Apr 22, 2019 - 2 months ago
By Supply Post
Premium Truck & Trailer Inc., headquartered in Prince George B.C. has a long and diverse history in the truck and trailer repair business in Central BC. Premium Truck & Trailer started life back in 1967 in Prince George as Inland Diesel Ltd., a small truck repair shop specializing in diesel engine repairs. For over 50 years, the company has provided customers with an unparalleled level of customer service and continues to do so today.
The business experienced steady growth during the 1970s and soon found that it had outgrown its original facility on Nicholson St. A new purpose built 15,000 sq. ft. building was constructed on Robertson Road in Prince George, and the business moved to this new facility in late 1979.
By the early 1980s, Inland Diesel had grown to be one of the largest independent Cummins dealers in North America, serving customers from all parts of B.C. The 1980s saw many changes within the business, but none bigger than the acquisition of the Freightliner Truck franchise for central B.C. in 1986. This changed the whole landscape of the business, transitioning it from a Cummins engine repair shop to a full service Freightliner dealer selling and servicing the complete line of Freightliner trucks line as well as the three major engines offered in Freightliner Trucks. The late 1980s and 1990s saw several changes in the company’s shareholders and by 2004 the ownership of the company was split evenly between Tom Coffey and Glenn Latimer who are the current owners today.
1998 saw substantial growth in the company with the addition of Freightliner Williams Lake to the business, our second location as well as the purchase of PG Industrial Refinishing Ltd., a full service body shop which was renamed as First Truck Collision Centre Ltd. and continues to operate today.
In 2002, Inland Diesel Ltd. was awarded the Doepker trailer franchise for Central B.C. which launched the company into the trailer business. Trailers have become an integral part of Premium Truck & Trailer. At last count we have delivered over 1,500 new Doepker trailers to our customers since becoming a Doepker dealer. Shortly after that came the addition of the K-Line Trailer brand of trailers to the dealership. K-Line Trailers, manufactured in Langley, B.C. offers a complete line of quality-built heavy haul low beds and gravel trailers well-suited for the B.C. market and conditions. Today, Premium Truck & Trailer are one of K-Line’s largest trailer dealers.
By the early 2000s, the company had outgrown its facility on Robertson Rd. and desperately needed a larger facility. In 2004, 5.4 acres of land were purchased on Hwy 97 South in Prince George and a new 45,000 sq. ft. state of the art building was built. We moved into the new facility on May 1st 2005. At the time this new facility was the largest truck dealership in Northern BC.
The late 2000s were also a period of rapid growth for the company. Freightliner of Kelowna Ltd. was purchased from Larry and Lucy Cormier in mid-2006, making the West Kelowna location our third Freightliner location. In early 2007, the assets of Terrace Truck & Diesel were purchased from Neil and Cathy Lindseth, becoming the fourth Freightliner franchise location for the company.
By late 2009, it became obvious that there was a substantial amount of confusion with both customers and suppliers; operating in four different locations, each with a different name. A decision was made to incorporate Premium Truck & Trailer Inc. as the operating company for all locations. On May 1st 2010, Premium Truck & Trailer was born and Inland Diesel Ltd. was retained as the holding company.
The company was not done growing and in October 2013, Premium Truck & Trailer Inc. expanded once again with the purchase of Pineridge Trailer from Fred Daku in Kamloops. Premium Truck & Trailer have been operating for five years in the Kamloops market as an independent Truck Pro dealer, and do not have an affiliation with Freightliner Trucks at that location.
To say the company has had substantial growth over the years is an understatement - growing from a small, single location truck repair shop with 10 employees, to a five-location chain of truck dealerships with a full service truck body shop, a leasing and rental company and over 130 total employees today.
“The explosive growth the company has experienced would not be possible without the support of two very important groups of people,” said Tom Coffey, President and Dealer Principal. The first is our customers. We have the best customers in the industry and without this group of loyal customers who entrust us with their business on a daily basis we would not be where we are today. For this trust in our business I am humbled and eternally grateful to these customers.”
“The last and equally important group of people are our employees,” Coffey continued. “The key to our success for over 50 years is very simple. We have the most dedicated group of employees in the industry who take a genuine interest in each and every customer that comes through our doors. Without these employees, we would simply have a collection of buildings. These employees transform these buildings into businesses. Once again, a simple thank-you doesn’t adequately convey my appreciation to this group of people that are not only employees, but friends and ambassadors for our company.”
With the first 50 years behind us, Premium Truck & Trailer Inc. are poised and excited to embark on the next 50 years. Many things are changing in the trucking industry, with the introduction of electric commercial vehicles, alternate fueled vehicles, and autonomous trucks on the horizon. One thing that will not change in this business is Premium Truck & Trailer’s commitment to providing unparalleled levels of customer service today, and in the future.
President and Dealer Principal
Premium Truck & Trailer Inc.