Over 30 trucks with mounted aerial devices, digger-derricks and cranes were on display June 4 when Commercial Body Corp held an open house at its San Antonio headquarters. Company-owned demonstrator trucks, the company's own rental fleet of aerial equipment for utilities, and vendor-supplied demonstrators were all in action at the Commercial Body facility on the east side of San Antonio.
It was a mini-expo of the latest in utility equipment ranging from the high-flying 210-ft Condor work platform to the ground-hugging SDP Mfg EZ Hauler that can carry a utility pole through a 3-ft garden gate.
"About 90% of our sales are utility equipment," said Gary Grist, president of Commercial Body Corp. "We cover all the utilities-water, sewer, gas, electric and CATV--with overhead and underground equipment. Only 10% of our business is still in general truck equipment."
Commercial Body covers all of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, and has service centers in Houston, Dallas and Albuquerque. The company also covers Louisiana with utility tools and accessories.
Commercial Body also maintains a large rental fleet through affiliations with GMI and Baker Equipment leasing.
Many of the visitors at the open house stood in line to ride the 210-ft Calavar Condor. The 3 x 8-ft platform has 180? rotation and a capacity of 1,000 lb at a working height of 210 feet. The six-axle chassis for the Condor 210S was made by Tor Truck Corp of Mississauga, Canada, and has five driving axles and five steering axles.
The newest aerial boom on display was Elliott's prototype 135-ft aerial work platform and crane. James Glazer, VP-sales and marketing at Elliott Equipment Company, says this is the world's tallest hydraulically telescoping boom that does not depend on jibs or pin-on sections. What's more, the Hi-Reach crane with a capacity of 14,000 lb mounts on a standard tandem-axle truck chassis.
The five-section Elliott boom (four sections telescoping) is fabricated of T-1 steel. The two-worker rotating platform is remote controlled and is removable. A computerized load moment system is standard, effectively monitoring boom operation. The computer senses load and boom extension and angle. It will sound an alarm and then shut down the operation to prevent passing over the safe limit.
Other demonstrator trucks were on display with Telelect/Hi-Ranger aerials and digger-derricks, as well as Versalift aerial devices by Time Mfg. Commercial Body also represents IMT articulating cranes, OK Champion underground equipment, Stanley hydraulic tools and power units, Greenleaf Fairmont tools, and Wachs hydraulic valve operators and pipe-cutting tools.
Reading bodies were everywhere, since most of the Commercial Body equipment installations also receive a custom Reading utility body. Reading's new Aerotech service body was on prominent display, as well as a new Chevrolet van equipped with interior shelving for route selling utility tools, accessories and services.
After the open house, lunch, and utility demonstrations were completed, many of the trucks were driven 270 miles north for another demonstration the following day. Open house at the Commercial Body service center in Arlington, Texas, was held June 5 for utility equipment customers in North Texas and Oklahoma.
Commercial Body's three service centers are self-supporting in their service capabilities and are directly linked to the large inventory through an interactive computer link and telephone system.
This was the first equipment show that Commercial Body Corp has hosted, but it may be repeated on an every-second-year basis to show customers new models and new lines of equipment. The turnout does not have to be large to make it worthwhile for big-ticket machines. About half of Commercial Body's orders are for single trucks, and the other half are for multiple trucks, perhaps to 10 or 15 trucks at a time.