Fitzgerald Truck Sales

Fitzgerald Truck Sales

Eaton transmissions providing loads of support for nation’s leading glider kit supplier

“Eaton is definitely helping Fitzgerald remain profitable and very much helping us maintain a healthy bottom line. For me personally they are giving me peace of mind because the products are so dependable and reliable…You cannot buy a product in the market that is better than Eaton.”

David Dyer
Purchasing Manager, Parts Manager, Warranty Administrator, Fitzgerald Truck Sales

Background

Fitzgerald Truck Sales, Byrdstown, Tenn., is the largest manufacturer of commercial truck glider kits in the U.S. In business for roughly 25 years now, the company was founded and is still run by the Fitzgerald family.

Eighty percent of the company’s business is repeat business, according to Tommy Fitzgerald, Sr., one of the founders. He attributes that to the dedication and attention to details that can, in most cases, best be provided by a family-owned and operated business.

Other members of the Fitzgerald family actively involved with the company include Rick Fitzgerald, Robert Fitzgerald and Tommy Fitzgerald, Jr.

Glider kits are essentially new trucks without engines, transmissions, clutches and drivelines and will typically cost up to 25 percent less than a truck made by an original equipment manufacturer. Freightliner and Peterbilt are the two suppliers of tractors for Fitzgerald.

Challenge

Being the number one supplier of those kits, however, has not stopped Fitzgerald Truck Sales from continuing to grow – be it repeat or new business.

“Our goal for this year was 1,500 glider kit sales,” says David Dyer, a 44-year trucking industry veteran and Fitzgerald purchasing manager, parts manager and warranty administrator. “But we are probably going to top 2,000. We’re doing about 32 a week right now and that will be going up to 40 soon.”

Dyer adds that he is responsible for making sure the pricing for the engines, transmissions and other components is where it needs to. He also has to make sure the quality of those parts is exceptional.

“We make a quality product and back it with the industry’s best warranty,” says Dyer. “That’s never going to change no matter how much we grow. So we are very particular when it comes to selecting vendors.”

Solution

That selection is 100 percent genuine Eaton when purchasing transmissions and clutches for every Fitzgerald kit.

“We have a lot of independent rebuilders trying to sell us product,” adds Dyer, “but we are not interested because the product and support we get from Eaton is unreal. In addition, the vast majority of our customers want genuine Eaton because they want the best.”

Because Dyer bundles his standard reman transmissions with an Advantage Series clutch and Roadranger-approved lubricant, he qualifies for Eaton’s 3-year/ unlimited miles warranty. An Eaton reman transmission is made exclusively with genuine Eaton parts and has more new parts than any competitive rebuild. Every unit is also performance tested to ensure quality specifications are always achieved.

Eaton’s Advantage Series clutches feature 50,000-mile standard lubrication intervals for linehaul applications, as well as premium patented release bearings and protection against the damage vibration can have on vital driveline components. Premium dampening is achieved through the use of Eaton’s Vibration Control Technology (VCT).

All Roadranger-approved lubricants have a unique formula containing high quality raw materials and additives that results in the trucking industry’s best heavy-duty truck drive system protection, performance and economy.

Result

“Eaton is definitely helping Fitzgerald remain profitable and very much helping us maintain a healthy bottom line,” adds Dyer. “For me personally they are giving me peace of mind because the products are so dependable and reliable.”

As warranty administrator, Dyer also likes the support he gets from Eaton in that area, even though claims seldom need to be made. He says less than one percent of the roughly 2,000 Eaton transmissions he purchases annually have warranty issues.

“But when they do, Eaton does a really good job for us,” says Dyer, “once again better than any other vendor we have.”

All of the Eaton transmissions are manual models, mostly 10-speeds with an occasional 13-speed and 18-speed arriving on a seemingly daily basis at Fitzgerald.

“I get Eaton transmissions galore in here,” he says. “And everyone is pretty much bullet proof in terms of durability.”

Eaton manual transmissions have been a trucking industry mainstay for decades and remain by far the market leader across all vocational applications. The gear boxes are available through all North American truck builders.

And, of course, Eaton manual transmissions are the only transmission anyone will ever see on a glider kit made by Fitzgerald Truck Sales.

“We would never even consider changing,” says Dyer. “You cannot buy a product in the market that is better than Eaton.”