Four finalists vie for title of North America’s top distributor

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Truck Parts & Service will honor its Distributor of the Year at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) at The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas next week. Four aftermarket veterans are up for the honor.

Wheelco was founded by Steve Stich’s grandfather in 1961 to fill a void of heavy-duty parts distributors in Sioux Falls, S.D. In the years since, the company has grown steadily from one location to six (five stores and a PDC), and offers drive-in and bench service as needs has directly contributed to the success at Wheelco.

“We’re constantly analyzing our existing market share and customer base, perusing new and emerging markets in our industry,” he says. “We want to continue to rely on the same philosophy that has made us a success in the past.”

Read Wheelco’s biography here.

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Originally opened as J.A. Robblee and Co. bicycle wheel repair facility in 1913, Six Roblees’ first entered parts distribution as an automobile wheel supplier in the 1920s.

It was renamed Six Robblees’ after the brothers running the operation in 1930, and eventually expanded its product lines into the heavy-duty market as a full-scale distributor.

“When a customer comes to us, they can buy almost anything,” says Heavy Duty Product Manager Randy Luthe. “Whenever an opportunity comes along [for a new product line or service] we sit down and think about and see if it would work for us.”

Read Six Robblees’ biography here.

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The Sadler family originally opened its business, 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.”

Read Sadler Power Train’s biography here.

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Founded by Dean Dally’s father and uncle out of the bed of their pickup truck in 1979, Blaine Brothers now operates three distribution facilities, five trailer service operations (under its North American Trailer brand), truck alignment and hydraulic system manufacturing businesses, multiple repair facilities and more than two dozen mobile service trucks.

“We like to think of ourselves as the most complete truck and trailer parts and service providers in our area,” says Dally. “No one [around here] has the capabilities we have; that’s something we’re proud of.”

Read Blaine Brothers’ biography here.

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