Jim Keizer was the eldest child of Hudson, SD, farmers Sam and Nellie Keizer. Leaving farming to his younger siblings, Jim attended a trade school in Glenwood, IA. After he graduated, Jim worked for the railroads repairing train cars. After moving to Sioux City, in 1976 he started his own business, Jim Keizer
Refrigeration Service, serving customers in Sioux City with only a toolbox in the back of his pickup truck. He ran a one-man company with no other employees.
In his first year Jim worked at truck stops and eventually began working at IBP in Dakota City on refrigeration units. In the next two years he purchased his first service truck and started working on equipment at large packing houses in town, including John Morell. Jim worked days and nights, often away all night during cold winter nights and then heading back to work first thing in the morning. During the winter, refrigeration units gel up easily and Jim was on call to help businesses when their equipment stopped working. At that time, there were no cell phones and Jim communicated with truck stops using walkie-talkies!
In 1977 Jim married his partner Jackie. In 1980 they named their business Keizer Refrigeration, Inc. Jim worked on customers’ equipment while Jackie managed the accounts and administration. In the early 1980s Jim started working for Wells Blue Bunny, now the largest family-owned ice cream company in the U.S., based in Le Mars, IA. Jim’s children, Shane and Stacy, remember staying at the ice cream shop all day long while their Dad worked on Wells Blue Bunny’s equipment.
In 1982 the Keizers became a Carrier Transicold dealer and bought a shop in Sioux City on Hwy 75. Business grew quickly and soon the company moved up the street by Martin’s Truck Stop, North
Hwy 75, into a building with 1 bay, office, parts room and mobile service. By the end of the 80s they employed 10 staff. In 1986 they bought the Sioux Falls Carrier dealership located on Benson Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD, with 2 other partners. They had 10 employees at first but grew quickly and eventually moved to a larger building on Cliff Avenue.
Keizer Refrigeration continued to grow in Sioux City. In 1991 the company relocated to a new building on 3232 Hwy 75 N, with more space for the parts and service departments. Keizer Refrigeration also added new employees to better serve its expanding list of customers. The Keizers became a Dorsey semi-trailer dealer, and soon added a Featherlite dealership, too. In 1999 Jim and Jackie founded Keizer Trailer Sales, a Transcraft dealership which also sold used trailers.
On June 1, 2001 Jim and Jackie bought Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales dealership in Omaha and Des Moines and soon added Sioux City and Sioux Falls to the portfolio. Keizer Trailer Sales added transportation business which moved equipment from Utility Manufacturing plants. Sioux City store was then expanding rapidly and the Keizers leased the adjacent building and plot for trailer parking and trailer service. Keizer Refrigeration already had over 20 employees during the early 2000s, serving mostly customers in the Sioux City and Le Mars areas. In 2006 Jackie Keizer retired from Keizer Refrigeration.
Mid-States Utility and Transport Refrigeration of South Dakota grew rapidly and in 2010 relocated to a new building in Sioux Falls with 10 bays, a parts showroom, a sales office, and a large parking lot. The new building was triple the size of the previous space. On June 30th, 2012, Jim Keizer passed away and his children Shane Keizer and Stacy Bricker took over the ownership of all Keizer companies – Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales, Keizer Refrigeration, Transport Refrigeration of South Dakota, Keizer Trailer Sales, and Keizer Management. In January 2017, our Omaha store opened a newly remodeled showroom. In July 2017, groundbreaking began at a 20-acre property at 5220 Harbor Drive, Sioux City, IA, to start the foundation of a new store. After months of development, the new store opened on July 30, 2018. The new state-of-the-art facility doubled the Sioux City parts and service area and its new location along the I-29 Interstate and has provided quick and easy access for our customers. To recognize the exceptional business growth efforts, in October 2018, the City of Sioux City selected Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales and Keizer Refrigeration for the Growing Sioux City Award.
On March 24, 2022, Carrier Transicold named Transport Refrigeration of South Dakota Inc. the winner of its 2021 Dealer of the Year Awards for North America. Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), the leading global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable, and intelligent building and cold chain solutions.
“In 2021, our dealer network demonstrated the power of teamwork to meet and exceed customer expectations in the face of ever-changing challenges and position us to nimbly adapt to continually changing conditions in 2022,” said Mike Noyes, Vice President and General Manager, Truck Trailer Americas, Carrier Transicold. “We applaud their continued success in providing exceptional service to our cold chain customer base.”
Owned and operated by the Keizer family of companies, Transport Refrigeration of South Dakota is located in Sioux Falls. Related Keizer companies include Keizer Refrigeration in Sioux City, and Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales with locations in Sioux City, Omaha, Sioux Falls, and Des Moines.
“Being named Dealer of the Year was a wonderful surprise,” said Shane Keizer, President and son of the late Jim Keizer, who founded the business in the 1970s with a tool kit, a pickup truck, and the motto, “I will come to you.” That legacy of personal service excellence transcends to today’s team at Transport Refrigeration of South Dakota and contributed to its latest recognition, Keizer said.
Today, Keizer companies employ over 170 staff at 4 locations, providing hundreds of years of combined industry knowledge to customers throughout the Midwest. The companies offer a wide range of semi-trailer products, along with a complete range of the most advanced trailer refrigeration systems available today.
Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales sells America’s best-selling refrigeration trailer since 1994, the 3000R refrigerated trailer. Keizer Refrigeration and Transport Refrigeration of South Dakota provide a complete line of equipment and services for refrigerated transport. Keizer Trailer Sales staff work hand in hand with Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales staff to transport equipment from manufacturing plants to our lots, or directly to the customer, as required. In March 2022, Transport Refrigeration of South Dakota was awarded the prestigious Carrier Transicold 2021 North American “Dealer of the Year” award.
Keizer companies continue to grow at a remarkable pace, with current owners Shane Keizer and his wife Shawn, carrying on Shane’s late father’s legacy and desire to develop the business.