Wednesday, September 30, 2009

EPSILON Timber and Recycling Crane Comes To North America

PALFINGER North America continues to "Reach New Horizons"
  • The EPSILON timber and recycling crane comes to North America
  • New product series from PALFINGER launches Fall 2009

Niagra Falls, Ontario -- September 25, 2009

"Continuing to strengthen our footprint in the Americas is a must!" This is the message made by Mark Woody, President of Palfinger North America following the announcement to all Palfinger North America employees earlier today stating the EPSILON timber and recycling crane will now be an additional product offering in North and Latin America.

EPSILON, which is part of the PALFINGER Group; manufactures hydraulic knuckle boom cranes (loaders) designed for high cycle, heavy-duty applications, such as forestry, scrap processing and waste hauling.

With the say "The customer is the best developer" PALFINGER North America is always receptive to their wishes and suggestions. "More and more customers are asking for a product specific to timber and recycling applications", says Woody. "The EPSILON product will provide users with a practical solution for their loading situations where high dynamic stresses occur."

Vigorous movements and high speeds characterize recycling and scrap handling industries, along with continuous, heavy grab duty. The cranes have to work quickly and are often on continuous duty. The EPSILON cranes are characterized by numerous solution-oriented features which make the driver's job easier.

Standard features include the double slewing system and a steel casting column, radio remote or stand-up controls, spot lights, linkage system between the crane column and main boom and of course the highlights of EPSOLUTION, EPSCOPE AND EPSLINK.

The EPSILON product range will be introduced to the North American market at the ICUEE show next month in Louisville, Kentucky.

Get more information at www.palfinger-northamerica.com.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nice Red Knapheide Decked Out In Miami

This radical service body was shared with me by Mike Soich of Knapheide Manufacturing through the Knapheide Truck Equipment Southeast in Miami, Florida. Of course the red paint is always a hit with me, but look at the awesome wheels and tires that you would not normally see on this kind of truck! What a ride this makes! This unit was built for Master Mechanical Services Inc. and I am sure it is the star of the fleet. Nice job and thanks for the look.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Great Scelzi Enterprises Custom Service Body

I love this body application from Scelzi Enterprises, Inc., headquartered in Fresno, CA. Scelzi also has outlets in Washington state and southern California.

What I love about this body is how useful it can be to so many different contractors and end users. Why? Because of how the space is divided up and how it is used. Essentially this is like a 56" high service body, and because it has this cab height, the normally horizontal doors over the wheels are now vertical compartments giving the user so much more space for larger items or add more shelves for many more smaller items.

So many times in a service body, there are things that just won't fit in the compartment. Whether it is a chop saw, or some fancy piece of equipment, users need to store it away and be able to access it easily and keep it safe until they need it. In a standard service body, those items have needed to go in the open bed area where they are easily open to theft and weather. With this body, all the items are stored inside. Much like a van body in that respect; however this is way more useful than that.

Take the front compartment for example. It is a transverse compartment, so you could install long drawers, shelves, J-hooks, and many other ways to handle cargo, parts or tools. All the compartments are so deep on this body because there is no open bed area as with other bodies. Notice the rear compartment which is not normally there on a service body. A very interesting design.

Scelzi Enterprises has been building high quality service bodies for over 30 years. How do I know that? I used to sell against them--or at least try. They were never satisfied with leaving their product alone. They always were trying to make it better. Go figure!

Call Scelzi at 800-858-2883 and visit their new website at www.seinc.com. They will take great care of your needs.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Whole Lot Of Bling Going On! Vortex Doors & Harbor Truck

Some like them plain and some like them to Bling! Here we captured a truck in final stages being built for Vortex Doors by Harbor Truck Bodies in Brea, CA. They have been buying trucks just like this for a lot of years and their trucks stand out of the crowd, for sure.

First off, they are low pro bodies, so the top of the service body lids is at about the bottom of the rear window, in this case it is 34" high. This is a hard working truck that has a rear (most seem to be in the front) compartment for short welder bottles and the compartment is vented and set up for this task (See it in action on the Vortex website at www.vortexdoors.com). The rack has RackStraps on both sides. Then, a stainless steel vise bracket to the back of the right compartment.

