Clark's Truck Center was established in 1927 by Elwood W. Clark. Elwood was a true entrepreneur. In 1937 he purchased 57 Civilian Conservation Corp. trucks from the federal government. The trucks were Ford, Chevy, and Dodge ranging in size from 1/2 ton to 1 1/2 ton and all less than 3 years old. Elwood bid $51.00 each and purchased all.
In 1939, Elwood discovered he liked the truck business and applied for the franchise to sell International Harvester trucks. Clark's Truck Center is the oldest International truck dealer in the State of Vermont and one of the oldest International truck dealers in the country.
In 1964, Elwood and his wife, Wilma, incorporated the Underhill Garage with their sons Robert and Randall. Randall, now known to all as Randy, actually started working at the garage when he was only 6 years old. His dad, Elwood, built side boards on Randy's Red Flyer wagon and Randy's job was to go to the post office in 1947 and pickup the daily mail and packages.
Elwood joined the Underhill-Jericho Fire Department when he was 21 and later in life he advanced to the position of Chief. He served the UJFD for 47 years. He also became a Justice of the Peace in the Town of Jericho and later served for nine years as a Selectman.
After World War II, Elwood made another purchase from the federal government. He bought 200 army search light trailers. They were made of aluminum and stainless steel and were 8 ft. square with rubber tires and a 6 ft. search light. He removed the search light and sold for scrap. Then he modified the trailer so that it could be extended to be longer which resulted in the first rubber tired farm wagon in Vermont. It sold for $125.00.
Randy graduated from Champlain College with a degree in Business Administration and became employed as a salesman at Underhill Garage, Inc. Randy had worked his way up from the mail delivery person, gas attendant, tire changer, light mechanic, parts room, used truck manager to salesman. Timing was good because International had just introduced the 1961 International Scout. Randy also sold the pickup, Travelall, and full line of International trucks.
Things were going well at Underhill Garage, Inc. Randy married Kitty, the girl across the street. Walter Godfrey was the lead mechanic; Herbert Ellsworth, Maitland Root, Merrill Wheelock, and Anna Russin were all part of the everyday team. Randy also became a member of the Underhill-Jericho Fire Department following in the footsteps of his dad.
1974 Elwood Clark died of a heart attack while at work, 1975 International stopped building the pickup and Travelall which was 25 percent of the Underhill Garage's business. Then in 1980 International stopped building the Scout which had become 50 percent of the business. Randy was strapped to know what to do, in 6 short years he was faced with the loss of his dad and 75% of the business. Bob now joins his brother Randy to help salvage the struggling business. However, with entrepreneur skills like his dad, Randy, found a niche in the market and moved toward the municipal sales.
During the 1980s we decided not enough room to work on the big trucks with snow plows and wings in the old building. We need to build a new facility. Randy has boys graduating from high school that have been working after school helping out and they make good employees. We have Randy E., Brian, and Tim. A father dreams to have the boys follow in his footsteps. Not only are they working at the garage but they are also members of the Underhill-Jericho Fire Department which Randy served as Chief 1971 to 1987.
On August 1, 1986, we moved into a modern 18,000 sq. ft. facility 1 mile from the old one. We changed our name to CLARK'S TRUCK CENTER and dedicated the building in memory of Elwood Clark. Since that time our business has grown seven fold in volume. Reason for the growth is the municipal sales under the qualified Dick Bullard, sales in general of new and used trucks by Brian Clark. Parts sales were increased by Randy E. Clark, Roger Miller, Guy Hope and Roger Ferland. People however do not buy trucks or parts from a dealer that does not give good service. That top of the line service is lead by Tim Clark, Dean Tallman, Frank Kirsch, and Dave McCleod and a cast of others. The back up office staff was handled by Rachel Langlois and Kitty Clark amongst a cast of many.
