"We have had an ongoing relationship with John over the years and we are pleased that he has chosen us to acquire his businesses," said Dave Zrostlik, president of Stellar Industries.
"John has been very instrumental to the tire service industry, and we look forward to building upon his legacy as he begins his transition into retirement."
Mr. Collins, who turned 75 recently, said he was pleased to see his company become part of Stellar, and that the deal should be beneficial for both parties with little if any overlap in their market coverage.
Tom Formanek, regional sales manager for Stellar and president of TIA, echoed Mr. Collins' sentiments and said Stellar anticipates a sound integration of ACI/TTI into Stellar.
Mr. Collins has been in the service truck business since 1969 when he joined Iowa Mold Tooling, also based in Garner. While there he established IMT's crane division and its OTR tire-service product line.
In 1982, he left IMT and founded his own company, Collins Equipment Co., where he developed the mini-OTR tire service truck.
Stellar Industries bought Collins Equipment and turned it into its own tire equipment division. Today Stellar Industries designs and supplies a range of hydraulic-based truck equipment and related accessories for a variety of industries.
Mr. Collins was inducted into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame in 2009, being recognized for his business acumen and product innovations. Among the latter is the IMT Tire Hand, which Mr. Collins patented and which has become an industry standard for installing and handling OTR tires.
More recently he's patented a 10,000-psi hydraulic system to operate jacks and bead breakers with a remote-controlled system, which eliminates the need for air-operated tools.