Baited Away From Retirement

One Maine entrepreneur shares how Ford trucks have driven his businesses over the years—and how he’s not planning on slowing down anytime soon.

By Chris Warren

Bruce Worcester is the first to admit that he hasn’t been very successful at retiring. The 67-year-old Maine native first tried to step away from work 15 years ago when he shed four of the five businesses he owned at the time, maintaining only his company that supplies bait to lobstermen and crabbers.

Today, though, the number of Bruce’s ventures have crept back up to four: in addition to the bait business, he now has a granite quarry; a sawmill that cuts oak lobster trap runners; and a business that makes spindles from PVC, a synthetic plastic polymer. “I got bored,” Bruce says simply about his decision to jump back into the working world.

Bruce has pursued a variety of interests through the many decades of his career. One constant, though, has been his use of Ford trucks. From the time he first opened a butcher shop to today, Bruce has owned a total of 26 Ford trucks. His reason? “They’re dependable,” says Bruce. “I service them regularly and I’ve had no problems.” His wife also has a 2014 F-150 Platinum that she loves, he says.

That dependability matters to Bruce because he has long put in a lot of miles, many of them in challenging wintertime conditions. Even today, Bruce’s bait business requires him to make deliveries up and down the East Coast in his 2015 F-550. The bait is first made in Nebraska from cowhide and then trucked to Bruce’s headquarters in Prospect, Maine (his bait is also delivered to fishermen on the West Coast).

“The truck can haul 250 five-gallon buckets of bait, so we deliver it with the Ford,” he says. “Already this week I was on the North Shore of Boston on Monday, the South Shore on Tuesday and Cape May in New Jersey on Wednesday.”

In total, Bruce estimates that he supplies between 2,500 and 3,000 lobstermen and crabbers with bait, which is particularly impressive considering he was laughed at when he first started experimenting with cowhide bait over three decades ago.

Although most of the miles Bruce has put on his Ford trucks through the years have been for business, he now uses his F-550 for pleasure as well. He and his wife use it to pull a 43-foot horse trailer outfitted with living quarters. “We go to horse shows all around New England,” he says.

As much as he enjoys his hobby, though, Bruce is a bit more honest these days about when he’ll give retirement another shot. “I’m only 67,” he says. “I think I have another 15 years I can work.”

Tags: F-550

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