BUILT BETTER: A Tale of 2 Build Crews
The custom vehicle build process here at LDV is similar to an assembly line, without the line. From the initial vehicle concept and preconstruction meetings through the delivery, a custom truck makes its way through the different departments and areas as it is being built.
We started the Built Better series of blogs and social media posts to highlight the talent and craftsmanship as well as our vehicle build process. The latest in the series features two Build Crews and the custom trucks they are apart of.
Stall 6: Medical and More
Eric, Ben, Mick and Dave make up the Stall 6 Build Crew which assembles special service vehicles for markets such as law enforcement, government contracts, library outreach and of course, medical vehicles. They must be good at creating medical trucks because they find their way into this group’s stall often.
“We seem to build a lot of the medical vehicles,” says Eric, Crew Lead for the Stall 6 Special Service Vehicles (SSV) Build Crew. “We built all three of the Med Centro buses. They are huge trucks but all four of us really enjoyed working together on those.”
In order to stay on schedule, each crew member has assigned tasks. But if help is needed in other areas of the truck, they all pitch in. This is truly a team effort to finish the truck on time.
“Mick works in the cab area of the truck and does most of the wiring after a truck comes to us from the Prewire crew. He connects all of the modules, Intel-I-Touch™ and anything else needed in the front area. Ben handles the AV equipment. Dave does most of the HVAC work. But we all work together to assemble the truck as needed,” Eric told us.
Stall 6 job duties include wiring, plumbing, HVAC, assembly and more.
“It’s a lot like building a house,” said Ben, SSV Builder. “We work directly with our Fab Shop, Engineering, Project Managers, Upholstery Shop and more to complete these trucks.”
As of this writing, Dave is out having having surgery. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back soon!
In total, LDV has nine special service vehicle build crews which enables us to build multiples, work on retrofits and new vehicle builds simultaneously. While we featured one crew this time for this blog, we can assure you all of the crews share the same passion for building custom trucks.
Custom Tool Trucks & Some Rock-N-Roll
Building custom tool trucks was what started it all for LDV over 45 years ago. We built the first tool truck in the back corner of the Lynch Chevrolet service department right here in Burlington (WI). Today, we have 15 build stalls cranking away on custom tool truck builds.
In this Built Better blog, we spotlight one in particular to understand their process a little better. Joe, Dan, Tim and Matt are busy working on a custom Peterbilt cab chassis tool truck during our time with them.
Joe shows us the drawing of the truck to help describe the day’s tasks.
“Dan is working on some side panels for the cab area. I’m working on the slatwall on the street side interior. I just sent in an order to the Fab Shop to create the trim to go around the window,” says Joe, Tool Truck Build Crew Lead and he motions toward the window area.
This talented team of four works on many of the custom cab chassis and step van builds but has also worked on Snap-on corporate vehicle builds as well.
“We built the Snap-on Rock-N-Roll Cab Express trucks. 30 in total,” Joe said.
When asked what skills are required to build custom tool trucks, Dan had this to say: “Problem solving skills are a must. Being able to figure things out on the fly. We also rely on other departments to get things made to keep the build going.”
You would think that building custom tool trucks would get easier over time. Not the case. We are seeing more complex builds, new materials, more slatwall, windows in the body of the truck and more. But LDV’s crews are up for the challenge.
“If our customers need it, we build it. Everyone here is willing to help. If any of us has a question on how to do something, someone is always there to show you the way,” says Matt, Tool Truck Builder.
Step van versus cab chassis: Which truck is tougher to build?
“The step van is tougher for sure. We have to build around the wheel wells. The cab chassis trucks have flat floors inside,” Joe told us.
If you are a franchise owner and considering a new custom tool truck, perhaps this crew will be assigned to your project. Rest assured, your truck will be in good hands.
Watch for more Built Better blogs where we highlight more of the talented teams that make these trucks possible. As always, you can learn more here on our website: www.LDVusa.com.