U-Haul Soars Again with DeGroot Family

BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y.Edward DeGroot may be new to the U-Haul dealer world, but as the son of a former dealer he’s no stranger to the U-Haul family.

His 83-year-old father, Wallace “Dee” DeGroot, is a former U.S. Air Force engineer who flew in the Korean War and piloted aircraft for numerous companies into his late 70s.

“I think they finally told him to stop flying when they asked him what the ‘E’ stood for on the fuel gauge and he said, ‘Enough,’” Edward DeGroot recalled with a laugh.

Wallace “Dee” DeGroot (left) is seen in 1961 working at his Flying A & U-Haul service station in Syracuse, N.Y.During those rare times when Dee DeGroot had his feet on the ground, he managed five Flying A service stations in Syracuse, N.Y. in the 1960s, each of them stocked with U-Haul trailers for rent.

His father’s successful affiliation with U-Haul played a part in the younger DeGroot’s decision to become a dealer last fall, creating DeGroot Auto Detailing and U-Haul Dealership.

Edward DeGroot was a repo man who got his start by recovering a U-Haul utility dolly disguised with black paint in someone’s trunk. He eventually left the repossession business and opened DeGroot Auto Detailing three years ago.

“We are here for them when the U-Haul equipment comes in,” DeGroot emphasized. “We wash and clean the equipment. We are a detailing shop, so it’s kind of second nature to us.”

The combination of superior service, additional equipment and accessible location has made DeGroot Auto Detailing one of North America’s top U-Haul dealers.

DeGroot Auto Dealing and U-Haul Dealership is run by 2nd generation U-Haul Dealer Edward DeGroot, along with his son Edward Jr.“We’re doing OK. We hustle,” DeGroot admitted. “A lot of stuff my dad taught me is still in place.”

Although Edward DeGroot’s and his father’s U-Haul affiliations are more than 50 years apart, they share a proud family legacy and a sterling U-Haul track record. Plus, with Edward DeGroot’s 23-year-old son, Edward Jr., working for the family business as well, there’s a chance the legacy could carry on for at least another generation.

What's New