Tales from the road: Looking the part

April 4, 2017
Rio Rancho, N.M.-based Mac Tools distributor Matt Archuleta credits his willingness to invest in and maintain new vehicles with helping him improve his bottom line.

Between the ages of 14 and 27, Matt Archuleta held 27 different jobs. Never one who took a liking to working for someone else, he eventually came to the realization it was in his best interest to strike out on his own and try to make a living as an entrepreneur.

Archuleta settled on the idea of being a mobile tool distributor and, in April of 2009, he got his start. He quickly developed a passion for selling tools, took pride in how he presented himself toward his customers, and focused on exuding a level of professionalism normally found in tool salespeople several years his senior.

“What has always set me apart from other distributors is a focus on customer service and knowing the basics of how people want to be treated from the get-go,” says Archuleta, who is based in Rio Rancho, N.M. “You can’t be guessing. Identify what the customer’s needs are, and show them how they can afford it and obtain it. Then, they are your customer for life.”

Along with making an effort to try and connect with shop owners and technicians, finding the right truck to sell tools was once a major focus for Archuleta. Though it required some patience, he worked diligently to upgrade his vehicle over time.

Archuleta started out with what he describes as a “basic” 2004 Freightliner 16’ truck, which he describes as “fine, but it was used and had some issues.”

Now, nearly a decade later, Archuleta is the proud owner of two trucks. He drives a 2015 Peterbilt T337 with a 24’ box, while his wife, Nita, and cousin, Shaughn, split time operating out of a 2016 Kenworth with a 22’ box Archuleta purchased in February of last year.

“I was very picky with the used trucks I wanted, because I’ve always liked something brand-new and wanted something brand-new,” explains Archuleta, adding that he’s currently operating his fourth truck in just eight years in business. “But, obviously, I couldn’t afford that on my first truck out. I sort of just worked my way up from there.”

However, the longtime tool salesman says it is not enough to simply own and operate nice vehicles. Archuleta stresses the importance of taking great care to keep his two trucks clean, and he is always trying to keep their floors and shelves organized and presentable.

“I just want it to look warm and inviting, where people want to come and check it out,” he explains. “I feel like new trucks and new equipment do that. You pay the price for having new trucks, but I think in the long run it pays off -- especially if you have bigger trucks and more space to have more inventory and more opportunities for sales.”

While Archuleta believes presenting himself well to his customers has been critical to his success as a mobile tool distributor, he also points to his passion for the tool business and his willingness to power through tough times and situations as reasons he’s been able to make it in what is known as a tough, competitive industry.

“You are going to have good days, and you are going to have bad days,” he says. “You are going to have great days. You are going to be on top of the world and you are going to be sitting at the bottom of the darkest hole and feeling like you are going to fail. Just don’t give up. Finish the fight. Continue to fight your way to the top. Because if you don’t, someone else is going to.”

Sponsored Recommendations

Garage Tip: The Value of System Solutions

Learn why inspecting related parts when repairing your vehicle can save you time and money. Avoid future failures and ensure satisfaction! Click to watch now.

Access the Best Learning Resource for Professional Mechanics

Get hands-on tips, updated repair instructions, mounting videos, failure diagnosis, and best practices for professional mechanics. Click to access essential technical info to ...

From the Basics to Innovations - Transmission Technical Training Videos

Explore Schaeffler's portfolio of transmission technical trainings for the LuK brand. Tailored for all skill levels, our modules cover basics to innovations. Click to learn more...

Clutch Release Problems - Diagnosis & Failure Analysis

Explore common clutch release problems and their causes, from hydraulic issues to mechanical faults. Understand diagnostics and solutions for optimal clutch performance.

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vehicle Service Pros, create an account today!