Abington, MA based Walsh Mechanical Contractors, a manufacturer and distributor of HVAC systems, increased productivity and added flexibility to their delivery service by bringing it in-house. The Demountable Truck Body System from Demountable Concepts, Inc. contributed to the move’s success by streamlining delivery processes, which in turn, helped control costs by minimizing the amount of fleet equipment necessary to meet obligations, according to company President, Paul M. Le Bel, Sr.
Prior to implementing the Demountable System, Walsh contracted local trucking companies to deliver their HVAC systems to regional construction projects, but this delivery method often came up short. Occasional rush orders would delay other time-critical deliveries. Workers experienced downtime waiting for trucks to arrive. And on occasion, time was lost determining the best way to load unfamiliar trucks. Walsh also felt it was important for their drivers to be familiar with the company’s products and comfortable handling them.
Management at Walsh knew that bringing the delivery portion of their operation in-house would provide more control over scheduling and enable them to train and utilize company drivers for an enhanced level of customer service. But, they didn’t want to tie-up capital by investing in a large number of trucks during uncertain economic times. Walsh considered PUP trailers, but the expense of adding Class A CDL drivers to the payroll was something they hoped to avoid.
Walsh determined that straight-trucks were the most cost-effective option since most of their deliveries are in urban areas, including downtown Boston, where there’s limited room to maneuver large trucks and trailers. By integrating the Demountable Truck Body System into their straight-trucks the company gained the functionality of quickly “swapping” bodies and the ability to utilize different types of bodies with each truck.
The Walsh in-house fleet consists of two straight-trucks, six demountable van bodies and a demountable flatbed body. Both trucks are outfitted with a hydraulic lifting and locking mechanism and each body has heavy-duty steel retractable legs built into its base-frame so it can stand on its own and be loaded independent of the truck.
The Demountable System streamlined Walsh’s entire operation in the following ways. Warehouse personnel load orders into freestanding bodies at the facility while drivers simultaneously deliver to the job-site with another body on the truck. Scheduling emergency shipments is less disruptive, and easier, because a demountable body is always available for loading. The loading process is standardized because workers are familiar with the bodies and can pre-plan the best way arrange each shipment on the truck. These enhancements save time and labor and increase productivity throughout the day, which helps to control costs because less fleet equipment is needed to accomplish the same amount of work.
In addition, Demountable bodies provide Walsh with a convenient storage alternative that is an inexpensive extension of their warehouse. They also have the option to leave a loaded body at a job site for the customer to unload when their schedule permits. The flatbed body provides two-trucks-in-one functionality for delivering oversized items without the cost of contracting a specialized carrier or adding another truck to the fleet.
The Demountable System “recession-proofs” companies by reducing fleet size and associated operating costs such as insurance and maintenance. It also facilitates quick, inexpensive growth because companies can increase the volume of deliveries possible by adding demountable bodies, as opposed to purchasing new trucks. The ability to load multiple bodies at a facility while the truck is making deliveries also eliminates costly overtime and second shifts and reduces the likelihood of damage and accidents caused by rush loading.
Demountable Concepts, Inc., established in 1989, is North America’s premier manufacturer and supplier of the Demountable Truck Body System and the Warehouse on Wheels Portable Distribution System. Both Demountable Systems are available through most truck leasing companies and dealerships and the company has a North American network that provides installation and service for new and existing trucks. Demountable Concepts doesn’t manufacture truck bodies, but supplies body-builders with the components necessary to make bodies interchangeable.