Trailerbodybuilders 311 Beveragetruck teams with National Liftgate Parts

Oct. 1, 2011
AFTER nearly four months in operation,'s affiliation with National Liftgate Parts is working well, according to Chad Agate, VP
AFTER nearly four months in operation,'s affiliation with National Liftgate Parts is working well, according to Chad Agate, VP of business development for American Body Company.

“So far, so good,” he says. “We like their support. That's worked out well for us. They do go above and beyond on the support side, and I guess that's what makes it easy to sell their products.”

Since April 2010,, a division of ABC, has serviced the beverage trucking industry with replacement parts for beverage bodies and trailers. Now, in conjunction with National Liftgate Parts, reach and scope in parts delivery is reinforced with a new product line of aftermarket liftgate parts.

All National Liftgate Parts are of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) quality, meaning they feature name-brand quality but lack name-brand pricing.

These parts can be used on OEM liftgates and include motors, drain valves, switches, solenoids, remote controls, power units, and more. With selling these and many other goods direct to customers, the company is taking a proactive role in catering to a recent rise in consumer need. has been expanding out beyond the beverage business, adding more and more liftgate lines,” Agate says. “National Liftgate Parts seemed like a first logical choice for us. They handle multiple brands, so that gives us access to aftermarket parts for Maxon, Leyman, Waltco, etc. We also wanted to add an aftermarket alternative to OEMs. We're a dealer for Maxon, Waltco, Holland, and Leyman, so for us, it was access to all brands instantly and also giving customers the ability to choose whether they want OEM or aftermarket.

“We know the liftgate side is a very critical piece for our parts business, especially on the e-commerce side. As we're adding liftgate lines, with each line we see a spike on online sales, ranging between 15 and 20 percent with every line that we add.”

Says Eileen Pape, CEO of, “We already have a proven track record for providing affordable, high-quality parts to the beverage trucking industry. By teaming up with National Liftgate Parts, we're building out our business model to sell more goods and serve a greater number of target markets. The website has been online for just over a year now, and so this new product line is a major, first step toward our greater goal — to carry all trailer and body replacement parts through the site. As we're expanding, we're doing so with price point in mind, understanding that our customers want the best market rates.”

Russ Morrison, National Liftgate Parts' sales and marketing director, says he has been communicating daily with customers, and it's clear to him that demand for replacement liftgate parts has been on the uptick. Agate says that's because in the market being served by, more wholesale distributors are moving from side-load delivery with van trailers to end-load delivery with van trailers with liftgates.

“There are more and more of those out there, and so there are more and more parts that need to be replaced,” Agate says.

Agate says ABC started in April 2010 because it didn't appear that anyone was selling parts online in this industry.

“My background is in information technology,” he says. “Looking at this, it seemed that the aftermarket parts side of the transportation industry was kind of following the ways of the very old computer industry — pricing by obscurity, everything done by catalogs, not a lot of published pricing schedules. So it looked like there was a market opportunity for us.”

ABC has serviced the beverage industry's fleet in virtually every component of the structural, mechanical, and cosmetic reconditioning process for over 62 years.

National Liftgate Parts is a distributor/manufacturer of repair parts for the truck equipment industry, with headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1988, NLP has provided parts for all the major brand of liftgates marketed in the US, as well as high-volume snowplow parts during the winter months.

About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.