Now we come to the bling! Polished aluminum treadplate is attached to the standard stainless steel lids, and the cargo compartment and backwrappers are covered in the same shiny treadplate. Add to this an unusual, but gorgeous chrome rear bumper and you have one sweet looking truck. Of course, we cannot forget the silver metallic base coat, clear coat paint job! It's a knockout! I'm sure their strategy was more protection from scratched paint and rust, but the bling has other obvious benefits! See more beautiful hard working Harbor bodies at www.htbi.net.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Royal Truck Body Raised Superstructure Works Well

This is a nice unit from Royal Truck Body in Sacramento, CA. It is very much like a raised Cargo Bed Enclosure except for one important thing: It doesn't open. Most Cargo Bed Enclosures have a sliding roof to open the area to access cargo. In this case, there is no sliding roof, so it is called a Superstructure. Fancy name for a permanent box.

In this particular case, the way this is made could have been a problem: Crawling into the back on hands and knees to fetch cargo. And, of course, you know it will be up front. . . Well, problem solved before it could be a problem. We put an 1800# capacity Bedslider in there and now it is absolutely perfect! Not only that, now I like the whole idea of it not opening. More security, less chance of moisture, etc.

Although this was originally supposed to be a raised Cargo Bed Enclosure, I am very pleased with the way it turned out. Just go to 'Plan B' and that works better than 'Plan A' anyway. So, here's a toast to mistakes gone right! I love it when that happens.

See more products from Royal Truck Body at their website: www.royaltruckbody.com. Tell them the 'Blog' sent you!

Friday, September 25, 2009

SpitzLift DC Aluminum Cranes


This is a SpitzLift DC Aluminum Crane mounted in a Knapheide KUV enclosed service body. The DC cranes are rated up to 900 lbs, yet weigh only about 40 lbs. and also folds for easy storage. It comes with a 10 ft. hand held controller to give you maximum flexibility.

The SpitzLift DC Crane comes standard with 15 ft. of abrasion resistant webbing (available up to 25') or cable up to 50 ft or synthetic rope up to 50 ft. SpitzLift Cranes are made from structural aluminum and are anodized for maximum corrosion resistance. All models are full range, dynamic static load tested and SpitzLift is OSHA and ANSI compliant. Units are also available with an AC motor.

Check out all the offerings and applications at www.spitzlift.net.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Knapheide Series 700 Service Body - Awesome!

On our tour of the expansive Carter Industries facilities in Union City, CA, I saw this unit in process of final installation. I've seen lots of Knapheide bodies (bought a few as well . . .) and you might think that what I thought was cool is the Tommy Gate G2 Liftgate. Yes, that is cool. It is also sweet that this unit was going on a crew cab Ford Lariet so the user will enjoy total luxury. Those are all cool.

What I got excited about when I saw this unit was that it was the first Knapheide "low pro" body I can recall ever seeing. The top of the lids at the bottom of the rear window makes this what I call a "low pro" body, making it look more like a pickup and a bit less like a truck body, yet still maintaining the rear truck body features. What is even more is that this is called a Series 700 body, which means that it has a long horizontal box with a small square box underneath on the curbside, while having the standard vertical boxes on the street side. This just gives the end user some flexibility that may help them a great deal.

All this works out to be a great combination. See more from Carter Industries, a Knapheide distributor at www.carterind.com. See more of Knapheide's great products at www.knapheide.com.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Adrian Steel Upfit in Ford Transit Connect by Carter Industries

While on a wonderful tour of Carter Industries in Union City, CA, we came across two new Ford Transit Connect's getting Adrian Steel upfits installed. A great little van with sliding access doors on each side makes it very useful for short deliveries and local jobs. If you're in Northern California and haven't had the opportunity to tour Carter Industries, I highly recommend that you give them a call at 800-310-6390.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Isuzu Truck NQR and Monroe Truck Equipment


This is a Monroe Truck Equipment 3-4 yard steel dump with dual fold down sides and quick-release rear tailgate. It also comes with cross memberless undercarriage for longevity in harsh winter areas. According to literature available at Monroe Truck Equipment's website, this unit should have a capacity of up to 5.3 yards with the boards installed as shown. The boards shown are composite material.

What I wanted to point out on this truck is that this is a sweet combination. The Isuzu NQR at 17,500 GVWR in the 109" wheelbase and the Monroe steel dump look like they were just made for each other. We have a number of other dumps on our lot, but this one looks so sharp! And, talk about maneuverability. . . it is so good that it will turn a circle inside the circle of a standard 8' pickup truck. Great mileage, great capacity, great looks. It all works.
Monroe Truck Equipment has several locations:
  • Monroe, WI 800-356-8134
  • Joliet, IL 800-892-7052
  • Green Bay, WI 800-848-5400
  • Flint, MI 877-233-2030
  • Marshfield, WI 800-882-1900
  • Galion, OH 800-978-8785
  • Louisville, KY 800-978-8785

There is much more to see at their website: www.monroetruck.com. Monroe Truck Equipment has been building quality upfits since 1958.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Road Service Dream Truck By Scelzi Enterprises







Scelzi Enterprises was kind enough to send me some photos of some interesting jobs they have done. Thank you, Scelzi! As I was looking through hundreds of photos, this unit caught my eye. It is absolutely unique and I have never seen anything quite like it. It was built for AAA Road Service for Galpin Ford in Southern California. They must love this truck!

