DOTY Finalist: Sadler Power Train

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Updated Jan 20, 2015

Sadler Power Train Sadler added 10 employees in the last year. When he says it out loud, John Sadler can barely believe it. Ten people.

“That’s big. We rarely have [a year] like that,” says the president of the back-to- back Truck Parts & Service Distributor of the Year finalist. “But then when I look around, everyone is still so busy. That’s when I realize how blessed we are to have the people we have; that they can do so much for us.”

Employees have been the cornerstone of Sadler’s operation for nearly 60 years. The company originally opened as Sadler Machine, Inc. in 1958. It entered the parts business in the 70s, and now operates four distributor locations in addition to its machine shop throughout central and eastern Iowa.

Throughout that time, John Sadler says his family has always relied on its talented staff to help point the company in the right direction.

“I was born with the name that’s on the building, but I’m only as good as the other people inside here,” he says. “We have 40 people here [at our Cedar Rapids, Iowa cor- porate office], which means there are 39 other people who have ideas on how to make this business great … And we value every one of them.”

Sadler says the company’s employees return the favor through dedication and hard work — both of which are traits Sadler looks for when adding to his team.

“If you can find people that grew up working hard and take pride in their work, they are going to do the same for you,” he says.

Sadler Power Train employees average having been with the company for nearly a decade. Several managers have 30-plus years at the business, and Sadler himself is in year 42 with the family business. His two sons also are active in the operation.

It’s a company people want to work for. Sadler says two of this year’s new hires were actually former employees itching to come back.

The company has even recruited internationally.

“We recently hired a technician from Guam. He had been an Internet customer of ours for a while and we got to know him. When he and his family decided to move we added him to our team,” Sadler says.

The company needed all the help it could get when moving to its new, expanded location opened in Davenport, Iowa in March.

“We started moving everything [from the old location] on a Friday afternoon and we were open for business at the new store first thing Monday morning,” Sadler says. “Everyone did such a great job getting the new place going.

“We didn’t want to be closed too long and be unable to serve our customers.”

Looking ahead, Sadler doesn’t expect the company’s strategy to change.

“We want to continue to do our best to service our customers.”

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