1925 – How it All Began
It’s 1925. Big things are happening in America. Calvin Coolidge’s presidential inauguration is broadcast on the radio for the first time, uniting the country in an entirely new way. The very first Sears retail store opens in Chicago, Illinois, changing the way people shop. Richard G. Drew and 3M invent Scotch Tape, with masking tape to immediately follow. Roger Stribling began his business career as a Ford Car Dealer in Carthage, Mississippi, making him the youngest Ford Dealer in the country at just 20 years of age. Born and raised in Painted Post, Mississippi, Stribling was curious what the business world had to offer.
Stribling didn’t know it then, but he was launching a career that would span not only multiple industries, but the nation as well.
In the 1930s, Roger Stribling and his dealerships experienced growth for the first time, expanding to Hattiesburg and Meridian. But this was only the beginning.
Stribling survived the Great Depression with a considerable number of customer-returned dump trucks, Stribling realized he had an underlying entrepreneurial spirit he could capitalize on. He entered the construction business and worked with the Army Air Corps during World War II. They built Air Corps training bases in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi.
1944 – Partnerships Abound
In 1944, Roger Stribling accepted an invitation from Caterpillar Tractor Company to be their dealer in Central and Southern Mississippi. Their advantageous working relationship allowed for further expansion, and Stribling realized an opportunity for more people to become involved in the business. Stribling extended his generosity to four other employees, who happily joined the company as partners during the 1970s.
1983 – Diversification Leads to Empire Truck Sales!
In 1983, with a total of five partners in the business, it was time to diversify.
So, with 58 years of experience in construction, auto, and heavy equipment dealerships, Roger Stribling and his principal shareholders formed Empire Truck Sales, Inc. incorporating the Freightliner and Ford franchises. Empire Truck Sales began operations in the Jackson facility while its original building was under construction. Empire Truck Sales moved into its own facility in October, 1983.
The acquisitions continued. Since 1983, seventeen acquisitions have been made in an effort to enlarge the company’s footprint and consolidate the territory to make up what the companies are today.
1986 – Stribling Leaves a Legacy
In 1986, Empire Truck Sales and its sister company Stribling Equipment were thriving, thanks to the leadership of founder Roger Stribling. Upon his death, ownership of the companies continued between the remaining principal shareholders. The values, dedication and vision of Mr. Roger Stribling are still with the companies and guide us daily.
1994 – Expanding Once Again
In the spirit of creating an environment where Empire Truck Sales employees could offer exceptional customer service, a new location was decided upon. In 1994, operations began in Mobile, Alabama as the newest branch of Empire Truck Sales quickly expanding territory.
1997 – Doubling in Size!
Empire Truck Sales saw an opportunity to grow the business through the acquisition of KLLM Body Shop in Jackson. And so became the Empire Truck Sales Body Shop; yet another tool to ensure our customers have the highest satisfaction possible. And it worked. Over the course of this growth and expansion effort, activity here doubled in its first year.
1998 – Welcome, Thomas Bus.
Empire Truck Sales needed more room in 1998, so construction began on a new Jackson building. But that’s not the only major accomplishment that year. Empire Truck Sales acquired a new franchise for Mississippi: Thomas Bus.
The history of Thomas Built Buses reads much like the history of modern mass transportation. It begins in 1916 in the small North Carolina city of High Point. Economic hard times created by World War I forced the closing of Southern Car Works, a major streetcar manufacturer based in High Point. Canadian-born car designer Perley A. Thomas lost his job as chief engineer for the company, but a few months later was contacted by Southern Public Utilities Company and asked to consider putting together a crew to renovate several streetcars he had designed for his former employer.
Within weeks, Thomas had reassembled many of his former coworkers, purchased a building in downtown High Point and opened the Perley A. Thomas Car Works. Thomas’ reputation in the industry opened doors nationwide and within a few years, Thomas-built streetcars were carrying passengers in many of North America’s largest cities. Being able to offer this franchise to Empire Truck Sales customers continues to be a huge asset.
2000 – Moving In!
After years of meticulous construction, the Jackson location was ready to be inhabited. Empire Truck Sales moved right on in, and began operating in a state-of-the-art facility which enabled quicker service, and faster delivery for customers.
2001 – Welcome, Western Star Trucks!
Empire Truck Sales began offering Western Star Trucks as part of its inventory in 2001. Western Star Trucks started engineering heavy-duty trucks in 1967. Trucks that proved tough enough to take on mountainous logging operations, deep mines and sweltering oil fields. Vocations where cut corners and compromise can mean the difference between a good day and an early funeral. These heavy-duty trucks were exactly the kind of inventory Empire Truck Sales wanted to offer customers.
2002 – Welcome, Freightliner!
Empire Truck Sales continued to expand based on the needs of customers, which proved to be invaluable. In 2002, just one year after adding the Western Star Truck line of products to its inventory, Empire Truck Sales also purchased the assets of the New Orleans Freightliner dealer. To make it official, Empire Truck Sales created a new branch in New Orleans as well.
Freightliner Trucks is the largest division of Daimler Trucks North America and is one of the most recognizable and respected names in the trucking industry. Fleet managers and owner-operators alike associate Freightliner with efficient, dependable vehicles — business tools to be relied upon day in and day out under even the most punishing conditions. Yet another invaluable asset for Empire Truck sales!
2004 – Sunny Pensacola!
A true entrepreneurial spirit flows in the blood of Empire Truck Sales’ veins; we never stop looking for opportunities to expand and improve our customer satisfaction experience. That’s why in 2004, Empire Truck Sales saw another chance to do just that, and added a branch in Pensacola, Florida.
2007 – Continued Expansion
In 2007, Empire Truck Sales took a good look at its locations, which had expanded throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.
2008 – Brookhaven Branch Addition
A deep southern history, beautiful rolling hills and touching railroad roots. They say those who enter Brookhaven never want to leave, and that’s exactly what happened to Empire Truck Sales. Recognizing an opportunity to further expand and offer a better customer service experience, Empire Truck Sales set up shop in Brookhaven in 2008.
2009 – Changes in Louisiana!
Adapting to a changing economy, Empire Truck Sales relocated their branch from New Orleans to Slidell, Louisiana.
2012 – Hats off to Hattiesburg
Continuing its efforts to expand and improve customer service relations, Empire Truck Sales (along with its sister company, Stribling Equipment) opened up a brand new facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The new location offered amenities which allowed its employees to respond more quickly to customer inquiries, and offer faster turnaround time on orders. Customer-approved! The new location also replaced the previous one on Highway 49 South.
2014- Wheeling through Waynesboro
Excited by the growing need for support staff, Empire Truck Sales improved its customer satisfaction efforts with the Waynesboro location. The southeast territory relies on Empire Truck Sales for fast, convenient parts service, and the Waynesboro staff is excited to support their needs from this expanded location.
2015- Making it in Mossy Head
Since the beginning, Empire Truck Sales has been driven by you. By expanding on the I-10 corridor, Empire Truck Sales breaks down service barriers with this fifth location. Now, happy truckers can receive complete service of their vehicles (and relax in the Empire Truck Sales lounge) from Louisiana to Florida on I-10!