Show Me Your Truck: Chris Lamberson, Independent

Sept. 7, 2023
This independent tool dealer keeps busy by running two routes, switching off every other week.

When Chris Lamberson got tired of low hours and working mostly on warranty work as a technician at a dealership, he spoke to a friend who was a mobile tool dealer and decided to make a career change.

Now as a mobile tool dealer himself, Lamberson enjoys what each day brings.

“I like that every day is different,” he says. “You never know if you’re going to meet a new customer or what you’re going to sell that day. One day you could sell a toolbox and $3,000 in tools and then the next it could be impact guns.”

Lamberson has been selling tools for nine years, in the last five years he has not only transitioned to becoming independent, but also taking on two routes.

“I took over a route where somebody was going out of business,” he says. “I started from scratch and built it up to what it is now.”

His two routes consist of Pasco County and Hernando County in Florida. He runs one route one week and then the other the next week, switching back and forth.

“I stay pretty busy,” he notes. “I got about 460 customers on the books. It’s a full-time job that’s for sure.”

Staying organized

Lamberson bought his current truck, a 2018 22’ Freightliner MT45, last year. Previously, he had an 18’ Suzuki. The only change he made was to get it wrapped with GEARWRENCH from front to back.

All tools are organized mainly by type. Wrenches with wrenches, pliers with pliers, and so on. Lamberson also likes to display as many of the tools out of the box as possible to let customers see and touch everything.

For all new items, Lamberson has a special shelf up front near his desk to prominently display them as well as hot selling items and a few snack items to catch customers’ eyes when checking out.

As far as rotation goes, the tool dealer likes to rearrange his stock every three to four months. If something is not selling, he’ll discount it and move it. Although he notes most of what he sells are “fast movers.”

Keeping it cool

To help beat the Florida heat, at the end of each shift Lamberson parks his truck in a 30’ by 60’ air-conditioned facility, along with all his inventory.

“Every night it goes in there,” he says. “It’s safer, cooler, and all my inventory is in there with my truck so I can stock the truck nightly.”

When looking into the future, Lamberson hopes to grow his business even more by bringing on another driver.

But for now, Lamberson claims “two routes are enough.”  

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