BUILDING on the success of last year's show, Commercial Body Corp hosted Expo '98, its second open house, Oct 13-14 at its San Antonio headquarters. A wide range of utility and truck equipment was on display, including mounted aerial devices, cranes, digger-derricks, service bodies, and underground equipment.
Approximately 24 vendors displayed some 52 units of equipment in the show that Gary Grist, Commercial Body Corp's president, describes as the Southwest's answer to the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE), which takes place every two years.
"We are going to hold our event every other year, during the off years of the ICUEE," says Grist. "This is a regional show for the local folks."
A new focus for this year's show was underground equipment. The trend of laying cables underground for power telephone, and fiber optic for cable TV and specified data systems, requires new equipment.
The open house took place at Commercial Body Corporation's newly opened training and demonstrations facility. The large "hands-on" working facility is utilized for demonstrations, and to enhance training programs for contractors, co-ops, and municipal entities. It incorporates overhead and underground structures complete with an underground vault to facilitate underground line-blowing, pulling, and rodding operations.
"Some of our customers have expressed the need for a place to do employee training and upgrading," says Grist. "To answer that need, we worked with one of our large contractor customers to develop this training facility, and we are quite excited about its potential."
Commercial Body Corporation sells to power, telephone, water, cable TV companies, and numerous commercial/industrial entities.
New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas are the main trade areas for Commercial Body Corp. The company has facilities in Albuquerque, Arlington, Houston, and San Antonio. A fleet of mobile field service trucks are staffed with trained field technicians.
"We have expanded our efforts into more traditional truck equipment," Grist says. "We are focusing on the equipment needs of chemical and industrial plants, and municipal departments in addition to our ongoing sales work in the electrical market. We are also increasing our efforts to respond to the needs of the growing water utilities market." Commercial Body offers a wide array of hydraulic tools, accessories, and aerial platforms applicable in commercial and industrial settings.
Grist says they are moving aggressively into the rental market, and are working closely with leasing companies to make it easier for customers to obtain new trucks.
Commercial Body is a major partner of INECO, a firm that remarkets used equipment internationally.
Plans for the next exposition are in motion. Grist says Expo 2000 will be even larger than this year's event.