Allied Van Lines

30 years Allied Van

Source: "Tonka", Dennis David, Lloyd Laumann 2004.

The year 1951 marked the introduction of a truck from Tonka that became a staple in the line for many decades. The Allied Van was available in several different configurations and survived many models changes. The Very first Allied Van was designed by Charles M. Groschen, who worked for the Markson Company during the day and for Tonka at night. Groschen designed many more toys for Tonka, and his name became synonymous with Tonka's place in history, but Tonka Van has a story all its own.

Groschen designed the first Allied Van according to exact specifications. The early Tonka Allied Vans have a realistic look that is seldom matched in the toy market. Groschen was able to copy the exact specifications from Allied Van, thanks to an agreement between Allied and Tonka. Groschen designed the first Allied Van for the 1951 Toy Fair, which company president Lynn Baker personaly took to the show.

The introduction of the Allied Van marked a 30 years agreement between Tonka and Allied. An Allied Van can be found in Tonka's yearly offerings, from the very early styles to the mini Tonka private-label Allied Van of 1981. Tracing the Allied Van from Tonka is like chronicling the company's styles over many years. The Allied Van also marked the beginning of a speciality line for Tonka that was very profitable.

Allied Van Lines 

- An organization with a story -

Text and photo's have been copied from: "Moving Forward - Allied Van Lines - Celeberate 75 years"

Allied Van Lines is born 1928:

 As the moving of household goods emerged from its infancy,the issue of return loads continued to challenge the growth of this new industry.According to some estimates, the number of shipments running east to west was ten times the number running west to east.It didn 't take long for warehouse firms to conclude that they couldn 't afford to stay in business running empty trucks. Clearly,there was a need for action. Recognizing the threat posed by the return load issue,the National Furniture Warehousemen 's Association appointed a group of 50 members -designated as the Long Distance Removals Committee -to address the problem.After two years of study,this committee,led by Martin H.Kennelly,recommended that a new "van line " be established.. It would operate as a cooperative and non-profit "alliance " and provide centralized dispatching and information services to its independent members or agents.

On March 12,1928,Allied Van Lines was chartered in Delaware and soon thereafter opened its national headquarters in Chicago,with Martin H.Kennelly serving as its first president.

Hard times for Allied Van Lines:

Several year after its foundation came the crisis which Allied knew to survive. Allied, that worked with agents counted, mid 30's around 262 agents. Around 1935 came the Motor Carier act. This had to something with tarif calculation and certification. The ICC didn't allow Allied with all her agents to get certified and her future became threatned. The solution was found in buying the 'operating rights' off her agents. Numerous agents apposed and didn't wanted to cooperate.  Finaly in april 1946 the ICC accepted Allieds plan to save her company. But the company had taking severe damage by all of this. They had to work hard to rebuild her network of agents like it is today.

After the war dthe USA to rebuild the nation and Allied florished. Next step was to get agents abroad.

Also within the Netherlands an agent is active.

Allied Varekamp International in Utrecht. (international) (Dutch site but facing some troubles)

Note: "Omaha Orange"

Allied’s distinctive orange color was the product of necessity rather than design. Legend has it that when the company was formed in the late ’20s, there was a lengthy discussion on how their trucks would be identified. Charter agent Ray Ford, of Ford Brothers Van & Storage, had a solution: orange. Prior to joining Allied, Ford had been painting his own trucks bright orange, simply because it was the least expensive paint he could find in his native Omaha. The other charter agents could find no fault with this selection, and Omaha orange became the rage…and Allied vans have stood out proudly from all others ever since.