HaulHub’s Founding Story: Construction Meets Technology
HaulHub was founded in 2015 when entrepreneur Joe Spinelli decided to address a need he saw firsthand at the intersection of construction and technology: hauling logistics.
Before HaulHub was born, Joe built his career between both technology and construction.
First came technology. In 1997, while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Babson College, Joe joined Waltham-based Internet startup Lycos. Joe started as a web developer in the Product Development group and later moved into an analyst role on the Mergers & Acquisition team. Lycos completed the fastest initial public offering from inception to offering in NASDAQ (LCOS) history and became the first search engine to go public. It also boasted the title of most visited online destination in the world in 1999, with a global presence in more than 40 countries. Lycos was acquired for $12.5 billion in 2000 by Terra Networks.
In 2003, Joe moved toward a different type of engineering, transitioning from computer engineering to civil. He founded his own firm in 2003 (Spinelli Development) and in 2009, merged with one of the oldest and most respected civil contracting firms in New England, third-generation construction company R. Bates and Sons. Bates has completed hundreds of federal, state and local projects, specializing in bridge, highway, landfill, dam, park and recreational facilities.
HaulHub CEO Joe Spinelli keeps his Lycos deal tombstones on display.
“Civil engineering is a very rewarding field,” Joe says. “It is full of challenges and the majority of these projects are prestigious and important to their local communities. We are allowed to use our creativity and technical background to really produce great results. And that’s what makes it fun.”
With his early work in technology as grounding, Joe was frustrated with how slow the technology providers in the civil industry were building solutions. The need was clearly there to manage and procure materials and subcontractors a lot easier. Material ordering, scheduling, and transportation all needed a significant upgrade and, in late 2015, Bates began to build and test the first version of what today is known as HaulHub.
The Early Days: HaulHub’s first app prototype, circa December 2015 (left) and HaulHub’s “Make Trucking Great Again” banner flown at our first truck show appearance, the 2016 Brockton Fairgrounds Truck Show, Brockton, MA (right).
HaulHub began as a very simple solution. To meet the growing demand for trucks at R. Bates and Sons, Joe and his team prototyped an internal automated tool to find and schedule trucks.
“Back then, it was text-based,” Joe says. “We built a database of all of the contracted fleet we worked with and would text them when we had jobs. Previously, it would take hours to get trucks scheduled.”
Word about the new system spread among the close-knit construction community. Contractors and drivers alike hopped onboard.
By late 2015, HaulHub’s first app-based solutions were in development. In the spring of 2017, HaulHub took a major leap forward to see how its automated solutions could help with the operations of one of the largest material producers in the Northeast. Today, that partner, as well as many others, have expanded use of HaulHub’s tools from start-up pilots to full programs in multiple regions.
Today, HaulHub supports some of the largest material producers and contractors in the industry. The solutions are more advanced and the business issues are more complex, but the premise is unchanged: at HaulHub, we run lean operations by doing more with less.
True to our roots, we find inspiration and innovation at intersections. We began at the intersection of construction and technology and we continue to find growth and potential as we dig into that intersection more deeply.