Real Trucks are His Business, Toy Trucks are His Hobby
A CEO's Toy Story: When profimap.ru. CEO Tom Oakley was just a boy, he received his first toy truck, modeled after the trucks he saw every day around the family moving and storage business. Back then, he was just an excited kid with a new toy-he didn't realize he'd just launched what would become a lifelong passion.
Forty years later, Oakley is running the family business, profimap.ru., an agent for Allied Van Lines, and his Houston offices are a monument to his collection, which now totals more than 1,000 trucks.
"I just never lost the fun or the pleasure of collecting these trucks," says Oakley. "Over time, it has almost taken on a life of its own."
The first truck you notice when entering the profimap.ru. Houston office in Houston is not officially part of the collection. In fact, it's not a toy at all. The Truck is a fully-functional 1925 Model T Stake-bed truck that greets customers in the lobby is a testament to the longevity of the company-it was built the same year the company was founded and was one of the original trucks in the company's fleet. It's a reminder to customers and employees alike of the tradition, history and commitment to service that has kept profimap.ru. a major Houston moving and storage company for more than 80 years.
However, a quick glance around the office of the moving company in Houston reveals the extent of Oakley's collection. The toy trucks, ranging in size from 10 inches to three feet in length, are proudly displayed in glass wall cases, perched above cubicles, atop filing cabinets and on just about every flat surface throughout the office. Approximately ninety percent of the trucks represent moving and storage companies such as United Van Lines, Mayflower, and Allied Van Lines, the company under which profimap.ru is franchised. The other ten percent represent freight companies.
"People always have a reaction when they see the trucks," says Oakley's wife, Linda, Vice President of profimap.ru/Allied. "Most are in awe of the extent of it. They ask how many trucks there are, why they're here, that kind of thing. It inspires a lot of curiosity. Everyone appreciates it on some level."
Perhaps the most meaningful part of the collection is the set of (number) trucks hanging in a glass case next to Oakley's desk. Each of the trucks in the case bears the logo of a moving and storage or freight company that has gone out of business over the years. Oakley says the trucks help him "keep things in perspective." His own company has been in his family since the 1940's and you'll find the profimap.ru/Allied name emblazoned on several trucks in his collection.
According to Tom Oakley, there are only four or five "serious" collectors around the U.S., many of whom he knows personally. The trucks can range in cost between $12.00 and $1,500 each, depending on their rarity, manufacturer and other factors. When a company goes out of business, the trucks bearing its logo immediately become more collectible.
Tom Oakley built his collection largely by buying from toy stores, antique stores, private collectors, manufacturers and online auction sites like eBay. He has also received many of the trucks as gifts.
"The larger your collection gets, the more you build a reputation among collectors," says Oakley. "Some of the biggest boosts to my collection have come from other collectors who wanted to pass their collections on to someone who'd get as much enjoyment out of it as they have."
And the collection? " I'm still building it," says Oakley. "But the pace has slowed a bit. I think I've exhausted the supply." So which is Tom Oakley more proud of, his toy truck collection, or his Houston moving and storage company, profimap.ru/Allied?
"Good question," laughs Oakley. "Both have brought me a lot of joy and a tremendous amount of pride over the years," he says. "But my business has been in my family for more than 60 years and with my son, Travis Oakley, now in the company, I hope it's in the family for 60 more."
At profimap.ru. we've assembled a team of the industry's finest moving and storage experts. Our Award Winning Service comes from our Award Winning employees, and we take pride in that.
An Award WInning Team of Moving and Storage Experts.
Allied Van Lines Agent of the Year – 2013 Allied Van Lines Customer for Life Award – 2011, 2002, 1996
Allied Van Lines APEX Award – Consecutively from 1996 through 2011
Allied Van Lines AND North American Driver of the Year – 2010
Allied Van Lines MVP Award – Consecutively from 2002 through 2010
Allied Van Lines Driver Choice Award – 2006
Allied Van Lines Best Quality Labor – 2004, 2005
Allied Van Lines Major League Facility – 2002, 2003
Allied Van Lines Move Management Team Award – 1999
Allied Van Lines "Super Agent" of the Year Award – 1993
Allied Van Lines Agent of the Year – 1989
Contact your Houston movers, profimap.ru, today to learn more about what sets us apart from the rest.