The Commercial Story


Based on a philosophy of superior customer service supported with quality engineering, the Commercial Group of Companies, which today comprises Commercial Truck Equipment, Commercial Utility Equipment, Commercial Emergency Equipment, and Canadian Towing Equipment, have grown over the past 75+ years to become Canada’s largest truck equipment suppliers and vehicle upfitters.

commercial emergency equipment in 1947
1947-1997 – Founding

Our founding company, Commercial Body Builders Ltd. (CBB) was established in Vancouver BC.

For the next 50 years, the company thrived in manufacturing and modifying truck bodies for BC based telecommunication, hydro, mining, construction, forestry, retail and service companies. We also supplied many truck components, such as cranes, man lifts and winches. CBB designed, engineered and produced over 2,000 different truck body variants over its 60 years under the name.

The story is often told about a forestry contractor in the 1950’s who wanted to take his crew to the work site with a truck that could carry 4 men and their chain saws. To accomplish this, the engineers at Commercial modified the contractor’s pickup. By extending the cab and creating 4 doors, they may have created the world’s first “crew cab” pickup truck.

commercial body builders timeline 1947-1997
1998 – Era of rapid growth begins

Dean MacKay joins, starting the company on a pathway of rapid growth and diversification. By making the best use of our engineers and technicians, the company expands its geographical and design horizons to take on more challenging manufacturing opportunities as well as represent additional truck equipment product lines.

The company produced equipment for the Department of National Defence, General Motors and several large US based utility companies. We also manufactured armored trucks for prominent Canada-wide customers in the speciality transport sector, and produced and a line of mid-sized buses for public transit in BC.

commercial body builders in 1998
2000 – Awarded Terex Utilities Dealership

Commercial is appointed the Terex Utilities dealer for Western Canada. This new business flourishes and soon expands to branches in Alberta, helping push Commercial to the forefront of Utility Equipment supply in Canada.

commercial emergency equipment company launch in 2001
2001 – Acquired Dynasty Electric Vehicles

As one of the earliest players in electric vehicles in Canada, Commercial acquires Dynasty Electric Car Corporation. Although sold in 2008, Dynasty provided our engineering and production teams valuable experience with electric drive trains. Commercial now offers fully electric options for all it’s major equipment lines across multiple industries -mounted and installed in the same production facility where Dynasty electric cars were manufactured.

commercial body builders in 2002
2002 – Acquired Russell Truck

Commercial acquires Western Canada’s largest towing and recovery dealer. In addition to towing and recovery, Russell had close partnerships with various industry leaders – this enables Commercial’s growth into the crane, landscaping, mining, oil and gas and construction industries.

Russell Truck became a Miller dealer 1982, based in New Westminster, British Columbia. Their Calgary facility opened in 2007 to better service the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba customer base.

commercial emergency equipment timeline 2000
2003 – Acquired Unisource Parts & Service

Expanding with new locations in Ontario and Alberta, Commercial’s acquisition of Unisource dramatically increases Commercial’s parts and service offerings in the utility industry and adds top industry veterans to Commercial’s team.

commercial emergency equipment in 2005
2005 – Established Utility Rental Fleet

Initially partnered as the Canadian rental dealer for Nesco utility vehicles, the rentals business has since flourished from coast to coast with hundreds of utility vehicles of all types and configurations on rent.

commercial emergency equipment aquires danco equipment in 2010
2007 – Acquired Drakar Engineering

Further expanding into the utility industry, Commercial’s acquisition of Drakar Engineering provided increased servicing capabilities and lab testing for lineman gloves and tools.

commercial emergency equipment becomes authorized pierce service provider in 2011
2010 – Acquired Danco Equipment

Commercial’s largest acquisition to date increased our geographical reach with four new branches. This expansion dramatically increased our customer servicing capabilities, parts distribution, and truck equipment offerings across Western Canada.

