Show Me Your Truck: Jim Castaneda, Cornwell Quality Tools

May 4, 2023
This Cornwell tool dealer upgraded his truck to better accommodate his customers and the extreme heat.

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Last year, after nearly 10 years on the job, Cornwell Quality Tools dealer Jim Castaneda started kicking around the idea of expanding his business in Henderson, Nevada. When his daughter overheard him talking about it one day, she said she wanted to do it.

With no previous automotive background or experience, Castaneda wanted to make sure his daughter was serious about it, so he not only had her job shadow him on his truck for a while but also with other tool dealers.

Naturally, like her dad, she quickly picked up on it and has been selling successfully on her own since. Not only did Castaneda gain a driver, but he also had a reason to get a new truck.

He gave his 2016 22’ Hino truck to his daughter and purchased a custom-built 2022 Freightliner M2 24’ Widebody.

“Having a widebody makes a difference,” Castaneda says. “When you have six to eight people on here at a time, they’re not all bumping into each other. That’s the biggest thing.”

Although, he does joke that it makes it a little harder to drive around, but in the end “it’s easier to do business.”

Must-have items

When designing his new truck, Castaneda made sure to include a few extra items and features in his plan. A mini fridge was one. Situated next to his desk, Castaneda makes sure to have drinks available for sale to appease his customers.

Multiple A/C units to handle the Vegas heat was another must. His previous truck had two roof A/C units. This time around, he decided to add an engine-powered unit within the box along with two generator-powered roof units that he uses for extremely hot days.

Lastly, he made sure to have the ability to fit multiple toolboxes onboard. By having custom removeable shelves and hideaway cabinets, Castaneda can easily accommodate three toolboxes and a hutch, if and when needed.

Not all about the tools

Although, this tool dealer has his truck packed full of tools from the ceiling to the floor and everywhere in between, he says it’s more about selling the service.

“If I sell the service and that I’m going to be here for them when they need something or have issues, the tools actually sell themselves,” he says. “I don’t have to be a salesman on the tools. My customers know that when they buy from me that there’s the after care that comes with it.”

However, it’s not to say that keeping up with products is not necessary. Castaneda notes that staying current with new tools is still an important part of the business.

“Product knowledge is a must even if you’re not trying to sell to them, you still have to know what you’re selling,” he says.

Prior to becoming a mobile tool dealer, Castaneda worked as a technician on and off for 20 years and admits that he comes across tools that he doesn’t know what they’re used for.

“Product knowledge is an ongoing thing,” he notes. “You constantly have to educate yourself on what’s new and innovative and what works and what doesn’t. I’ll tell my customers straight up if I feel that it’s an invaluable tool.”

Future plans

Being a Cornwell Top 100 tool dealer numerous times, including last year, Castaneda’s goal is to “keep going the way it’s going” and to help his daughter build up her business, who also has her sights on becoming a Top 100 tool dealer.  

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