RICHMOND HILL, Ont. - When Brian Light launched Truck News in 1980, his most important task was to establish the publication in the industry by connecting with industry members and creating contacts.O...
GOING FULL CIRCLE: Former Truck News publisher, Brian Light, (left) paid a visit to a former client and an old friend, John Guizzetti (right).
RICHMOND HILL, Ont. – When Brian Light launched Truck News in 1980, his most important task was to establish the publication in the industry by connecting with industry members and creating contacts.
One of these was John Guizzetti, who had just started his career with Central Mack.
Six years later he sold a record number of 690 trucks, even though his quota for the year was 25.
This effort earned him the distinction of being the biggest Mack dealer in North America and won him the Mack Distributor of the Year award.
His success has led him to his current career as manager for York Truck Centre.
Light had acquired Guizzetti as one of his first principle advertisers for Truck News, and recalls how business was done in those days.
“He (Guizzetti) was the first person I saw with a mobile phone, and he needed one because he was always over in his truck lot talking to clients,” said Light. “Even though he was busy, he made himself available to answer every call.”
Throughout Guizzetti’s storied career, he never lost sight of the basic business principles that allowed him to become successful. The interesting part is that he is now back to where he started.
“I’ve gone full circle now,” said Guizzetti. “It’s not a big time operation anymore, I simply do what I do best.”
Guizzetti’s business tactics today consist of bricks and mortar practices. He makes deals on a handshake and is loyal to customers, he says. Although he did get caught up in the new wave of business management, guided by the bigger is better philosophy, for a spell, the basics prevailed and again are the foundations of his efforts.
“I believe the number one priority is to be honest. It is a really tough business and with problem after problem, it makes it difficult to do your job properly, but I tell myself and I tell my sons, Danny and Steve, to go out and do an honest business and build a good reputation,” Guizzetti said.
The industry is asking more and more of the driver and not making it easy to be a truck driver, so if he can make it easier for drivers, he will, Guizzetti said.
It is harder to become a driver today and that’s one of the reasons the industry needs more of them, Guizzetti said.
The costs of owning, fueling and insuring a truck are sky high and it is easier for a fleet to buy and maintain a truck than it is for individuals. However, he knows from experience that it is the individual who builds the business, and he says he tries to make it easier for the owner/operator when possible.
“Everything eventually comes around again, and although I’ve experienced a lot of corporate bureaucracy, I’m back to where I want to be – helping the customers individually on a personal level,” Guizzetti said.
Light said he got to watch Guizzetti go through his transitions and saw the ups and downs.
“Nothing comes from nothing, and it was his hard work through the years that built the business,” Light said.
Guizzetti said his experiences have helped him establish what is important in his life and in his business.
“I still do business by phone, I don’t have a computer – it allows me to deal with my customers directly and I like to add that personal touch,” Guizzetti said.