Show Me Your Truck: James Stinson, Independent

Nov. 29, 2021
This independent father-son team strayed from the generic layouts of tool trucks and trailers and designed theirs to fit their business.

Though buying anything new lately has been a bit of a challenge, independent mobile tool dealer, James Stinson finally got his two new tool truck trailers finished and out on the road.

Stinson is the owner of Stinson Tool Worx, Inc. a multigenerational mobile tool dealer business started by his father in 2003. After 28 years working in a management position for Mac Tools, Stinson’s father wanted to get into the tool business for himself. In 2005, Stinson decided to join his father leaving behind a 15-year career in law enforcement.

When Stinson’s son, Evan, joined the two-truck operation, he took over his grandfather’s route, allowing him to retire. Stinson and his son hit a variety of independent shops, body shops, and industrial and agricultural shops on their routes through central Georgia.

The customizations

Stinson purchased two 2021 Cynergy 28’ gooseneck trailers from Inglewood Customs in Eastman, Georgia. The trailers are attached to his 2021 Dodge Ram 3500 and 2016 Chevrolet 2500 trucks.

“The trailers were a challenge because these were the first tool trailers that Inglewood had done but they do all kinds of customizations on different types of trailers,” Stinson says. “What they did was an outstanding job, and they did exactly what we had asked for.”

Stinson’s goal with the new trailers was to make them more personalized to their business. He says a lot of tool trucks and trailers he’s seen are “kinda generic” as far as the inside formation goes.

In the new trailers, they’re arranged with shelves that go almost all the way from the front of the truck to the back. There is a bit of space up front though in case they want to run a tool cart or toolbox, but Stinson notes that they specialize in filling up toolboxes, not selling them.

Overall, the trailers have a lot more shelf space for the individual tools and specialty items, as well as plenty of lighting.

“All the shelves have shelf lighting under them. It is very well lit. There are lights overhead. There are lights on the walls. That was one of my biggest concerns was making sure that I had enough light to make sure you could see in there,” Stinson says.

Making the sale

Stinson likes to arrange the products on the trailers in a way that keeps the products easy to find for customers as well as gets them to move throughout the entirety of the trailer.

If possible, Stinson says he’ll keep tools from the same brand together, and if not, then he’ll organize them by tool type.

“That way you kind of know where’s it at,” Stinson says, “and if you’re busy dealing with someone else and they ask, then you can point them in the direction of where it’s at.”

Additionally, Stinson will keep faster-moving items at the back of the truck, so customers have to travel throughout the whole trailer.

Stinson even has his counter space organized in a way to help promote sales. With shelves located below the counter, Stinson can store his printer down there leaving more room up top to display impulse buys like small pliers and hand brushes.

Overall, when it comes to making the sale, Stinson recommends mobile tool dealers treat their customers the way they would want to be treated.

“I’ll do anything I can within my power to keep them happy and keep them coming back,” he says. 

About the Author

Emily Markham | Editor | PTEN and Professional Distributor

Emily Markham is the editor of  Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN) and Professional Distributor magazines. These publications are part of the Endeavor Business Media Vehicle Repair Group.

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