Star Trucks Rentals, Inc. started in the 1860’s, making it one of the oldest family owned transportation companies in America. The company was originally organized as Star Baggage Company named after a Mr. Star himself, and was comprised of a mere handful of horses and wagons hauling baggage to and from the train depot. It was not until 1916 that the antecedents of the current owners became involved in the company. Harry, Peter and Andy Bylenga, then employed by Railway Express Company, purchased Star with money loaned to them by their mother. Their brothers Ed and Connie soon joined in.
Star Baggage Company changed to Star Transfer Line, and continued to grow. Star began to branch out into many segments of the transportation industry. With the advent of the motorcar and truck, the company started to use more trucks in their operation and soon grew to be a respectable local cartage, warehousing and contract carriage company in and around Grand Rapids.
Around 1933, the Bylengas purchased the bankrupt Interstate Motor Freight System and evolved it into the largest common carrier in the country by World War II. Reaching national dimensions, Interstate was chosen as the civilian carrier to supply non-military needs such as food and supplies to the Army when it executed mobilization maneuvers right before the war. During these same years Star invested in Associated Truck Lines, also struggling to stay solvent, and nurtured them into becoming the largest intrastate carrier in Michigan, and later a large regional carrier. Unfortunately, as a result of these heavy concentrations of trucking power in the hand of one family, the Federal Trade Commission, in the mid-1940’s ordered them to reduce their control over these companies. Star sold Interstate Systems at the peak of its success, and concentrated efforts on the challenge that stood before them with Associated.
Star acted for almost 30 years as the only contract carrier and lessor for Spartan Stores with more than 200 units dedicated to their service. Star continued its growth as a contract carriage company, winning a bid with Kroger Company and holding the State Liquor Distribution contract for eight years.
Star profited from its connections with Interstate and Associated, establishing themselves as a fifteen year supplier of equipment for Associated’s steel hauling division. At one time, the company ran as many as 30 double-bottom flatbeds (tractor-trailer-pup) on a 24-hour-a-day non-stop basis between Muskegon, Detroit, and Grand Rapids. Today Star is principally engaged in the long-term lease and short-term rental of light and heavy-duty over–the-road trucks.
Today Star Truck Rentals is honored to serve over 1000 commercial accounts, including several Fortune 500 corporations. We can proudly say that Star has been affiliated with the National Truck Leasing System for 55 years, and is the oldest Michigan member. Star now boasts seventeen branch locations–Kentwood, Comstock Park, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Traverse City, Gaylord, Flint, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Cadillac, Lansing, Jackson, Livonia, Holland and Warren, Michigan. Also, there is one location in Goshen, Indiana. The corporate office is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.