Colorado crude carriers
Rod and Karen Steely, owners of Colorado Crude Carriers have been pillars of the Northern Colorado community for decades. Starting from basically nothing, they saw a dream and reached for the sky. Decades later, those dreams became reality but not without downfalls and tragic loss along the way.
Rod began trucking after buying a dump truck in 1974 and married Karen in 1978 after she graduated and have been happily married ever since.
Tragedy first struck their family in 1992 when Rod lost his brother-in-law, David Hildenbrandt, who was hauling crude oil at the time when a car turned out in front of him that he couldn't avoid and the truck burst into flames. Then on July 14th 1996, Rod and Karen lost their 13-year-old son Aaron, to a tragic boating accident on Boyd lake in Loveland when Aaron's personal watercraft collided with another boat. Although Aaron was wearing all the proper safety gear, it was not enough to save his life. To honor their son, they started the Aaron Foundation which promotes boating safety and honor his life with "Aaron's Day' on the second Sunday every July.
Their other son, Cameron, is a very successful Rally car driver. It's a great passion/hobby for Rod as the two spend a lot of time on the road traveling throughout the country, and Canada, tearing up the back roads at very high rates of speed; something Karen is fond of but watches through closes fingers, as any protective mother would do.
It was in March of 1996, that Rod and Karen took the leap by incorporating and forming Colorado Crude Carriers which has grown into a 43-truck fleet and a very respected business in the industry.
Colorado Crude Carriers has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to many causes including buying football uniforms and equipment for local teams, computers for middle school science classes, funding of an employee/family scholarship program and many other great causes including:
Colorado Crude Carriers picked up $2000 of Charley's ride expenses in 2014 for the Honor Flight Northern Colorado Endurance Ride and then turned around and sponsored 10,000 miles at $1 per mile. Then in 2015, they picked up 100% of his ride expenses to the tune of $3000 and in 2016 they are again picking up not only all of the expenses for Charley, but Mike as well; another $6000 to make the 2016 Honor Flight Northern Colorado Endurance Ride possible one last time. That is $21,000 out of their pockets to support our local veterans...
Rod and Karen have donated not only money over the years, but lots of their personal time and have never done so expecting a return on their good will. They don't sell cars, clothes or merchandise; they haul crude oil and it's not like many of us have tanks of crude oil in our backyards and shopping around for a trucking company. Rod and Karen give because they are grateful for what they have and have never taken it for granted and have always believed in giving back and helping those who are less fortunate.
Karen has always said it best by saying "Our veterans have given us the freedom to be who we are but the children our our future." That pretty much sums up who they are and why they do what they do, and continue to do so.
Our community and the people who have been around Rod and Karen over the years are much better off because of them. I also want it to be known that without their help of financing the expenses of the Honor Flight Northern Colorado Endurance Ride in 2014, 2015 and 2016, the rides never would have happened and because of their financial generosity, it has given Charley and Mike a chance to raise well over $100,000 for the veterans here in Northern Colorado. Without them, this dream would never have been possible...
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