Reading Body Works purchases Crest

Reading Body Works Inc has purchased its largest distributor, Crest Truck Equipment, and taken on a new name: Reading Truck Body Inc. The two companies, separated by less than 30 miles of fertile territory in southeastern Pennsylvania, have formed a network of distributors located in the mid-Atlantic region of the US that will now be known as Reading Equipment & Distribution Inc. It will operate within the same limited territorial boundaries as did Crest Truck Equipment. Both companies will operate collectively under a new name: The Reading Group.Irving Suknow, chairman of the board of The Reading Group, said the changes “will provide us with more resources and capabilities and make our company stronger.”He said it expands his company’s strength in the industry. “We look to enhance our operations using the joint resources of both divisions,” he said. “Additionally, our close association with Crest Truck Equipment will provide us with long-term opportunities to even better understand the varied needs of our distributors. We are excited about this new endeavor and the opportunities it will create for us and our distributor network.”Reading Truck Body will operate under the guidance of Jack O’Donnell as chief operating officer. Peter Hempenstall has been promoted to vice-president of sales for Reading Truck Body Inc.Reading Equipment & Distribution will operate under the guidance of Norm Ziegler Jr as chief operating officer.Overall guidance and strategic direction will be provided by Dan Perlman, president of The Reading Group. Reading Body Works Inc first made its entrance into the truck equipment industry in 1955. Suknow purchased Reading Body Works Inc. with a vision of manufacturing and promoting a market for service bodies—a market he felt was virtually untapped.Reading developed the slogan "Don’t Pile It—File It" to market the concept of an organized method of storing tools and equipment.Crest Truck Equipment Co Inc blossomed into one of the premier truck equipment installation facilities on the East Coast after being founded in 1972 by Ziegler and his father, Norm Ziegler Sr.It was created as a sales and installation center for Reading Body Works, Western snowplows, dump bodies, and other light- and medium-duty equipment.Crest Truck Equipment grew into a full truck equipment distribution and installation center with four locations, 100,000 sq ft of total production space, and 65 state-of-the-art work bays, specializing in service bodies, dump bodies, snowplows, mobile hydraulic equipment, cranes, and truck accessories.

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