E.M. Tharp, Inc. is known throughout the West as the leading trucking sales, parts and service provider – a reputation that has been earned through eight decades of pure dedication to keeping promises and getting every job done right the first time.
It’s that dedication that can be traced through three generation of Tharps, right back to E.M. “Gene” Tharp himself, the man who started it all in 1938. Gene quickly developed the original E.M. Tharp Trucking firm from a single used truck into a fleet of tractors and specialty equipment – a commercial hauling business that thrived for over 25 years.
In the early 1960s, with his sons Morris and Michael, the family business grew in a different direction: selling new and used trucks from a full-service International Harvester dealership. It’s been said that Gene never knew a stranger and had a wonderful way with folks. Along with an uncanny ability to “horse trade” and bargain, he built a western United States clientele that continues to count on E.M. Tharp to this very day.
The Tharp family, anticipating the coming “Supercenter” trend, began building a comprehensive One-Stop Truck Center near Porterville in 1968. The truck sales headquarters soon were complemented by a parts department, repair shop, body shop, fuel shop and a welding and tire shop. Next, they added Viking Trailer Corporation, a family-owned trailer manufacturer, leasing and finance companies, forklift and golf cart outlets, and American Truck Parts Company, a premier salvage operation.
Expansion For The Future
Morris Tharp became President of the company when Gene retired in 1981. Morris began an aggressive expansion phase by purchasing dealerships in Fresno and Bakersfield with Golden State Peterbilt, becoming one of the first dual dealerships in the nation. More recently the company acquired the Fresno-area Kroeger Equipment & Supply.