Walter immediately knew it was his vocation. He knew it, age fourteen, just as soon as he set foot in a garage in San Donà di Piave. Later, his passion for mechanics led him further from home. He was not yet eighteen, little more than a boy who woke up at dawn each day to prepare his packed lunch and leave for Marghera, in the province of Venice, and the first garage he worked for.

The first Sandonauto centre.

Walter loved the workshop. Perhaps it was that his father was a truck driver, or that he liked the smell of diesel, but Walter dreamed of a place of his own. Of course, he was good with engines, and fixing them, but fate had reserved something else for him.

At age 21, he already had the highest qualification for a mechanic. He had made short work of it all and perhaps he had outgrown his beloved workshop in Marghera. He certainly wanted more, but it was only there, in that job, that he felt truly at ease. What could he do?

For him, the workshop was like a home, a shelter. He felt exactly where he was supposed to be.

It was 1978 when Walter’s dream became reality

Walter Rorato opened his first workshop in San Donà, with all the experience he had gained during his years in Marghera behind him and full confidence in his entrepreneurial spirit, which had thus far always guided him along the right path.

Full of passion and enthusiasm, for him it wasn’t just about fixing trucks, it was about providing assistance 24 hours a day, because Walter believed that in order to guarantee his customers the best possible service, that service had to be available at any time and for any need. This concept of service is what still today distinguishes Sandonauto and which undoubtedly contributed to the growth of the company.

Walter’s dream didn’t stop there. His workshop and its business grew year after year. IVECO, the leading commercial vehicle company, chose Sandonauto as a partner in the 1980s, recognizing immediately Walter Rorato as a reliable entrepreneur full of the desire to expand further and the workshop’s value in only using original replacement parts, in wanting to distinguish itself in its service to customers and in always guarantee quality assistance. Walter and his mechanics constantly take IVECO training and refresher courses to keep up to date with industry news and to improve their standards of service.

Walter’s sons are ready to pick up the reins.

The new source of energy and determination on the foundation of many years of experience and unrivalled quality of service have brought great results. In 2002, Sandonauto was chosen by IVECO as the best service centre in its Italian sub-network. This milestone, achieved by Walter and his staff, is a great reward for the years of hard work.

The Rorato family. In the centre, Walter, to the right, Federico, to the left, Alessandro.

An ever-greater desire to expand.

2008 brought the next big step, the opening of a new and bigger Sandonauto centre in San Donà di Piave. The following year, a second branch opened in Portogruaro, and then, in 2012, another in Mestre.

After twenty-six years, the workshop is a reference point in the north-east, a business where skills, expertise and quality are always at the customer’s disposal, where the difference is in the quality of the service offered.

Sandonauto still has many goals to achieve, and thanks to its ongoing passion, the story is set to last for many more years.

With three centres, over fifty employees, a solid family business and many years of success, Walter Rorato still has that same twinkle in his eye as when he started out.