An eye on expansion

Sept. 3, 2018
Independent dealer Jason Dutrow and his team operate two vehicles and provide a consistent service in Northern Virginia.

Jason Dutrow is the owner of Manassas Tool Company. This is his seventh year as a mobile tool dealer. Dutrow was a technician for 14 years before becoming a franchisee, and then eventually an independent distributor in 2017.

"After running the independent trucks for a year, the GEARWRENCH branding looked appealing so I signed on with GEARWRENCH/Apex Tool Group in April 2018,” says Dutrow. “Since then, the branding has really taken off.”

After four years with the franchise, Dutrow added a second route and second truck, and very recently took on a third truck — a 2005 GMC 5500, 18" box. He is working to condition the mechanical components of the GMC, as well as modify the interior and exterior appearence.

Trucks 1 and 2 service part of Prince William County, Virginia, located in the northern part of the state. Their clients include dealerships and service stations, as well as truck, autobody, motorcycle, aviation and ATV shops.

Truck no. 1 is a 2016 Freightliner M2, 22’ box with a wide body, built by ACDV. The second truck is a 2012 Isuzu NRR, 20’ box built by Summit. The team also runs a 2016 Ford Transit as a fill-in, in case either of the big trucks go down or Operations Manager Michael Orlando needs to run small parts out or deliver big tools.

Dutrow purchased the Freightliner M2 in 2016 to replace his original MT45 step van. “The M2 is a great vehicle for a wider, open route,” says Dutrow. The Isuzu is great for a city route, although not as comfortable without a walkthrough.”

“The customers love the new look of the trucks,” says Dutrow. “They have expressed that painting the cab black with the full wrap has really made it stand out from the rest. [They] always compliment the fact that the trucks are always well stocked, and there is a wide variety of tools that they don’t usually see.”

Business has been good for the three-man team. “We practice a lower pressure sales environment and try to teach our customers the features and benefits of each tool if they seem interested. They always respect our knowledge of the product and appreciate when we recommend tools which will help them get their job done faster and more efficiently.”

Dutrow hopes to add a third and fourth truck, and maybe one day a brick and mortar store. Beyond that, he wants to do his part to help tech ed programs succeed and flourish.

“Since rebranding the trucks to GEARWRENCH, I’ve also expanded my line to run promotions with advertising material such as tee shirts, hooded sweatshirts, hats, stickers and banners,” he says. “And, GEARWRENCH has a great techEd program which I plan to utilize in local in local high schools and colleges near me. I am currently awaiting county approval to become a certified vendor for a lot of their programs in education and county municipalities.”  

About the Author

Sara Scullin | Editor | PTEN and Professional Distributor

Sara Scullin is the editor of PTEN and Professional Distributor magazines. These publications are part of the Endeavor Business Media Vehicle Repair Group, which includes Fleet Maintenance, Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN), Professional Distributor magazines and VehicleServicePros.com.

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