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Getting to know Betts Truck Parts & Service

John Devany, General Manager

Please briefly describe the history of Betts Truck Parts.

In 1868 William M. Betts I opened Betts Spring Company in San Francisco making buggy springs. Betts Spring Company remained in San Francisco until 1972 when we relocated to San Leandro, Calif. Then in 1983 Betts Spring Company opened its second location in Pico Rivera, Calif. Three years later in 1986 Betts moved into a large facility in Pico Rivera, Calif. Then in 1988 Betts moved again into its current location in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Also in 1988, we opened our third location in Portland, Ore. Several years later in 1990 we opened our fourth location in Sacramento. Two years later in 1992 we opened our fifth location in Fresno, Calif. That same year we also opened our sixth location in Phoenix. Then three years later in 1995 we opened our seventh location in Fontana, Calif. The following year in 1996 we relocated our San Leandro, Calif., location and opened our distribution center/branch in a large facility in San Leandro, Calif. At that point, we rebranded all our locations from Betts Spring Company to Betts Truck Parts and Service. Lastly, we opened our eight location in Manteca, Calif., in 2005.

Please briefly describe your company’s distribution structure: What do you sell, who are your vendors, who are your customers, etc.?

What we sell: leaf springs/suspension components; Steering components; brake/wheel end products; spray suppression products; drivetrain components; electrical products; chemicals.

Top vendors are Dayton Parts, Meritor, STEMCO, Hutch, HME, Hendrickson, Baldwin, Bendix, ATRO, SAF Holland, Webb Wheel, East Penn Mfg., Gates, Betts HD, Betts Spring Mfg., Triangle, and many more.

Customers are repair facilities, refuse fleets, sand/dirt/cement fleets, agriculture fleets, truck and trailer OEMs, fire trucks, tanker trucks, reefer fleets, dry freight fleets, container chassis fleets, logging fleets, spring shops, distributors, municipalities, school and transit buses.

What separates Betts Truck Parts from competitors in its marketplace?

Betts is family owned and operated, and has been in business for 150 years. We service all the parts we sell from eight strategically located stores and a centralized distribution center. We also have more than 20 outside salesmen and factory-trained technicians.

How do you believe customers perceive your business?

Quality products, competitive prices, quick delivery service, knowledgeable staff, problem solvers who are easy to deal with.

How and why have your customers stayed loyal to your business?

The reasons listed above.

What is one thing most customers/suppliers don’t know about Betts Truck Parts that would surprise/impress them? (i.e., tell us something about Betts Truck Parts we don’t know)

We are a sixth-generation family-owned business with five active family members in the business: Mike Betts (CEO/Owner); Bill Betts (President/Owner); Don Devany (Senior Vice President); John Devany (General Manager); Joe Devany (Director of Operations).

What makes Betts Truck Parts a great place to work?

Our culture. We live and breathe our core values and purpose statement. Our core values are respect everyone, aim for excellence, share your passion, work smart, take care, act ethically and communicate. Our purpose statement is ‘Improving the way things move.’

How vital is it to have quality employees entering your business from younger generations, and how are you trying to recruit these younger professionals?

It’s extremely important to recruit young talent for long term success. We partner with local colleges, community colleges, high school and trade schools to help educate students about the opportunities our industry can provide.

Do you feel Betts Truck Parts is in the position to change with the times? If so how?

Absolutely. We believe in continuous improvement and if you’re not changing your going backwards.

Do you have any advice for the next generation, as they work in this industry?

Learn something new every day, be open to change, work hard, earn respect, stay the course and you will be rewarded.

What are your goals for the long-term future of Betts Truck Parts?

To be the employer of choice in every market we operate in.

Why did Betts Truck Parts join GenNext? How can GenNext help Betts Truck Parts’ employees?

To educate the younger generation about the opportunities our industry provides through training, education and awareness.

What are the three most pivotal moments in your career that you either learned from and/or that got you where you are?

It’s OK to make mistakes but you must learn from those mistakes. Hard work will always pay off. Knowledge is power.

Are there any industry leaders that have influenced you/mentored you? Who were they and how has their knowledge assisted you?

  • Don Devany (Father) – Hard work will always pay off, treat others with respect and surround yourself with good people.
  • Mike Betts (Uncle) – Think strategically and always be one step ahead of the competition.
  • John Minor (HDATP Member) – Profitable products to sell and top suppliers to deal with.
  • Don Reimondo (HDATP President) – To give back to the industry and continue to educate yourself.