He and his wife, Maggie, and their dog, Ruby, drove a motor home throughout the United States selling an Eagle dent removal machine. After selling nearly 3,000 units, he said they gained a reputation for providing “Killer Tools.”
This led Trueit and his team to form Killer Tools and Equipment Corp.
“When we developed a tool for putting on door skins pneumatically, we were selling so many we could no longer go on the road and settled down to manufacturing and shipping,” he said. Since incorporating the company in 2002, they have sold more than 30,000 of these tools.
Their products come from the ideas of those currently working in the collision repair industry and Trueit said that every tool is unique in its design.
“We are very fortunate to be in a unique position by having original tools, thought up by collision technicians and designed and built by us,” said Trueit.
He said collision technicians can be quite hard on their tools so everything has to be rugged.
“I want to make sure that our brand is known for quality first and the service to back it up,” said Trueit.
Killer Tools, based in Orangevale, California, has seven employees and offers more than 30 products through mobile jobbers, paint stores and warehouse distributors.
The company recently introduced the following four tools for the industry:
- ART55 Cordless Tool Garage: allows you to store cordless tools in your tool box or on the side of your tool box. Powerful magnets hold unit to any steel surface without falling.
- ART88 Corner Pocket: a powder-coated steel peg board attaches to any tool cart to create vertical space for organizing your tools and tapes, etc. Comes with six steel peg holders.
- ART44X The Painter's Helper: Heavy duty Truck Mirror Support holds over 10 lbs. Attaches to any steel surface with powerful magnet and exclusive "load extender.”
- ART81X Heavy Duty 1/2" Impact Support: Quality anodized aluminum support will hold over 10 lbs with exclusive "load extender."
Several of Trueit’s technicians, many who were referred by jobbers or friends, have received royalties for helping to design his products.
One technician has earned more than $250,000 over the last 10 years.
Trueit said the company decided to reward them with $1,000 each for their part in sharing ideas for any tool they produce.
“Collision technicians are independent thinkers and have always had to design something new to complete a task,” said Trueit. “That is why I enjoy this industry. I feel connected.”