Truck News

News

Humble owner of Sousa Truck Trailer Repair reflects on 25 years in business

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- When he started Sousa Truck Trailer Repair a quarter century ago, founder John Sousa never dreamt he’d one day be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the company - along with about 500 customers and friends.


Sousa Truck Trailer recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Sousa Truck Trailer recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — When he started Sousa Truck Trailer Repair a quarter century ago, founder John Sousa never dreamt he’d one day be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the company – along with about 500 customers and friends.

After all, the company was started with little more than an a homemade air compressor comprised of a hot water tank, lawnmower engine and single head piston installed in the back of a pickup truck.

“No, no, no, no,” he said when asked if, at the time, he could have imagined growing the company into a successful family-run business still going strong after 25 years. “I never imagined – not in a million years. I’ve been blessed.”

During an interview following the June 22 open house and anniversary celebration, Sousa made several references to being “blessed.”

“I’m really blessed with all that’s gone through,” he said, referring to the growing family that has gotten involved in the business, including his three kids, son-in-law, brother and cousin.

Much has changed since Sousa began his small trailer repair business in the 1980s. Back then he was servicing mostly 40-, 42- and 45-ft. trailers. Safeties weren’t heard of and the equipment was pretty much run into the ground.

“When I first started, there was no such thing as safeties on the trailers,” he recalled. “That all came about afterwards. And look at the size – we are now carrying two 53-ft. trailers on the road. It’s amazing how the industry has changed, and for the better.”

Sousa strongly believes there has never been more attention given to properly spec’ing and maintaining trailers.

“The biggest change I’ve seen is that customers are becoming more aware that the trailer is not just a box on wheels,” he said. “People are paying more attention and doing more work to the equipment. I know it doesn’t seem that way with the news of wheels falling off and all that, but in actual fact, I know that the equipment today is better than it was kept 15 years ago. People are more aware and conscious of the maintenance of the equipment. That’s the truth.”

Today, Sousa employs 38 staff, many of them mechanics. Sousa himself is a trailer mechanic and is still heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. Often, he can still be found repairing trailers.

“I don’t pull wrenches the whole day, but if I have to get underneath and do some looking around, I don’t have a problem getting my fingernails dirty,” he said.

Sousa attributes most of the company’s success to honesty, diversity and surrounding himself with a strong support staff. He said honesty is a two-way street between his company and its customers. He noted diversifying to offer sales and rentals as well as repairs on both trucks and trailers has helped the company survive the slow periods. And he said he’s been fortunate to hire so many knowledgeable and loyal employees.

“I’ve been blessed with the people that I surround myself with,” he said. “In order for you to succeed, you have to have good people around you.”

Sousa also was grateful for all those who turned out to celebrate the company’s milestone.

“I’d just like to thank everybody that did come in and help us to have such a great day,” he said. “I want to thank everybody for being here with us and I want to thank all the customers for being a part of who I am today.”


Truck News

Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
All posts by

Print this page
Related Articles
TruckNews
TodaysTrucking


3 Comments » for Humble owner of Sousa Truck Trailer Repair reflects on 25 years in business
  1. Stephen Petit says:

    Man, I love reading stories like this. It’s important to celebrate the successes in the industry and recognize how a small business can grow and thrive and ride the ups and downs of the trucking business. Keep up the good reporting, guys.

  2. Alex Khosho says:

    I worked about 9 years at Sousa Truck Trailer. I can comfortablly say John Sousa is a great and honest man, he along with his family desirve all the best. I wish them great success for many many years to come.

  3. Ken Glasgow says:

    Thanks John for being s great mentor. The passion you have for the trade, business and people is commendable. Thanks for supporting inner city students each summer. The mentorship and internship you provide to our students a valuable tool that ensures future possibilities to inner city students. I appreciate the effort you and your team pour in to helping our students access tangible training and summer employment. I look forward to working with you in the future.
    Ken Glasgow.

Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*