Over 25 years, Chattanoogan Jerry Gamble has seen a lot of change in his heavy truck and trailer maintenance and repair company.
Trailers are longer, tractors are bigger and the technology in them is constantly advancing, he said.
But maybe the biggest change is coming next week as Truck Service Co. Inc. shifts to a much larger location. The move will give Gamble a chance to put the company's pedal to the metal and accelerate revenues, which now sit at between $700,000 and $750,000 annually.
"We need to at least double our business," Gamble said.
He has bought the former Kenworth truck service facility at 2000 E. 29th St. At 24,000 square feet, it's four times the size of his existing shop a mile or two away on Watauga Avenue.
Truck Service Co. is about doubling the number of service bays, and the site boasts four acres versus his current two, Gamble said.
"We're very limited over there," he said about his old facility that he intends to keep for now.
His new location is set up for truck maintenance and repair, complete with drive-through bays, a body shop, full-length paint booth, and a crane inside the building.
Having started with just two employees, he's now up to nine and sees that number increasing with the business.
"There's room to grow," he said.
Gamble said his company's experience and independent operator status gives him a leg up on competitors. He estimates his costs are about $30 an hour cheaper than at the dealer level.
Don Shepherd, foreman at Hunter Oil in Chattanooga and a longtime Truck Service customer, said he can count on the work done right.
"He stands behind everything he does," said Shepherd, adding he has dealt with Gamble for about 35 years.
Gamble, 64, said he began working in the field when he was 18 years old at a Chattanooga truck repair company, where he learned the business.
"I believe in giving a day's work for a day's pay and to sell them what they need," he said. "There's a demand for this."
Most of Truck Service's business comes locally through word-of-mouth advertising, Gamble said. Among his clients are Lowe's and Flav-O-Rich, he said.
The new building also has some office space on one end, which Kenworth used for sales. Gamble said he won't initially need that for his business and he'll look at leasing the space.
Truck Service's new location became available when MHC Kenworth, which offers truck sales and service, moved to a new facility on Lee Highway near Bonny Oaks Drive. Its new site has high visibility to Interstate-75 and is 63,400-square-feet in size.
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com or 423-757-6318.