Trailerbodybuilders 621 Pacific Truck

Veterans breathe new life in distributor's paint company

March 1, 2013
The paint department, for some companies a production bottleneck or a regulatory compliance challenge, can also be a valuable revenue stream. That has

Pacific Truck Colors, which began as an offshoot of a Portland OR utility equipment distributor, now has a 27,000-sq-ft shop in the Portland suburb of Tualatin.

THE paint department, for some companies a production bottleneck or a regulatory compliance challenge, can also be a valuable revenue stream.

That has been the case for Roy Goecks, a veteran truck equipment distributor in the Portland, Oregon, area who came up with the idea of a stand-alone paint company that would handle the painting for his Pacific Utility Equipment business.

Founded back in 1992, Pacific Truck Colors quickly showed that it was capable of not only meeting the needs of Goeck's truck equipment distributorship but also could keep pace with demand for the painting services for outside customers as well.

The 20-year-old company has expanded beyond the paint booth. Painting remains a major portion of the business, but other activities have helped increase overall sales. Body work is one of those, along with truck graphics, equipment installations, and van interiors.

A team of four applies the paint. Applications range from standard truck and body painting to more exotic jobs such as London-style double-decker buses.

“It didn't take us long to realize that there really is a wide market out there beyond just the painting needs of Pacific Utility Equipment,” says Dean Rose, vice-president. “We began doing work for motor homes and for major fleets such as Coca Cola.”

Pacific Truck Colors moved into a new 12,500-sq-ft facility in 1993, a building that housed a 60-foot, flash-dry cross-draft paint booth. That met the company's needs for six years until demand led Pacific Truck Colors to double the size of the building in 1999. In 2003, the company added a 40-foot, flash dry, 2.8 million BTU paint booth.

Other opportunities presented themselves in 2007. Pacific Truck Colors expanded again, this time adding 2,000 square feet to the facility in order to handle a growing line of van interior upfits.

What started as a 12,500-sq-ft shop with a single paint booth now measures 27,000 square feet and operates two paint booths.

Through its history, Pacific Truck Colors has moved to complement its paint business. For example, the collision department goes hand-in-hand with the painting service that the company offers. A graphics department, equipped with computer-controlled equipment, produces the custom graphics that Pacific Truck Colors installs. More recently, Pacific Truck Colors has added parts and service, along with truck equipment sales.

“We really have become a one-stop shop for many of our customers,” Rose says. “There aren't many truck equipment companies around that can offer truck equipment sales and installation, collision repair and painting, and vehicle signage — all under one roof. But that's what we do.”

They're back

Barbara Goecks, Roy's wife, owned Pacific Truck Colors. She had suffered deteriorating health in recent years and passed away in January.

The company had gone into a decline as well, Rose says. Roy Goecks recognized the decline, bringing Rose and Pacific Utility Equipment confidant Steve Lapsley out of retirement last summer to turn the company around. The company also promoted Booker Nagely to general manager and is grooming him to lead the company long term.

“We have bounced back strong,” Rose says. “We have backlog of $3 million, and it's still increasing.”

To prove it, the company sponsored an open house in October. The event attracted customers, along with an array of displays by suppliers and the Daimler show trucks.

“It was great,” Rose says. “We had gone through a period where we weren't what we wanted to be. But we got things turned around. The open house served to let our customers help us commemorate 20 years of service and to celebrate our new beginning.”

Visit Pacific Truck Colors online