Stoops expands into TC | Business

TRAVERSE CITY — One family-owned trucking company acquired another in Traverse City.

Stoops Western Star — a division of Truck Country — took over operations of the former Grand Traverse Diesel Service Inc. The deal was effective on Jan. 1.

Grand Traverse Diesel Service Inc. has been run by Dan and Sue Walters since 1986, according to the company website. “Northern Michigan’s only Western Star truck dealer” has been located at Memorial South Commons since 1993.

The acquisition move merges a pair of family-owned businesses, according to a release. The McCoy Group, Stoops’ parent company, is owned by the third generation of the McCoy family, which traces its roots back to 1958, according to the release.

“I didn’t want to sell to a corporation,” Dan Walters said of the acquisition. “I wanted to sell to another family.”

Dan Walters and the 21 employees from Grand Traverse Diesel Service will stay on under Stoops.

Dan Walters said he will serve as lead sales consultant at the new company while Sue Walters, who has served as general manager at GT Diesel Service for more than 20 years, will “have a chance to slow down and retire now.”

In his new role, Dan Walters said he will have a singular focus. The release from Stoops said “he will continue to fulfill his passion for working with the customer base he has worked at building.”

“I’ll just handle truck sales,” he said. “I handled everything else before, but now I’m just doing truck sales.”

Dan Walters said the company will operate the same under the new name, including the people working there.

“Everybody is staying on,” he said. “That’s one of the key things that was important to me is taking care of the employees.”

“On behalf of the entire Stoops team, I’d like to offer our sincerest thanks to Dan and Sue Walters for the great service they have provided to the trucking and transportation community over the past 36 years,” Stoops Freightliner-Western Star president Brian McCoy said in the release. “We are excited to pick up right where they left off — providing expert service, a wide array of top-quality parts, and a sales team dedicated to meeting and exceeding customer needs.”

Dan Walters said Stoops Freightliner-Western Star is also expected to open a second northern Michigan dealership in Grayling later this year.

“They’ll pick up the ball and carry on my dream,” he said.

Stoops Western Star does plan to expand some offerings for parts and service work in Traverse City. “Leveraging the Stoops brand and buying power, the best in Daimler parts and service will be available to Stoops Western Star of Michigan customers,” the release said.

The Traverse City location, gives Stoops Frieightliner-Western Star operation of 11 dealerships in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

That totally including Stoops Trailer locations in Wayne, Michigan, Indianapolis and Lafayette, Indiana.

Dan Walters said TC is the 26th dealership in the larger McCoy Group, which also includes Truck Country in Wisconsin and McCoy Construction and Forestry.

Traverse City will remain a dealer for Freightliner, Western Star and Detroit Diesel.

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