Carstensen and Sons Trucking, Inc. was co-founded in 1981 by Al & Gail Carstensen and incorporated in 1983. Al & Gail decided to quit their corporate jobs and with just one tractor-trailer started out hauling cement powder to Gail’s father’s ready mix plant in Granite Falls, MN. By word of mouth alone, Al’s reputation quickly grew throughout the cement industry and soon found himself branching out for other customers transporting a variety of products.
Al & Gail called Hastings, MN home where they went on to raise six children, four boys and two girls, while running their business. All four of the boys started working at a young age washing tractors, greasing trucks, and changing oil. Two of the boys went to school to obtain their diesel technician degrees and are both still actively involved in the trucking industry. While Al is mostly retired now, he can still be found on occasion driving truck and assisting in the shop while Gail continues to help in the office as needed. One of the boys, Matt, is now the president and under his continued leadership, we have grown to over 30 trucks, 60+ trailers, and 5 mobile PIG storage units. As the industry needs kept expanding, in 2018 we signed on our first owner operator and now currently partner with eight well-qualified owner operators that share our same commitments and visions.
Here at Carstensen and Sons Trucking, our main focus has always been on hauling dry bulk commodities (how Al started and built the company) including cement powder, fly ash, lime, sand, salt, urea and other bulk animal feed ingredients using pneumatic trailers. In addition to the pneumatic trailers, we do have a small fleet of van and flatbed trailers that assist in specialized coverage for our customers where needed. With continued growth over the years, we have been able to evolve where and when needed. In September of 2016, we obtained our brokerage authority which allows us to ensure that we can provide coverage for any job size, not just limiting coverage to the trucks within our fleet. As our fleet size was growing, so did the need to expand our repair shop and mechanical services offered. We began partnering with brands such as Pittsburgh Power, Max Mileage, and MD Alignment to ensure our trucks were running as efficiently, and profitably, as possible. In 2020 we started construction on a new facility in Cannon Falls, MN that allowed us additional space to open our repair shop to the public. We take pride in making sure our equipment is always running in top shape and are now able to offer those same great services to our customers. Some of the services offered include axel alignments and diesel engine cleaning (see links below or Shop Services tab for more detailed information), tire changes, DOT inspections, oil changes through full services. We have three full-time mechanics on staff, all of which are MN DOT certified. The new facility also houses a full-service truck, trailer & tank wash, Cannon Custom Tank Wash, that is open to the public and offers a wide array of custom wash options. Please visit https://cannoncustomtankwash.com/ or check them out on Facebook at Cannon Custom Tank Wash.
|Al and Gail
In nicer weather, you will still find Al driving truck a few days a week during the busy season. Although not trucking near as often, he keeps busy behind the scenes helping the shop out with sourcing and procuring parts and special projects and making those weekly Menards run for supplies. When he’s not busy with work, he enjoys spending his time watching all the nieces, nephews and extended family & friends in all their respective sporting events and has coached Jr Gold hockey for 29 years.
While Gail continues to help here at Carstensen Trucking behind the scenes when needed, she has pursued a life-long passion and went back to school for nursing. With her nursing school training behind her, she is now a main care provider for her special needs grandson that requires advanced hands-on care. She coordinates the Hastings Community Blood Drive (the largest in Dakota County), which has up to fifteen events per year and is a board member of Lakeside Cemetery in Hastings, MN. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren and attending sporting events with her husband, Al.
Having been exposed to the trucking business since childhood, Matt, our President, has been involved with all day-to-day operations that go on here at Carstensen Trucking. During his time at Hastings High School, he attended college classes for diesel mechanic training, so often you will find him out wrenching on trucks in the shop when he is not needed in the office. In addition to making sure our fleet is well-maintained and running safely, Matt has opened the shop to outside customer repairs and enjoys making sure that all work is performed to the highest level possible. Matt enjoys spending time with his wife, Brittany, and their daughter, Macey, going camping on the weekends and joining friends on UTV rides.
Jenn is the general manager and main dispatcher and has been with Carstensen Trucking since 2016. With years of multifaceted experience in the transportation industry, Jenn lends her expertise in customer service and dispatching, and works with all the drivers to make sure all our customers’ needs are being met. She works closely with Matt Carstensen on overseeing all areas of operations are running smoothly. In her free time, Jenn enjoys spending time with her 3 rescue dogs that she shares with her husband, Matt, and family, including her granddaughter, Octavia. She loves spending her weekends taking the camper up north and going off-roading with good friends and family.
– Jo is the office manager and works closely with Jenn in making sure that all areas of the office are running smoothly. Outside of the office, she fosters dogs through a local Twin Cities dog rescue and with the help of her two resident dogs works to get foster dogs ready for a new life with a family of their own. She enjoys traveling, whether by plane, car, or by riding her Harley-Davidson across the country.
– Grace is our office assistant and has become involved in a little bit of everything here learning how the business operates from answering the phones for customers to helping wash trucks in the wash bay. She is a 2022 graduate of Randolph High School and is currently attending Dakota County Technical College’s welding program. Grace is an avid animal lover and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Matt K is our shop manager & mechanic here at Carstensen Trucking. He is great at anything that needs rebuilding & reworking and moonlights as our resident injector rebuilding aficionado. Since coming onboard full-time in 2012, Matt has pretty much done it all out in the shop and can even be found hoping in truck 8 to cover a load when needed. When not here in the shop, Matt spends time farming and helps to take care of a herd of cattle and repairing farm equipment. Fun fact, he is married to our general manager, Jenn, and stepdad to Quinten & Connor (who also work here at Carstensen Trucking). In his spare time, Matt enjoys spending time with their 3 dogs and is often up north for the weekend camping and hits the UTV trails with family and friends.
Quinten is our parts manager and jack-of-all-trades here at Carstensen Trucking and even though a lot of what he does is behind the scenes, he plays a major role in operations here. In addition to keeping everything organized in the parts department and shop area making sure all the drivers and mechanics have what they need, he will also assist in the wash bay when busy, and even office when needed. He attended college at St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN, where he played football and majored in sports physiology. Since graduating in 2019, he remains actively involved in multiple sports from watching and playing whenever he can. As well as sports, Quinten enjoys hunting and fishing and spending time with friends and family, and as of Christmas of 2023 his new fiancé, Jolene.
Nate has been a mechanic with Carstensen’s since 2019 and offers lots of expertise in the advanced technology side of diesel repair. He is our shop’s alignment specialist and performs most MD Alignment services offered here at the shop. Growing up with family in the industry, both as mechanics and drivers, Nate took an interest in all things trucks at an early age and has since dually pursued his passion by not only becoming a diesel technician but has also obtained his CDL and will drive truck when needed. Nate enjoys spending free time with his wife, Ashley, and their two children, Raelynn & Jackson, and their dog, Daisy, watching sports and visiting with friends and family.
Connor is the wash bay manager and main face of Cannon Custom Tank Wash since we opened to the public in 2021. He keeps the busy wash bay schedule moving along well and will also back up the mechanics in the shop when needed. Connor is born and raised in Northfield, MN, and graduated from Northfield High School in 2018. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his friends, family and young daughter, Octavia, who keeps him on his toes.