The Beginning of Peach State Truck Centers
In the heart of Atlanta, where the pulse of the trucking industry beats fervently, stands a testament to passion, resilience, integrity, family, and unwavering dedication—Peach State Truck Centers. As we mark our 50th year of success, the story of Peach State is not just one of trucks and sales; it's a tale of a dream that evolved into an expansive legacy, woven by the hands of many.
It all began in the corridors of Ford Motor Company, where Tom Reynolds envisioned more than a career—he aspired to build his own dealership. From the motor city of Detroit to the burgeoning terrains of Atlanta, Tom's dream took shape. Peach State Truck Centers emerged from humble beginnings, a small company with a big vision, rooted in delivering excellence with integrity at every turn.
At one point, Ford Motor Company came to Tom Reynolds and offered him the opportunity to buy a company store in Atlanta, Georgia. Tom answered the call and established Peach State Ford Trucks in Norcross.
70’s - Beyond Ford
The journey wasn't paved in gold; it was built through hard work, dedication, and an unyielding commitment to the dream. In the '70s, Peach State was a tight-knit community where roles weren't defined by titles, but by a shared goal—to see Peach State flourish beyond its Ford roots.
"When we started back in the seventies, we were training to be a little company in a company, so we did everything. There's no such thing as ‘that's not your job.’ We all had the same goal, especially in the beginning to make the money to help Mr. Reynolds get Peach State bought out from Ford,” said Van Bogan, a forty-year Peach State employee.
80’s - Expansion of Service & Leadership
As the decades passed, Peach State witnessed the growing need for parts and service and expanded its footprint, evolving into a beacon of trust and reliability in the sales, parts, and service sectors of the trucking industry. Gwinnett County's rapid growth, coupled with Peach State's service commitment, helped to cement its place in the commercial truck dealership space, with dump trucks, cement mixers, and all sorts of work trucks driving off the lot to meet the growing demand.
After that, Peach State Ford truly became a Reynolds family business when Tom’s son Tim joined the staff in the late 1980s.
90’s - Joining the Daimler Trucks North America Family
Peach State prospered along with the metro Atlanta area into the 1990s. The sales and service departments were open 24-7 to meet the customer’s needs. This made Peach State indispensable, super convenient, and unique amongst the competition.
The 90s also saw Ford selling their heavy truck division to Daimler Trucks of North America (DTNA), who made Sterling their top commercial truck brand. The transition from Ford to Daimler brought both challenges and opportunities, propelling Peach State into a new era of acquisitions and expansions. This included Peach State opening one of the very first SelecTrucks used truck standalone DTNA corporate stores in the country. They called it SelecTrucks of Atlanta, which is still in operation today in McDonough, owned solely by Peach State Truck Centers.
2007 – Peach State Acquires Atlanta Freightliner
In 2007, Peach State bought Atlanta Freightliner from DTNA to become Peach State Freightliner. The potential for a smaller, family-owned business to buy a corporate dealership enterprise was not only pivotal, but also a daunting undertaking. Peach State Freightliner effectively grew from 30 team members to 300 overnight, with additional locations in Forest Park and Jefferson. Soon after that acquisition, DTNA retired the Sterling brand of trucks. The acquisition, the change in brands and an unprecedented growth that followed, set a new standard for the trucking industry in the region and paved the way for Peach State’s expansion and impact both inside and outside the state of Georgia.
Peach State Employees and Customers
“Not Necessarily a Family-Owned Business, but a Family Business.”
Yet, amidst growth and expansion, the essence of Peach State remained rooted in its people—the employees, customers, and communities they served. Relationships weren't just transactional; they were familial. Even during trying times, such as the recession of 2007 or the COVID-19 pandemic, customers remained faithful to Peach State, and the company’s employees' commitment was unwavering and truly commendable. It started out as a mom-and-pop shop, and still has the family feel, but is now comprised of over 700 employees and is continuing to expand and grow every day.
"They're more than just employees. They’re our friends. And we care a lot about them. The people that have been with us, you know, the 40, the 30, the 20 years that are still with us today, their fingerprints are all over our success, and that's an exciting thing to be a part of,” said Rick Reynolds, owner and dealer principal.
“This commitment to people shaped Peach State's ethos—a company where culture, values, and purpose align to create an environment where individuals thrive. Our mission, vision, core values and our company why, are all aligned and truly speak to who Peach State is. Early on we defined our core values as passion, respect, integrity, discipline every day. When we focus on the heart of our people, we’re able to do all those other things effectively because our people have a belief in what we're doing," said Reynolds.
Peach State isn't just about trucks; it's about making a positive difference in the lives of everyone they touch. It's about supporting communities, empowering employees, and nurturing a culture of gratitude and giving.
"If I can do that daily to somebody, if our company can do that daily to a customer, a fellow employee, a vendor, anybody that we encounter, then we've answered our calling," added Reynolds.
The Future of Peach State
In the past few years, Peach State has expanded to many locations across the South. Very few truck businesses make it past the second generation, and Peach State is going on its third.
The company has gained national recognition, with Rick Reynolds being awarded the American Truck Dealer of the Year Award, and Tom Reynolds being given the National Automobile Dealers Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.
In 2019, Peach State began a relationship with Spartan’s emergency vehicle line, representing Spartan in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina for truck sales,
As technology and process improvements make Peach State more efficient, there will be more growth, new customers, and different business challenges.
Peach State is focused on the future and the next 50 years, starting with plans for a new state of the art facility in Villa Rica that will offer cutting edge technology and amenities. Instead of the old mindset of drivers lounges and little pockets of parts, service and sales, the entire dealership is being built around creating a positive experience for employees and customers.
Peach State’s “WHY”
As Peach State celebrates this remarkable milestone, they stand poised for a future defined not just by growth but by their unwavering commitment to their 'why'—to make a positive difference in the lives of others, and to do it with gratitude. They're seeing deeper relationships with customers because of it and seeing more trusting relationships with vendor partners because of it.
"Here we are, celebrating fifty years of doing that, and Lord willing, we’re just getting started."
In the landscape of Peach State Truck Centers, the road ahead holds promise, innovation, and a continuation of the legacy built by passionate hearts and driven minds—the legacy of 50 years and beyond.