Fabick Truck Service

Fabick Truck Service

Eaton support helping Cat dealer jump into drive-line business

“Other suppliers that are producing transmissions and clutches are out there. But we want to stick with a company whose name is recognized in the industry, and as far as I am concerned, Eaton has one of the strongest names when it comes to clutches and transmissions. We definitely see this partnership going long term.”

Theodore Brooks
Truck parts specialist,Fabick Truck Service


You have to wonder if they will ever actually do it. That’s because, for the second consecutive year, they have put it off for another year.

Theodore Brooks and Jerry Gruber, two veteran after-market parts professionals in the commercial truck industry, get together annually in Las Vegas for a trade show and like to dine at the Top of the World restaurant. It sits 800 feet above ground atop the Stratosphere Hotel and revolves 360 degrees to provide magnificent views of the city.

Also way up there is a giant teeter totter-type ride known as X-Scream that propels riders 27 feet headfirst over the edge of the hotel where they dangle weightlessly over the famous Las Vegas Strip. It’s awfully intimidating.

So much so, Brooks and Gruber just haven’t been able to bring themselves to take the leap. Not yet anyway.

Conversely, they have not been procrastinating at all in recently building a highly successful new program for after-market part sales.

Brooks is the truck parts specialist for Fabick Truck Service, a family-owned Cat dealership with more than 600 employees and 13 locations in eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. Gruber is a parts and solution manager for the central region for Eaton.


Brooks is responsible for inventory control and the buying and selling of after-market truck parts for all of Fabick’s 13 locations.

“Downtime doesn’t work in this industry,” says Brooks. “I have to have the parts on the shelves in each of our locations. Otherwise our customers will go somewhere else for that part. I’m responsible for making sure that doesn’t happen. ”

Brooks was also tasked with finding new business opportunities when Cat decided two years ago to exit the on-highway heavy-duty engine business.

“Our warranty work was going away, and we wanted to retain our parts and service people,” relates Brooks. “So we needed to look for opportunities that were not just underneath the hood, and find new sources to generate additional work and revenue.

“When you look at the areas where fleets are spending the most money, it’s fuel first, tires second and the drive-line is a close third. At the time, unfortunately, we had no drive-line supplier.”


He does now. Brooks decided one year ago to partner with Eaton and quickly jumped into the replacement clutch and transmission business. He says his replacement clutch business has really taken off, with the Eaton Advantage Series his clutch of choice.

Eaton’s top-of-the-line Advantage Series Solo and Advantage Series Easy Pedal clutches are the number one OEM (original equipment manufacturer) specification in North America and offer maximum uptime and performance. Highlights of the Advantage Series include:

  • 50,000-mile lubrication intervals for linehaul applications.
  • Proprietary facing material for longer life and better engagement.
  • New patent pending release bearing provides increased
  • Lubrication and improved strength to help extend clutch life.
  • Premium dampening through Eaton’s Vibration Control Technology (VCT).
  • Aftermarket industry best 2-year/unlimited miles warranty protection.
  • All Advantage Series clutches are precisely designed and manufactured to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) specifications.

Brooks also likes to bundle his clutches with genuine re-manufactured Eaton transmissions and RoadRanger-approved lubrication to gain an additional year of warranty coverage. Cat likes the bundle arrangement so much the company adds another year of warranty coverage extending the protection for Eaton drive-lines to four years.


“Our warranty is unmatched,” adds Brooks. “We essentially have a warranty that no one else can match.”

That warranty, he believes, along with the support that he receives from Eaton and Gruber have helped make the transition into the drive-line a very profitable one.

“Jerry has been a valuable partner in all of this,” he says. “The contributions from him and others at Eaton have been astronomical in expanding our business and allowing us to get bigger pieces of the after-market.”

Brooks believes the Eaton name also carries a lot of weight with customers.

“Other suppliers that are producing transmissions and clutches are out there,” says Brooks. “But we want to stick with a company whose name is recognized in the industry and as far as I am concerned, Eaton has one of the strongest names when it comes to clutches and transmissions.

“We definitely see this partnership going long term.”

But will it be long enough to someday see him and Gruber jumping off the Stratosphere?

“The plan is to definitely do it next year,” says Brooks.

If not, there’s always another year after that.