What I think is interesting besides the color, is the way the boxes are designed, especially the ones on top. This is a serious mechanics truck. Look at the full house of drawers on the curbside including large size drawers. Look at the boxes on top. Get up in the back of the bed and you've got a long box on each side and one across the front of the bed. Add the fuel tank, welder bottle compartment, great work extension on the rear and you're in the luxury category. But wait. . . there's rope lighting throughout the entire body include each box (notice around the edge). Now, with a couple of flood lights they are 24-hour ready! Then, add a little bling in treadbright aluminum, crafty workmanship, thoughtful detail throughout and you have a high quality, anyone-would-be-proud-to-sell-it Scelzi body.

I can't wait to get to look at all the photos Scelzi has sent. See what Scelzi Enterprises can build for you. Call them at 800-858-2883 and visit their new website at www.seinc.com.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some Thoughts On Business: Sales Opportunities #1

Since we have taken this full on consulting job at a dealership to rebuild the once mighty commercial truck department, I have observed many things about salespeople and the opportunities they have with me as a buyer and how they recognize and treat those opportunities--as well as how they miss them.

I have to state up front that in these kind of advice posts, I am not wanting to state there is just a right and a wrong way to do things, but better than this, to point out what I observe and how I feel or respond to various salespeople from body companies and other salespeople selling a variety of services and products. You choose what is right and wrong as you will. Since I teach sales and have for many years, I am always interested to see how a salesperson approaches me and treats me. Since I am right now in the position of being a buyer, this is a great opportunity to watch and try to understand methods and thinking.

The Product and Salesperson Likability Is Not The Key


I am buying a number of units and have been for a few months. I have my personal favorite body companies and my favorite most loved body reps, but I am buying the majority of my items from others. Product is not the key. Salesperson likability is not the key. The key is helping me most with my objectives in building this department. How I am assisted in this arena is everything. In this, one company has stood high above the rest. As a direct result of this, they have received a high percentage of my business. As long as they continue in giving me what I need to help move this department forward, they will continue to get a high percentage of my business. It is that simple to me.

There are some companies that have much, much more product and a better selection of product as well, but the product is only a small part of the story. Of course, the ideal would be to have the best mix, best product, best price, best service, best relationship and best location. Who has that? No one I know. Most build good quality products with similar features and benefits. I can sell all of them, so one is not necessarily better than others. It is interesting that the one who works with you the best, how one will start liking them more and more, even if you weren't a fan to begin with.

It's not the product or the rep, but the overall strategy of partnering with your customer. I like the word partner a lot because that is what I look for in a company. How can we work together to achieve each other's objectives profitably and effectively? That is the best.

How To Become More Of A Partner
(and get more business!)


