Earlier this month we announced the finalists for our sixth annual Successful Dealer Award. Nominated by the trucking industry and selected by the Successful Dealer editorial staff, this year’s finalists feature one prior award winner, one past finalist and three first-time finalists. Over the next few months, we will be regularly profiling each business in the lead up to our 2018 Successful Dealer Award presentation in October.
Those features begin this week as we check in with 2018 Successful Dealer Award finalist Gordon Truck Centers, the parent company of Freightliner Northwest, Freightliner of Hawaii and Western Star Northwest.
This is the first time Gordon Truck Centers has earned a nomination for the Successful Dealer Award. The answers below were provided by Gordon Truck Centers Marketing Manager Haley Becklund.
When was your business founded, and by whom?
Valley Freightliner (VFI) was founded in 1986 by Larry and Virginia Gordon, the previous owners of Gordon Trucking, Inc. (GTI). In 1999 they added the second location in Mt. Vernon, Wash., and in 2013 opened the third location in Olympia. On Jan. 1, 2017, Valley Freightliner, Inc. became Freightliner Northwest (FNW) under the parent company Gordon Truck Centers, Inc. (GTC).
How many locations do you have? (Please list the cities)
Gordon Truck Centers has 12 total locations. Freightliner Northwest has ten facilities in Pacific; Mt. Vernon; Olympia; Spokane; and Yakima, Wash.; and Hermiston; La Grande; Coburgd; Medford; and Redmond, Ore. Western Star Northwest is located in Ridgefield, Wash.; and Freightliner of Hawaii in Kapolei, Hawaii.
How many employees do you have?
Please describe the full complement of services offered by your organization?
Gordon Truck Centers has more than 70 Years in the trucking industry.
In 1946, Jay Gordon founded Gordon Fast Freight (GFF) serving Western Washington. Jay’s son and former GFF driver Larry Gordon and his wife, Virginia Gordon opened Gordon Trucking Inc., in 1980. From there Larry and Virginia purchased GFF in 1984. In 1986 Larry and Virginia started the Valley Freightliner Inc. Freightliner dealership as well as GTI until 2013 when Gordon Trucking was sold to Heartland Express. The VFI dealership family continued to expand in 2015 with the additional purchases of Freedom Truck Centers, Eagle Freightliner, Pacific Truck Centers and Freightliner of Hawaii.
In 2016, the five dealerships were unified under the parent company of Gordon Truck Centers Inc. In 2017, the 10 Northwest Freightliner dealerships were renamed to Freightliner Northwest while the Ridgefield location became a Western Star Dealership and was renamed Western Star Northwest.
Trucking knowledge and history are embedded into the culture of the Gordon Truck Centers dealer family.
- Parts: The GTC dealer family maintains over $12 million in all makes parts inventory and can leverage inventories across the 12 locations to better serve the customer. The dealer family has recently developed a centralized parts call center which allows for quick, efficient phone assistance with parts orders and question originating from customers across our 12 store network. Online parts ordering is available through Pinnacle Truck Parts and helps customers streamline their parts ordering needs.
- Service: The GTC dealer family offers full service for heavy trucks, RVs, buses, coaches and trailers. The dealership locations service and repair all makes and models including Freightliner, Western Star, Fuso, and Sterling. All locations offer Daimler Trucks North America’s (DTNA) Express Assessment Advantage, allowing customers to make fast, smart repair decisions to manage their business better. Some of the typical services provided include; Easy access from the freeway, Trailer parking available, fully certified on major makes, Lube pits, Preventive Maintenance service appointments, Factory trained service department, Windshield repair, Auxiliary Power Unit installation, Front and rear axle laser alignments, Lift axle installation, Frame stretches, Coach chassis service and repair, Road service available, Federal annual DOT Inspections, Body work at several locations.
- Sales: Backed by a knowledgeable sales staff, the dealer family has an expanded inventory of new and used trucks and trailers as well as onsite financing is available for owner/operators and fleets for both new and used trucks.
- Full service body shops: GTC body shops are staffed with experienced, competent, certified technicians who can address repair issues for all makes and models of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. They provide truck and trailer frame straightening, custom paint jobs, alignment and custom fabrication. GTC body shops handle insurance claims of all types, for all makes, and offer a one-stop-shop repair environment so customers won’t have to wait on outside vendors to complete the job.
- Open 7 days a week at most locations: Many of the GTC Dealer Family locations are open seven days per week, including holiday hours.
- Full-time fleet support advocate on staff: Leveraging trucking experts to advocate for fleet customers, GTC offers a unique perspective and value add. The GTC fleet support advocates assist customers with truck recommendations to better serve their fleet, increase profitability and uptime.
What is your company’s value proposition?
Minimize downtime while providing excellent communication and consistently superior customer service, quality and value across our store network for every customer, every time. Our team is committed to keeping customers on the road.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
The GTC dealer family is focused on quality, professionalism, service, and complimenting the brands we represent to the best of our ability in every way. While others may have a similar approach, we go above and beyond to treat customers with respect while providing them with the tools they need to make their businesses profitable and reliable.
We believe in community and our organization is staffed with wonderful people of all walks of life, who come together to create the family atmosphere we wish to extend to our customers at all branches in the Pacific Northwest. Not only are we proud to represent the franchise brands, we’re proud to represent our own brand as the Pacific Northwest’s dealer family.
Why do you believe the trucking industry has nominated your business for this award?
Our dealer family comes from a trucking and transportation background and that foundation has allowed us to explore a more personalized approach to customer service and fleet expectations. Not only is the organization focused on providing timely, quality service for customers, the dealer family is committed to continuously improving process and procedure to make the organization attractive from both a customer and employment point of view.
We know trucks, we know how trucks are used and the different applications to pair the right vehicle with the customer.
The Successful Dealer Award is sponsored by Automann, Interstate Billing and Premium 2000.