Blazing A Camel Trail
Author: Josh Robertson
Ask Rob and Karrin Campf how many animals they live with, and the answer is somewhat slow in coming. "Let's see," says Rob. "Five camels, 17 dogs, three birds, four wallabies, two coatimundis, one donkey, one draft mule, one zebra, 10 horses, eight goats, two tortoises, for pigs, three dear, and eight alpacas". When you live on a farm in Ohio that could be mistaken for the world's largest petting zoo, it's easy to lose count.
But ask the couple, who own the trucking company R-K-Campf Transport, how many International rigs are in their fleet, and the answer comes in a flash: 27 out of 30. They've owned a few different brands of vehicles in their 15 years of flatbed steel hauling, but these days there are International truck loyalists. "We bought our first 9200's around the year 2000," says Rob. "We found they're more cost-effective than other brands. We moved on from the 9200 to the 9900, and now will be replacing those with ProStar+ trucks. International let us use a demo truck, and we were sold on it."
Big rigs and exotic animals may seem unrelated, but for the Campfs, one wouldn't exist without the other. Forever Safe Farm is maintained thanks to the success of the business. The business, in turn, exists to fund their passions: their four daughters and the loving home they provide to adult animals no one else wants.
Goodness knows they need something to fund it. Just feeding the critters runs about $3,500 per month. What's next? A second zebra, perhaps? A fifth pig? Why not chimpanzees?
Bingo – and you can keep the B.J. and the Bear jokes to yourself. "Our goal is to build a facility to hold 8 to 10 chimps," explains Karen with obvious enthusiasm. "We really love champs, and there are so many of them in labs, garages and basements." The 8000-square-foot chimp facility would cost $1.3 million and be the cornerstone of the nonprofit they founded in 2010, the Forever Safe Farm Animal Education Center.
It's a steep price tag, but with International on their side, they have every confidence they'll get there.