Sycamore's SK Hand Tools looks to turn mobile tool truck into daily service

SYCAMORE – About a year ago, representatives of Sycamore-based SK Hand Tools, a subsidiary of IDEAL Industries, devised a plan to make their tools more accessible to area businesses.

By remodeling a 2004 International 4300 box delivery truck into a mobile tool-selling unit, SK Hand Tools started taking their gear on the road in February.

Anthony Filomena, spokesman for the Schafer Condon Carter advertising firm, said SK has created the truck to show their appreciation for their local customers.

“IDEAL and SK's commitment to the tradesman and auto technician continues to find ways to make their lives easier so they can work harder and get the job done right the first time to better serve us all,” Filomena said.

Keith Kladder, director of marketing for SK Hand Tools, said about $50,000 was invested to convert the 24-foot box truck into a rolling retail space and apply an exterior wrap to the truck.

"Essentially, it was an empty box truck but is now an internal showroom to highlight tools and give customers something to look at as a mobile retail environment," Kladder said. "From our perspective, we had a lot of inquiries about this level of service and to provide it is very powerful and meaningful for us."

Currently, the truck runs twice a week – once in the DeKalb-Sycamore area and once in the St. Charles and Geneva area. However, Kladder said the hope is to have the truck going five days a week.

"We started with two days to ensure we had a regular cadence and schedule that ultimately met the user's needs from SK," Kladder said. "Our goal is to run five days a week later this year."

Kladder said that initial conversations have begun to integrate different vocational schools into future routes.

"Automotive technology is a tight network, we're constantly getting input on stopping somewhere else," he said.

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