A recent Q&A with Specialty Truck Parts.
Who founded the company?
Al Davidson and Joe Sweet started Specialty Truck Parts Inc. in 1959. Al Davidson’s father, Sol Davidson, had founded Acme Truck Parts in Stockton in 1923, and later decided to branch out to San Jose. Al and Joe bought Specialty Truck Parts, an existing business in San Jose, in 1957. They operated for a couple of years before moving to the current property and incorporating in 1959.
How many years have you been in business?
Specialty has been in business for 57 years. Roger Stanton came to work for Specialty in 1962, worked his way up and is now part owner with Nathan Davidson. Roger has been running the business for the last 37 years.
What is your favorite part of your yard?
Really, all of it. We have ten acres of property, six of which are dedicated to our dismantling operations. On those six acres we park our whole trucks which are marked for dismantling. We have several buildings; our newest is one in which we store transmissions, differentials, and engines. Our building projects are ongoing, and we are currently building new storage racking to organize our used parts.
Is there anything you specialize in?
We specialize in medium to heavy duty Class 4 to Class 8 trucks””from replacing a part, modifying and installing truck bodies, rebuilding transmissions, differentials, steering components and PTO’s, to selling used trucks and equipment, to customers across the nation and around the world. We also have a complete new parts department where we sell everything from A-Z . We consider ourselves as a one stop store.
What makes you different than other yards?
We are diversified and able to meet customers’ needs in many different areas:
Building up construction trucks from scratch””dumps, chippers, water trucks, etc. Gear Shops repair and rebuild transmissions, differentials, Allison, power steering Main Shop truck repair and installation of truck bodies. Used Parts for Class 4 to Class 8 trucks. We will pull and sell all parts of a truck for the customer, whether a mirror head or good used engine. Our philosophy is to service all of our customers’ needs and keep their vehicles operating. The internet has helped us greatly increase our market; all of our parts are tagged, given part numbers, and posted on the internet, with pictures. Customers are calling and ordering parts through internet exposure and we are shipping all over the world now.
Over the past 4 years we have increased our exporting of complete used trucks worldwide. We have the ability to prepare and load 45-ft containers to be taken to the dock in Oakland on a weekly basis to be shipped anywhere in the world.
Are there any yard pets?
None at the present time; our best success story was a small, scruffy dog who appeared on our property a year or so ago. No one could catch him or easily get him to relate until he found Francisco, a customer of ours from Mexico, who was contracted cutting for us at the time. He became Francisco’s best buddy, would find him each morning and stay with him through the day, even to riding on the carts and forklift with him. Francisco named him “Peluso” and when Francisco went home to Mexico, Peluso went with him. Peluso now lives the good life, ruling his kingdom, which is Francisco’s house.
What is one of the craziest things that has happened at the yard?
Most of the crazy things that have happened over the years have come from customers who have come to sell odd or single parts to us and have some creative ways to get those parts to us. The most unforgettable incident was of one of these peddlers who brought a rear axle assembly to us…strapped on a beat up little Ford Pinto…picture included…