The 90's were very rewarding for us. Our youngest son, Russ has decided that family business is very rewarding and sales is his game. He also is a member of the UJFD. Now for the 2000s: Randy E. has moved to the Sales Manager position. Our well seasoned parts counter man, Todd Savage has stepped up to Parts Manager and we have added Sandy Ladd, Bob Maxon, Mark Adams, Dan St. Cyr, and John Farris to assist. Tim Clark doing an excellent job at keeping customers happy is our Service Manager. Brian Clark is Assistant Service Manager and wrecker operator. We have added technicians, Shawn Danaher Sr., Jed Abair and Hugh Albright; office staff, Chris Hall, Controller and Susan Jones. Kitty Clark, also a member of the UJFD, keeps our new facility readied for all seasons including mowing our large lawn.
Ten of our 22 employees are active fire fighters with Randy E. now serving as Chief of the UJFD and Tim as Assistant Chief. We have a much longer up to date story to tell so stop by and see for yourself why we are proud to have served you and our community for 75 years.
2007 Update, 80 years, yes this year is our "80th Anniversary" and we need to update the departments: Office; Chris Hall and Susan Jones. Parts: Todd Savage, James "Rio" Riopel, Jacki LaVanway, Jeff Hayes, Bob Maxon, John Ferris, Tim McKenna, and Parker Ripley. Outside Sales; Russ Clark and Kevin Gaudette. Service; Dan StCyr, Brian Clark, Curtis Salls, Chris Langlois, Dean Tallman, Frank Kirsch, Shawn Danaher Sr., Dave McLeod, Brian Weir, Keith Newton, Dan Love, Josh Dubois, Jason Lawton, and Josh Copeland. Sales; Randy H. Clark, Randy E. Clark, Dick Bullard, and Sandy Ladd. 30 employees, all dedicated to serving you, the customer.
This year, 2012, we are proudly celebrating 85 years of business. We held an anniversary party in July where over 400 customers, family and friends helped us celebrate our milestone. At our party, we gave guided facility tours, allowed customers to participate in a ride and drive event for some new trucks and we set up various shop displays and demonstrations. Here for the celebration we had Elwood Clark's 1926 Model T Ford, Jim Cary's 1928 International 1 ton, Rick Henderson's 1950 International Pickup truck, Randy H. Clark's 1966 International LoadStar fire truck, Tim Clark's 1968 and 1969 International scouts, E.J. Murray's 1973 International TransStar Wrecker and Randy H. Clark's 1977 International Scout that only has 165 original miles on it. We also gave out door prizes with the grand prize being a 55" flat screen TV.
Our devoted staff greatly helped drive our success. President: Randy H. Clark, General Manager: Randy E. Clark, Office: Susan Jones and Sean McCann, Sales: Sandy Ladd, Jeff Leete and Dick Bullard, Parts: Todd Savage, Rob Richards, James "Rio" Riopel, Russ Clark, Calvin Caswell, Killian Rhodes, Corey Bessette, Keith Whittman, and Bob Maxon, Service: Dan St. Cyr, Chris Langlois, Tonya Britch, Parker Ripley and JJ Ouellette, Technicians: Shawn Danaher, David "DJ" Dauphinee, Cal Lyman, Pat Jesseman, Frank Kirsh, Keith Newton and Dan Love, Wrecker: Brian Clark
August 1, 2013 today we started another chapter in the Clark's Truck Center History book. We purchased the International Truck Dealer (MA Jerry) in Plattsburgh, NY. Mr. Jerry was operating the International/Fuso Franchised dealership that his grandfather started 99 years ago. We have now added 24 employees in NY to our 33 employees in VT. We are located at on Interstate 87 at Exit 36 and only 2 miles from the Plattsburgh International Airport. We have a great dedicated staff in Jericho and now we have added another dedicated staff in Plattsburgh and all employees were asked to stay with the new owner and all accepted.
Today, we are the leading supplier in municipal truck sales in Vermont. We offer an array of truck parts and specialize in service for the Jericho and Burlington area and now Plattsburgh, NY. We have your next dump truck, fire truck, school bus, or used Freightliner, Ford, Chevrolet or Mack from leading suppliers including but not limited to International. Call us toll free today (866) 415-4623 and see why Clark’s Truck Center is the best truck supplier in VT.
Here you see Elwood Clark's 1926 Model T Ford being driven by Randy H. Clark (President) and passenger is Randy's grandson, Corey Clark (2013)