The Story Behind Truckline Parts
With over 200 product lines, we, at Truckline Parts & Service (Sask) Ltd. know our customers are being well served. Parts and service is what we are all about. Located right in the heart of the North Industrial area of Saskatoon, our company is blocks away from four major truck dealerships and a neighbor to many large and small fleets.
We are a totally Saskatchewan owned and independent business. Don Crosson, along with John Neilands, Corinne Dewyn, and Valerie Diebel are the active owners/partners.
At Truckline, we specialize in drive train, all types of brakes, suspensions, air conditioning, and so much more. We believe that we have been able to survive in this industry, with all the corporate nationals that have moved into Saskatchewan, because of our many years of combined parts and service experience. Between the three of us, and the contacts we have made throughout North America, the loyalty of our suppliers, and the respect we have earned from our customers and suppliers, as well as our ability to change quickly when the need arises, has all attributed to our success so far.
About The Business
In 1980, the store opened under the name Double Diamond Dealers Truck owned by Hayes Dana Corporation, who at the time was expanding across Canada into the retail parts business. Don came to work for them in 1981 as a salesman. John, at this time, was the Manager of Hayes Dana's Mobile Power Division store in Saskatoon, which specialized in Spicer products, such as drivelines, clutches, PTO's, and hydraulic pumps.
In 1985, Hayes Dana purchased Mascot Truck Parts, a large re-builder of transmissions and differentials in Canada, and then changed the name from Double Diamond to Truckline Parts. Shortly after that, Hayes Dana closed the Mobile Power store in Saskatoon, and John transferred over to the Truckline store. These changes broadened the business into gear, driveline, PTO's, clutches, and hydraulics, which we still offer to our customers today. Corinne started in 1987, and in 1989 Hayes Dana removed itself from the retail market, selling off all the Truckline stores. Pacific Truck and Trailer of Vancouver acquired all the stores in Western Canada and Don became the Manager of the Saskatoon store. The staff all stayed on and business continued as usual. In less than two years, Pacific Truck decided not to pursue the retail market and put all the Truckline stores up for sale. They closed the Regina branch and Saskatoon was sold once again.
Investing In The Future
Don recognized a good opportunity, and went looking for an investor, and by March 1990, the investor purchased the Truckline Parts store in Saskatoon. He then offered a share program, which the staff took advantage of. "Unfortunately, the early 90's brought about an economic downturn and for a while we questioned our decision about becoming entrepreneurs." With Don's and John's combined experience in the parts and service business, a full service shop seemed to be the answer to the business's survival. A void existed in Saskatoon for spring shops, and he hunted down spring equipment for the new shop. Next, Don learned that a spring business in Anchorage, Alaska was closing down and they bought all of their equipment.
The shop required more space so the business moved to a four-bay building. John became the Parts Department Manager, Don functioned as General Manager and Outside Sales, and Corinne handled counter sales. A Shop Foreman and mechanic were hired and Truckline continued to grow over the next 5 years. Then two product lines took the business in a totally different direction.
First, we acquired the distributorship for Red Dot air conditioning for all of Saskatchewan which proved to be a tremendous benefit to the business. As a result, we hired three automotive journeymen mechanics, who brought with them their A/C knowledge and electronic expertise, both of which enhanced the shop immensely. Second, we became a Trailmobile Parts Distribution Centre, moving us into trailer body components and repair. This was a field that was totally lacking in Saskatoon at the time, and our staff increased accordingly. This also meant a move to a larger building.
Business is Good
The company is now housed in a 15,000 square foot building where 10,000 square feet is service bays. It can hold up to 11 trucks, has an area for spring equipment, a driveline balancer, presses, lathes, a flywheel grinder, and testing equipment. The Parts Department and Administration occupy the remainder of the building and the business now maintains jobs for 22 employees. Our now combined experience is over 485 years in the industry and over 200 of those years at Truckline. We are very proud to have some exceptionally talented and longtime employees.
Saskatoon is busy, and is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada. It is a diverse city and serves an ever-growing mining sector, logging industry, agriculture and food processing. For local entrepreneurs, that means lots of competition from new enterprises moving into the city to cash in on a lucrative market. Truckline was fortunate to acquire some of our product lines before anyone knew where Saskatchewan was and this gives us a competitive edge, to go against the national competition.
We believe, that the three most important things in this business are time, quality of parts, and price. "We have accomplished this. You can't sell parts off an empty shelf, and no parts means downtime to the customer and loss of revenue to us. We've been in this business long enough to know that genuine parts will give you the biggest bang for your buck. And, as far as price goes, shopping around is what we do best. Remember, if all else fails and you can't find that part you're looking for, come see us."