272 273 BALLARD TRUCK CENTERS heavy equipment from site to site; refuse is a very big segment of ours–trash trucks.On the medi- um duty side, almost any company is a potential customer. Recently we have made great strides in increasing our municipal sales. “We do sales, both new and used,we do quite a bit of repair work and we have a very large parts business,”he continues.“We have outside parts salesmen that travel all around and try to drum up business; we’ve got 12 delivery vans that are out delivering parts. It’s a lot different than it used to be years ago–you wouldn’t deliver at all; people always came to you. But things are more custom- er-focused, now, and if you don’t deliver, somebody else will.You have to maintain a high level of ser- vice to keep the business that you have and grow the business that you have.” Grahn believes that the company’s present suc- cess is based upon those same enduring values about service that began generations ago.“Both of our parents instilled in my cousin and me: ‘Do the right thing, be honest, and don’t worry about being bigger.Worry about being better, and big- ger will take care of itself.’And it has. Even though, sometimes doing the right thing costs a little bit of money, in the long run, it pays off through customer retention and loyalty. John came up through the service department; I came up through the parts department, so we ‘get it.’” “And we certainly couldn’t do without the group to working as the accountant, also worked for an accounting firm that had a client who was a MackTruck dealer.The woman’s husband had passed away and she had no interest in continuing to run the dealership, so Janet and Bob took a leap of faith and went into the truck business.” Cousin John joined the firm in 1982,work- ing at Ballard Motor Sales; Steve began working at Ballard’s first Mack dealership in 1988.Throughout the 1990s, the 3rd and 4th generations of Ballards worked hard to transition from the car business into the commercial trucking industry, trading in light duty vehicle sales for heavy duty sales,while adding a variety of services along the way. In 1999, the company officially became the Ballard Truck Center.Then came acquisition and expansion.Today, Ballard Truck Centers serve all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Eastern Connecticut. “Our first location is inWorcester,” says Grahn.“The second location that we picked up in 2001 is located in Johnston, Rhode Island. It was originally in a different town, but in 2008,we started to put up a brand new facility closer to our customer base in Rhode Island.The economy was kind of in shambles at the time and it was a little scary, but it worked out really well.The third loca- tion we picked up was inWest Springfield, Massachusetts–that was in 2010.And,most recently,we purchased a dealership in Avon, Massachusetts,which is just south of Boston –that was in 2011. So, it’s been a busy couple of years.” Ballard Truck Centers represent Mack,Volvo, Isuzu,Hino, and Fuso Trucks.“The Mack and Volvo are considered heavy duty trucks; the other three brands are medium duty trucks,” Grahn explains.“On the heavy duty side,we sell to transportation companies and voca- tional businesses–construction companies that buy dump trucks or trucks to haul their