Danco Equipment opened its doors in Calgary in 1969 to meet the growing demand in Alberta’s resource and industrial sectors for truck equipment including cranes and winches. By 1973, operations had expanded to locations in Edmonton, Regina, and Surrey. The product line grew with the company and by the early 1980’s it included a broad line of complementary products such as drive shafts, drive systems, dump bodies, tailgates, and lighting. While the full product line was available across Western Canada, each branch also developed regional expertise servicing a variety of industries.

commercial body builders appointed as canadian dealer for weldo hydra lift cranes
2011 –Appointed Pierce Manufacturing Warranty Centre

With our unmatched customer service footprint, Pierce Manufacturing approaches Commercial to be the authorized service and warranty provider for Western Canada – thus starting Commercial on a path to become Canada’s largest fire apparatus dealer.

commercial truck equipment logo
2012 – Acquired Renn Truck Equipment

Acquired Renn Truck Equipment of Calgary. Formerly known as D & G Truck Equipment, Renn was the leading supplier of both Southland and Cancade gravel boxes and trailers, and specialized in the installation and servicing of gravel boxes, pups, quad wagons and end dumps. The Renn brand lives on today, with Southland Trailer Corp still manufacturing equipment under the brand, and Commercial still selling and building around Renn boxes.

commercial truck equipment expands into western canada and ontario
2012 – Awarded Weldco Dealership

Appointed the dealer for Weldco Hydra Lift cranes for Canada, further expanding Commercials offering of work truck cranes.

commercial truck equipment partners with pierce manufacturing
2012 – Calgary Branch Build

A major milestone in Commercial’s history. With multiple locations and businesses in the Calgary area all outgrowing their spaces, a new facility was required. Large and custom built from the ground up, the new Calgary location provides dramatically increased customer servicing, parts distribution, truck equipment sales, rentals, training and production – all with plenty of extra space (or so we thought).

specialty airport truck dealer
2013 – Merging Brands

Multiple brands are merged: Commercial Body Builders, Danco Equipment, Commercial Equipment, Renn Truck Equipment and Russell Truck come together to form Commercial Truck Equipment Co.

Today Commercial has three primary brands:
Commercial Truck Equipment Co.
Commercial Utility Equipment Co.
Commercial Emergency Equipment Co.

commercial truck equipment partners with pierce manufacturing
2013 – Quebec Branch

To better serve the needs of customers in Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces, Commercial expands its branch network further with the Quebec City Branch.

bme truck dealer
2014 – Calgary Expansion

Only two years after its grand opening, Calgary outgrows its new branch. A significant expansion is started, adding thousands of square feet to the production and service space with eight additional truck service bays bringing the total footprint to over 37,000 sq. ft. and 22 bay doors.

bme truck dealer
2014 – Larger Regina Branch

Owing to strong sales and demand from customers in the Prairies, Commercial significantly grows its footprint in Regina, SK with an expansive new branch that caters to the needs of the local area in Tow and Recovery, Hydraulics, Driveline, and other Work Truck lines. The new facility is completed with 27,400 sq. ft., 14 bays, and 13 total bay doors. The facility is subsequently renovated and modernized over the coming years making it the centrepiece for the region.

bme truck dealer
2016 – Woodstock Expansion

Growth in Ontario is rapid, facilitating the need for what would be the first of many expansions to our Ontario anchor facility in Woodstock. Four additional truck service bays are added and seamlessly integrated into the existing facility.

bme truck dealer
2017 – Pierce Dealership

A banner year for Commercial begins with securing the Western Canadian dealership for Pierce Manufacturing, immediately catapulting Commercial to the forefront of the emergency apparatus dealer landscape in Canada. Commercial would add Ontario to its territory by the end of the year, shortly becoming Canada’s largest emergency apparatus dealer by both territory and volume.

bme truck dealer
2017 – Canadian Towing Equipment Acquisition

Further expanding its offering in Ontario, Commercial acquires Canadian Towing Equipment Inc. (Cantow), the market leader for towing & recovery vehicles in Ontario. This acquisition makes Commercial the largest towing & recovery supplier in Canada and one of the largest in North America. Canadian Towing Equipment has served the Ontario towing industry for over 25 years and continues to operate under the same name from locations in Ayr, ON and North York, ON.

