Be a professional righter

Clearly, as you read these blogs you will find that I am far from a professional writer.

Sad, very sad.

The good news is I have learned to be a professional righter. I am not an expert. Experts stop learning, and I hope to some day die saying I never stopped learning. (Hopefully, the dying part takes quite a while)

According to

righter [rahy-ter]noun

a person who rights or redresses:a righter of wrongs.

We all make mistakes. I make mistakes. My dealership makes mistakes. The banks I deal with makes mistakes. The upfitters I use make mistakes. The manufacturers make mistakes. You get the point.

Own it and move on. This isn’t even a debate about whether the customer (another term I do not use, but in this example it works) is always right or not. It is a matter of honesty and integrity.

The key to this is patience and persistence. If you are not a patient person, working with work trucks and the clients we take care of is NOT for you. Our transactions take longer, and the products we produce take longer to receive. So, as they say in the military hurry up and wait. The rewards are more satisfy and our clients appreciate it. They reward us with relationships that last decades, instead of hours. We are in the relationship business. Not here to sell a truck and move on.


So, my suggestion is to track the problem back to the source and fix it right. Do not fix a problem be creating another problem. So, sometimes fixing it takes extra time and patience. (its almost like there is a theme in this post) If you fix the problem the right way then there will not be a snowballing avalanche of problems to follow.

For example, we received a quote from a vendor. They missed that the van we were building had sliding doors on both sides of the van. This is not a common option that we select from the factory. Once the van was in the shop it was clear to the upfitter that the mounting rails would not fit to install the shelving we had ordered. They called us in a panic. We asked for options that will not look ridiculous and not cost the client any shelving space. They ran two plausible scenarios by us. We called the client and told them the issues, and gave the client both options. The client couldn’t believe we were calling. Not because that there was a problem, but he couldn’t believe that we were calling to give him solutions! He picked the solution that we thought he would, but now he proactively knows, and there will not be any surprises.

Clients want someone who will be proactive, and communicate. Those communications need to be honest and understandable. It completely baffles me when people are surprised that I am telling them problems and that I have solutions. Apparently too often there are people who assume they can just deliver a product with alterations and it’s “no big deal,” or better yet, “now it’s their problem.

I prefer to make clients for life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you have more specific questions feel free to contact me. I will do my best to help direct you on the right path.

How do I Build the Right Work Truck?

Clients come to us all the time. Many have a handle on what they want in their vehicle. Many do not.  They have an idea, but they do not want to build the wrong configuration.

Our job is to decipher the information and help build a functional vehicle that will efficiently make them money.

Where do we start? <Insert joke about “the beginning” here.>

I try to do a needs analysis with the client. This is easy when we have done business together before. However, when we are just meeting, this is often met with various levels of resistance. So, the key is to investigate not interrogate. We will get to that more in a minute.

The reason for the questions, are to make sure you have thought or know all of the options available. Our clients are well educated in the art of configuring vehicles. Some clients way over-think it, and some just haven’t had enough experience in what is available. This usually results in them spending too much. So, we take more time to figure out what the vehicle will be used for. That way we can make sure that the vehicles are as versatile as possible. The drivers using the vehicle can make one trip instead of multiple trips, or take one vehicle instead of two or three vehicles. That way they save on fuel, maintenance, and as much overhead as possible. So, why the extra expenses? To save you more money overall.

Clients often get interrogated. Why? Why? Why? The sales person sounds more like an inquisitive 5-year-old instead of a guide. That is all we are in sales. Guides. We gather information and relay suggestions so people can make educated decisions. If you are selling, then you are trying too hard. Just guide the clients through the options and they will naturally want to do business with you and always come back for more. So, investigating and asking questions that will help a client understand WHY we are asking the basic questions will help everyone succeed. More often than not we have to educate them on what their friend did, or thought the friend did is not exactly what we need to do to be the most efficient and effective.

If you have an electrician and he has been working in a low roof van for years. We point out the lost time when your electrician has knee problems because he has to crawl in and out of his overflowed van. If we buy a little bigger van that has a high roof, now the employee can walk in and out of the van. Have more area to store parts and therefore find the parts quicker, or have them at all at once instead of needing to make multiple trips. Plus, with us based in the Northwest, it rains. They now have a working mobile canopy area to assemble parts and pieces for the job site.

I stopped trying to sell vehicles years ago. Ironically, people buy more vehicles every year from my team and me than the year prior. They call us, and we do not harass them with “you wanna buy something? No? How about now?”

We as a dealer we rely on a lot of outside information. We gather that information from the manufacturers like RAM. I use their pages constantly. As well as, the upfit manufacturers like Knapheide and their detailed specification pages. Plus, the expertise of our local upfitters, like Allied Body Works. The NTEA (National Trucking and Equipment Association) is a vital resource for all of us. So, together with all of this combined knowledge of previous successes and failures, we can help save you time and money.

We could all use more time and money.

Working on the work truck side of a dealer for 15 plus years as allowed me the experience of witnessing plenty of the successes and failures. Being on the cautious side of life, thankfully the failures I have endured are minor learning experiences. I have had to tell more than a few people that we will not build their project for legal reasons. Liability to a dealership is a real thing. We never want to put a vehicle out there on the road that we know will eventually injure someone. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people that ask me to turn a blind eye to these, and I gladly tell them no.

Honesty and integrity are something that can be easily earned, and easily lost. However, once you lose it is gone. Clients may give us a second chance, but the likelihood is slim to none. So, every opportunity is appreciated and taken very seriously.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you have more specific questions feel free to contact me. I will do my best to help direct you on the right path.