Everyone has a story to tell and this one is about Collins Brothers CEO/President, Monster Truck owner and St. Cloud Mayoral candidate James Trantina III.  James grew up in Elk River where is father was a home building/contractor and his mother was an executive assistant, then realtor and now she works for him.  James has 2 older sisters and 1 younger sister.  He was interested in anything to do with an engine as a kid.  James got into racing as a youngster racing quad and dirt bikes as early as 5 years old.  He recalls doing a lot of work outside and could often be seen on job sites with his dad.

James Trantina III (photo courtesy of James Trantina)
James Trantina III (photo courtesy of James Trantina)
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James played a lot in the sand box, with trucks and cars and also got into tractor pulling at a young age.  He also got involved with demolition derbies.  He recalls being 2-years old when he hoped on his first 3-wheeler.  James says his dad was also interested in engines and was involved with demolition derby.  James started competing in demolition derbies when he was 14 years old.  He did that for 20 years.

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After graduation from Elk River High School James thought about a career in law enforcement and had plans to become a State Trooper.  At that time he had started towing in Elk River.  He says he enjoyed the job and liked how he was helping people and that everyday was different.  Trantina decided to stay in the towing industry instead of pursuing a career in law enforcement.  He says the person who owned Collins Brothers Towing in Elk River was a neighbor of his growing up.  When James turned 21 he started working for him part-time in Elk River.  At 23-years old James moved to St. Cloud and started at Collins Brothers Towing in St. Cloud.  He says he worked everyday for a year without time off and worked hard to establish the Collins Brothers Towing name.  James ended up buying the St. Cloud Collins Brothers location after a couple years.  He says today Collins Brothers has grown to over 400 trucks and 400 employees.

James Trantina (photo courtesy of James Trantina)
James Trantina (photo courtesy of James Trantina)
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James not only owns Collins Brothers towing but he owns a racetrack in Sauk Rapids and more than 20 monster trucks.  He not only was a monster truck driver but the monster trucks he owns perform throughout the country.  He bought his first monster truck in 2016, sold it 2 years later and then got back into it in 2021.  Trantina says his monster truck team is the largest independent team in the country.  He says all these trucks are based on the south side of St. Cloud.

James is 38 years old.  He and his wife, Briana have been married for 7 years and  have 4 kids.  James is running for mayor of St. Cloud.  He says when longtime Mayor Dave Kleis chose not to run for re-election he decided to run.  Trantina believes his CEO experience puts him in a good spot to be the CEO of the city of St. Cloud.

If you'd like to listen to my 4-part conversation with James Trantina, it is available below.

 

 

 

 

 

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