bme truck dealer
2020 – Appointed Oshkosh Airport Products Dealership

Commercial is appointed the Canadian dealership for Oshkosh Airport Products. This major new partnership provides the Oshkosh Striker – the world-leading ARFF vehicle and other industry-leading Oshkosh products to airports across Canada.

bme truck dealer
2021 – Second Woodstock Expansion

Commercial outgrows its Woodstock, ON branch yet again due to unprecedented customer demand for service and production. Commercial adds another 10,000 sq. ft. in the form of expanded parts warehousing, additional office space, and four additional bays to keep up with demand, pushing the building footprint to nearly 40,000 sq. ft.

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2021 – Canadian Towing Equipment Expansion

Pushing to meet customer demand for the market-leading tow and recovery equipment from Miller Industries, Canadian Towing Equipment acquires additional surrounding buildings, bringing Canadian Towing Equipment’s Ayr, ON footprint to 45,000 square feet on 7 acres.

bme truck dealer
2021 – Awarded National Terex Dealership

Owing to its dealership success in Western Canada, Commercial is awarded the Terex dealership for Ontario and Eastern Canada. Having long been in the utility equipment business in this region beforehand, the ability to distribute Terex Utilities products across Canada positions Commercial Utility Equipment as the clear leader in Canadian utility equipment.

bme truck dealer
2022 – Surrey Parts Expansion

Due to British Columbia parts demand, the Surrey facility expands by completing a 10,000 sq. ft. auxiliary parts warehouse. This expansion adds to our already impressive quantity of locally stocked parts for our BC customers.

bme truck dealer
2022 – Appointed BME Fire Trucks Dealer

Commercial is appointed the BME Fire Trucks dealer for Ontario, Western Canada and all territories. This greatly expands Commercial’s offering to rural and wildfire departments with BME’s ruggedized tactical series of wildland apparatus.

bme truck dealer
2022 – Edmonton Flagship Facility

Spurred by continued growth and significantly constrained by the existing Edmonton facility, Commercial plans and builds a new 50,000 sq. Ft. facility in Strathcona County. The new Edmonton facility has 19 double-long service and production bays, a 12,000 sq. Ft. floor-to-ceiling parts warehousing area, 17 offices and a beautiful open concept showroom.

bme truck dealer
2023 – Acquired Euroway Industrial Service

Commercial acquires Euroway Industrial Service Co., a leading Winnipeg-based truck equipment service and installation provider. This acquisition ensures a dedicated, long-term presence for Commercial’s operations in Manitoba and serves customers throughout the region with service, parts and sales from a skilled and experienced team.

bme truck dealer
2023 – Awarded McNeilus Dealership

Entering the refuse and recycling collection market in a major new partnership, Commercial is awarded the exclusive dealership for McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing Inc. Leveraging our industry leading branch network and unmatched customer servicing capabilities, Commercial will be providing refuse sales, service and parts distribution from BC to Ontario including all three territories.

bme truck dealer
2023 – Deliver First Fully Electric Utility Trucks

Demonstrating its expertise and experience as the Canadian leader in work truck electrification and vocational fleet sustainability, Commercial Utility Equipment completes the integration of a set of fully-electric utility aerial devices. These International eMV’s with Viatec SmartPTO’s are some of the first fully electric utility trucks to be delivered to customers in Canada.

bme truck dealer
2024 – Present Day
Providing Expert Truck, Utility, and Emergency Equipment Solutions Across Canada

Today, The Commercial Group of Companies is the largest and most dominant entity in the Canadian truck equipment space. 100% Canadian owned and operated with 350+ employees, 13 total locations across the country and 120+ market-leading product lines available to the first responders and essential workers that help save lives, keep the lights on, keep the roads clear, and keep Canadians connected.

staff member at commercial truck equipment
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