One of the most critical things we handle at Expertec is to find other companies in the upfitting and outfitting business and to understand how their actions are impacting the industry.
Every year, we reach out and speak with dozens of companies to understand their goals and products and in only the rarest of circumstances do we actually partner with those companies. The truth of the matter is that a lot of companies cannot meet the expectations we set for our customers and the work we do.
On the other hand, when we do find those companies who are actually changing the face of the truck and van upfitting industry, we take every opportunity to learn from them and to develop a relationship with them. Most recently, Future Line Manufacturing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has become one of our partners.
Now, for those of you who haven’t heard of Future Line, they specialize in the manufacturing of all aluminum truck bodies from half ton trucks to Class 8 trucks. What we really love about them is they use aircraft grade aluminum for its strength, light-weight, and corrosive resistance properties. In the end, all of their truck bodies are 40% to 50% lighter than comparable steel bodies and yet, the durability of their products is on par with steel – especially when it comes to the finishes they can apply to these decks.
One of the core parts of our strategy for partnering with companies like Future Line is to actually go and visit their facilities. When you put “boots on the ground” you gain an entirely new perspective of how a company operates, the vibe their employees put out, and the overall feel for the company. You can tell from the minute you walk in if they are as serious as you in how they conduct business, and that was exactly what happened when Expertec’s own Garth Pittman, Parts and Service Manager, and President Mark Bond toured the Future Line Manufacturing plant in August.
Regional Sales Manager Dan Wiley and Operations Consultant Jennifer Heller showed the Expertec team how Future Line Manufacturing’s all-aluminum products are made and demonstrated the new and upgraded machines their teams use in the plant.
You might be wondering why we’d travel all the way to Iowa to find the right company and the answer is simple – we wanted to procure a supplier of quality aluminum truck decks who could meet our strict demands on timeliness – now and in the future.
As we began to research the many options that Future Line offered, it became obvious we were working with a company that was focused on the future. Not only have they done considerable research into the production and fabrication aspects of aluminum truck beds and dump bodies, they have also invested substantial time into their assembly.
At a time when every business and tradesman is concerned about costs, Future Line has determined that all other things being equal, their aluminum decks represent up to 12% savings in fuel costs with the considerable weight reduction over other non-aluminum decks.
The result, of course, is larger payloads with fewer fuel stops and when our team went to Cedar Rapids, they saw an operation that was focused not only on making a great product but were committed to making that product more efficient day after day.
Future Line, as we found, has organized their company in such a way as to allow them to easily produce a variety of products quickly – based on their customers’ and partners’ needs. Without getting too lost in the details, it’s imperative for us, in our business relationships, to be able to count on companies that can meet our own delivery standards and not give excuses.
Future Line does that and we are proud to have partnered with them. In fact, our “demo” truck in our Abbotsford location just received a Future Line deck and as you can see, the little “extra” touches that Future Line builds into their products – like LED lights that are completely sealed from the elements and hinged sides and tailgate – look great and add considerably to the functionality of the deck in particular and the truck as a whole.
We’re pleased to be a new distributor of Future Line Manufacturing and are excited to be able to offer their excellent products to our customers here in Canada.