Tatro celebrates opening of Canada’s largest truck and parts outlet

by Katy de Vries

CHATHAM, Ont. – The new Tatro Equipment Sales Ltd. headquarters is now officially open for business. The largest used truck and parts outlet in Canada has moved to its new location just off Hwy. 401 at Bloomfield Rd. in Chatham, Ontario, and Tatro is on its way to success.

Don Tetrault, president, cut the ribbon for the grand opening and open house, held at the Chatham headquarters on Oct. 4-5.

The Tatro team was expecting to haul in more than 500 people from all parts of Canada, the U.S. and some from overseas, for the two-day event.

The event included an opportunity to tour the facilities, enjoy a catered dinner, live entertainment, a barbecue and a chance to browse the 250 trucks in the yard.

Tetrault says the concept for the new facility is planning for the future. It is a good location for the company, he says, and also good for Chatham.

“Chatham tourism and local businesses will benefit from our customers that come from all over the world,” he says. “It’s a way to boost the economy and the morale in the city.”

Drivers travelling in either direction on Hwy. 401, can’t miss Tatro’s black mirrored building and digital readout tower, and the Tatro team can’t miss the highway truckers from inside the architectural structure with every office in the building overlooking the highway through the mirrored walls.

Having been born and raised in the Southwestern Ontario city, Chatham was the location of choice for Tetrault’s headquarters.

“I have a lot invested in Chatham-Kent, and I wanted to develop something that will bring in business from the highway, and help out the city as best I can,” says Tetrault.

Tetrault owns other enterprises that are under the Tatro Group of Companies umbrella, and his brawny business personality earned him an Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1997.

Chatham-Kent Mayor, Diane Gagner, was on-hand for the festivities in order to thank the Tetraults for helping with the development of the 401business park which will soon be located near Tatro headquarters.

“Don Tetrault and his staff have done a great deal for the city and the encompassing area, and we look forward to more business endeavors with him,” Gagner says.

For 21 years, Tatro Equipment has sold just about every brand of truck. For the grand event, the company has taken a slightly different approach to the open house by bringing in all the OEM dealers and having everything under one roof.

Errol Tapper, general manager for Classic Capital Inc. in Winnipeg, says Tatro is a one-stop shop.

“You’d be hard pressed to come here and not find what you’re looking for. You are going to leave with what you want,” Tapper says.

Tetrault says the used equipment market is continually improving and feels that trend will continue for at least the next five years.

“New truck sales have been slow over the last four to five years, there was a little spurt because of the EPA requirements, but a good used truck is more desirable because of pricing and availability,” he says.

Tetrault says a great deal of his business comes from the U.S. because of the proximity to the Windsor-Detroit border.

“If you can offer a good product, you can drag the customers to it,” Tetrault says. “We’re only 50km from the border so we can catch the potential buyers before they hit Toronto.”

Tetrault’s mother, Gail Giles, is one of the engines that makes Tatro run smoothly, and she says it’s the familial nature of the company that makes it work so well.

“There are three generations of Tetraults working for our various businesses, learning from the ground up. Those who aren’t family, are just like it, we all come together and it works really well,” she says.

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