“Do what you say and don’t rip them off.”
It’s an instruction that seems easy to implement into any business, yet there’s only a select few dealerships around the country that seem to embody the mindset behind it. Double O Trailer Service’s Allen Oglesbee has found a way to perfect it, though, and he’s been doing it for over forty-five years.
Fresh out of high school and looking for a job, a young Oglesbee found himself working at Curtsinger Trailers. It was an employment opportunity he enjoyed for over twenty years. When the company closed at the turn of the century, Oglesbee knew the trailer industry wasn’t done with him quite yet.
In 2002, he opened Double O Trucking, a small, two-bay shop at his own house. His focus may have been on trucks to start with, but it didn’t take long for the trailer industry to creep its way back into his business and, eventually, force a name change.
“I had five trucks of my own and I would do a few trailers when people would bring them to me,” Oglesbee says. “But it got so busy that I just shut the trucking business down and ended up with the trailer end of it.”
Now, Double O Trailer Service is still a two-bay shop, but they’re 100-foot bays. It also sells parts, has a dedicated parts room and has several thousand dollars’ worth of inventory in trailers sitting outside. Suffice it to say, the company has grown a little.
The shop is in small-town Paris, Kentucky, a city of just under 10,000 people. That hasn’t stopped Double O Trailer Service from amassing a following, though. Every year, people from all corners of the United States drive to Kentucky just to have their trailers serviced at the shop.
“We’ve got customers from Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Wyoming, Montana and more. We get customers from all around the United States that bring their stuff here.”
So, what would cause someone to drive up to twenty-four hours just to have their trailer serviced at Double O Trailers?
“It’s just good, old-fashioned customer service. That’s the main thing,” Oglesbee explains. “If you buy something from us, you’re buying service. We’ve got a facility where we take care of what we sell. If you’ve got a problem, I’m out in front, talking with the manufacturer about it. I don’t just turn you loose and say, ‘it’s yours now.’ That’s what brings customers back to us.”
It’s not just Oglesbee, though. When his daughter, Jen, married Sid Wells, Oglesbee and his wife gave half of the dealership to them. Now, if you bring your trailer to the Double O Trailers team, you’re bringing it to the entire family.
“It’s a family-owned operation. We treat our employees as family, so we treat our customers as family,” says Oglesbee.
The family-relationship dynamic has extended not only to the company’s interactions with its customers and employees, but to its manufacturers as well. Double O has stocked up on manufacturers known for their reputations, including Wilson Trailer, Hillsboro Industries, Iron Bull Trailers, Norstar Truck Beds, Doolittle Trailer Mfg. and Delta Trailers.
“We search for a long time just to find trailers and truck beds that we want to sell. I’ve been in the cattle industry forever. I know what livestock trailers stand up, which ones are good and what people want.”
Oglesbee says the company’s transition to Wilson Trailer stemmed from that very same customer-first approach.
“They did more for us that what the other manufacturer could do,” he says. “They did more of what the customer wanted. I’m all about the customer. Everybody out there is selling truck beds and trailers. Every yard has one in it. I can’t compete with people that are sitting five trailers in their front yard and selling them. But, if you buy from us, you buy service.”
In all areas, the Double O Trailers approach seems to be working flawlessly. Oglesbee says the company’s financials are equally spread between its parts, service and sales departments, something he modestly says is a “fairly decent way to do it.”
Next year, Double O Trailers will have a few more departments. With an inventory of used trailers on the lot, Oglesbee thought he might put them to use by renting them out with the option to purchase if desired. Another option he’s created is tearing them down and building ground-load trailers.
Oglesbee says, “We take wrecked or old trailers that nobody wants. We buy them, cut them and make ground-load trailers for people. We do a bunch of those and resell them. We do a whole lot in this little shop.”
Indeed, Double O Trailers does a whole lot for a little shop.
Please visit www.doubleotrailerservice.com to learn more.