gift bags and were eligible to win prizes from local area businesses. Many attendees welcomed receipt of Hine Bros. caps that ‘went like hot cakes” commented Laura Hine who has ordered more for the many additional guests who expressed a desire to wear the 70th-anniversary memorabilia cap.
Two weeks following the memorable celebration, State of Connecticut Representative for the 69th District, Arthur J. O’Neill, presented the owners of Hine Bros. Inc. with a General Assembly Official Citation on behalf of the State of Connecticut and Representative David K. Labriola, 131st District, and Senator Eric C. Berthel, 32nd District. Representative O’Neill and the other state officials were all unable to attend the celebration due to State of Connecticut’s urgent Legislative need to pass a state budget.
To learn more about Hine Bros. Inc. and International, Park City Truck Equipment LLC, and J&K Idealease, visit http://www.hinebros.com, or call Hine Bros. in Southbury at 203-264-8251 or in Bridgeport at 203-336-5387, and Park City Truck Equipment LLC at 888-203-2571, and J&K Idealease at 203-264-8207.