Larry Van Zante was raised on the farm where the trailer business is now located. His father loved to overhaul and paint farm tractors, and Larry inherited the “repair bug,” so to speak. For as long as he can remember he has had “projects” waiting to be repaired.
The family home—built in 1975—included a basement shop under the garage where projects could be tackled. By 1985, the basement shop was too small and a 40′ x 56′ building was erected which includes a 24′ overhead crane, an automotive lift and a wash bay. He soon acquired a MIG welder, cutting torch, air compressor and spray painting equipment as well as drill presses, vertical and horizontal band saws, sheet metal brake and many more handy tools.
Some of the first projects were farm repairs, then prior salvage car rebuilds and later trailer repair and restoration. The trailer sales business became a part of the mix and Larry found a niche that supplemented the farm enterprise until the trailer sales grew so large, the farm was left for a tenant to tend.
The latest expansion has been to open a trailer parts supply store to fill his clients’ needs. The store is located in the original family shop, where Larry’s father and grandfather labored over their own “projects.” The shop includes memories of days spent with dad and grandpa. Today’s store has a computer and video surveillance cameras and utilizes the internet and websites; things that dad and grandpa never conceived of. If only they had had it so good. One can only wonder what more innovations will change the future and the evolution of the business. It can only get better with technology. Perhaps even remote controlled trucks and trailers driven from a seat in the office.