Here are some ideas to ponder about becoming more of a partner with your client. It is strictly from my own perspective of my own preferences. Call it how to sell me, if you like, but I think there are thousands, perhaps millions, like me with these preferences:
  • Contact me regularly so I don't forget you. How often should you call? There is nothing wrong with once a week to me. You need not take a lot of time in the call. Just touch base and see how things are going, is there anything you can do to help in any way, is everything okay with the product and service, and things like that. If everything is going well, it might take 2-3 minutes and you're back on your day. This regular contact demonstrates how much you care and how interested you are. Partners are very interested!
  • Show up regularly. Maybe this would be twice a month. It doesn't necessarily need to be any more than this, but what I want you to do is to look at my products and make suggestions. You would be the expert and give me advice of what might work better. You should know my product inside and out, else how could you give any advice? MOST IMPORTANT: Always, always, always have an appointment! DO NOT show up unannounced. That is rude and counterproductive. When I was a body rep, one client said, "look at my inventory first, otherwise you have nothing to say to me." I took that to heart and not only knew each clients inventory, I recorded it on every visit. One client called me once and asked me for a certain unit, I looked and said, "you have one in stock, VIN number 000909." Sure enough, they forgot they had it in stock.
  • When I order, remind me of options. I love options and always have. I was the king of options as a body rep because I suggested them to my clients. I would like the same. I forget about lift gates sometimes on service bodies, but that is a great application, so suggest them. Rackstraps is a great option and many times I just don't think about it, but I would buy those most of the time because it is a huge value to the end user, so suggest them! Know your own product and what I stock so you can make these kind of suggestions. It's not about you trying to tear my head off with additions, but it is about what is of value to the end user and how it gives me a leg up by having these in stock when others are timid. I like a leg up.
  • Take a lemon and make lemonade. Got any mis-built bodies lying around? Someone backed out of an order and left you holding the goods? I love those kind of opportunities. Tell me about them, and especially if there is a special deal going along for the ride. The best way to make profit is in the original purchase. How you buy is very important to the bottom line. I am always looking for ways to improve profit (we get paid on that and the dealer likes it too!) opportunities. Got something weird? I am always looking for something different and interesting. It gets my sales-guy juices flowing. Make me a list of your challenges and I just might help you be a super star!
  • Don't ply me with cash rewards for myself. Find ways to help me move the needle and it will never be cash to me or my team. Want to give cash? Give it to my dealer. He puts up the capital to buy them to begin with. Pay his or her flooring bill for a few months. That will move the needle. What we need more than anything is and will always be more customers or potential customers. We also need better products, better options, better service and better support. Of course, better pricing always works too.
  • I don't make my decisions on price alone; however, price is always a concern. I don't buy the lowest price any more than my clients buy the lowest price. I would pay the highest price if everything else that we need is taken care of. So, price is important because it is important to my clients, but I learned a long time ago that only 4% buy price and I am not one of them. Needless to say, this does NOT mean that when you show me a bargain I shouldn't pass up that I will turn you down. I am always looking for profit opportunities.
  • Service. If there is something on my lot that needs attention, I expect you to find a way to make it not need attention quickly. I can tell you this: I have some units on my lot that need attention and they are not being handled by the body company that made them. I made mention of it to the rep, but nothing has happened. It is not a huge deal, but it is interesting to see what kind of service I get and from whom. I am confident they would like more orders, but I will cherry pick that company only. How are your customers reacting to your service? You know they will. It is a matter of how. If I have to, I will pay to have it fixed myself and move on. Of course, the company who made it will not even know this problem exists, will they? I am not into telling them every week. I am looking for who my partners are and they are not acting anything like a partner.

Whatever product or service you are selling, some of these insights should be valuable to you in helping you become better and make more sales.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Interesting Welder Body from Royal Truck Body

Here's a sweet welder body from Royal Truck Body. Notice the great work platform with smooth steel floor and V-groove, the slightly raised front compartments. This unit is approximately 10' and mounted on a 60" CA dual rear chassis.

Something a little different on this is the streetside front raised compartment. Notice that it has a small transverse chamber specially designed to hold large gas bottles, while at the same time (or at different times), there is space for shorter bottles in the compartment itself. Very interesting design. Since the transverse area is relatively small and the welder mounted in the back hides it, one would not even suspect it exists.

My favorite part of this body is the rear work area. It is made of heavier smooth steel rather than just continuing the floor further out. Considering the pounding and miscellaneous other activities a welder gets involved in, this work area is going to be a big hit (no pun intended). It has the additional factor of looking great. It always works out best when both those elements are there, doesn't it?

Call Royal Truck Body at 800-834-7692 and please take some time to visit their website at www.royaltruckbody.com.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Carter Industries Offers Alum-Line Aluminum Flatbeds

This is the 8' Aluminum Flatbed built especially for Carter Industries of Union City, CA by Alum-Line, Inc. The flatbed is 8' 6" long by 80" wide and is all aluminum construction with .125 treadplate flooring, crossmembers on 16" centers, extruded aluminum main frame that is .150 thickness, louvered, tapered headboard. The bed is so light that it makes sense to put this body on a half-ton pickup that is box-off certified. A 9' gooseneck platform is also available. In addition there are numerous gate options from stake gates to short fold-down gates to light weight lift out gates.

Call Carter Industries at 800-310-6390 and visit their site at www.carterind.com.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Masterack Slide-Down Ladder Rack

This is the Masterack Slide-Down (TM) Ladder Rack that easily lowers ladders "within arms reach (TM)." This rack has an easy-to-use actuator handle that pivots the ladder to the side of the van for safe, efficient operation and the hydraulic assist option gently lowers the ladder for additional ease-of-us and provides added safety and less wear. It is zinc plated and powder coated for maximum outdoor protection. All of the ladder contact areas are protected with vinyl covered stops and anti-skid strips. The rack includes a padlock feature for security and it is adjustable to fit different extension ladders up to 32 ft. This rack is available in a single side or dual side slide-down version.

To see all the great products from Masterack, go to www.masterack.com.