NATDA Feature Story
Cutting Edge Innovation
The key to Bedrock Truck Beds’ growth in the marketplace, according to its President, Greg Chumchal, lies in the often-used term “innovation.” To some, that idea may seem like a marketing ploy to portray the company’s image as “cutting edge.”
For Bedrock Truck Beds, that’s not the case.
From universal modular products and bolt-on installation with no drilling or welding to patented, high-quality, standardized features, Chumchal has committed “innovation” in every sense of the word when it comes to his products. “As we entered the market, we didn’t want to be just another flatbed manufacturer. We wanted to do something different. We wanted to provide dealerships with universal products that reduced inventory carrying cost for the dealership, reduced install time and made a strong margin,” Chumchal says.
Nothing could be more different than the approach the company took when designing its latest product – the Marble Series. Officially launched at the 2019 NATDA Trade Show & Convention, the Marble Series was the culmination of an extensive research process to unequivocally determine what the Bedrock Truck Beds customer base truly wanted. After interviews with experienced dealerships, the company took their suggested improvements and took it one step further – they made them standard.
One of the most requested features was a blacked-out version of the bed. In providing that to dealers from the start, Chumchal’s team created an additional profit center for dealerships through pre-cut, aluminum trim packages. Not only can Bedrock Truck Beds install it for specific orders, but dealers can purchase the kits to sell off their shelves and install themselves in only a 30-minute process.
“You can apply it with a standard caulk gun. You apply the adhesive to the backside of the trim, stick it onto the bed surface and you’re ready to go. Let it dry for 30 minutes and you’re ready to move the bed,” Chumchal explains.
To keep the new series’ look crisp, clean and modern, the bed’s designers went with four flush-mounted LED work lights. Two of the lights are built right into the tailgate, which, when folded in the upright position, illuminate the bed of the truck. However, once you arrive at your work area, simply lowering the tailgate lights up the proximity. With so many lights, users are often concerned from the thought of a random passer-by flipping the light switch, commonly found on the headache rack, at night and letting the battery drain. Chumchal’s team installed the switch inside the front, driver-side toolbox.
“When you park it for the night and someone comes along and turns the lights on, you’re going to have a dead battery,’ says Chumchal. With ours, you can lock that toolbox so nobody can mess with the lights.”
Though the truck bed itself comes with a plethora of standard features, there’s additional, optional features from Bedrock Truck Beds that make the perfect unit for any customer.
“It comes with our patented, adjustable headache rack, which is very important for the cab and chassis. With our bed, you can adjust that headache rack up and down for the perfect fit or change out from the standard headache rack style to the hauler style headache rack. So, one bed will fit trucks from Ford, GM and Dodge, which also reduces the amount of inventory,” Chumchal says.
Bedrock Truck Beds has become one of the leading truck bed providers in the industry thanks to the company’s constant innovation. The Marble Series, designed with the help of those who use and sell the product, has proven to be yet another incredible addition to the company’s lineup.
Should you sell truck beds at your dealership?
For many trailer dealers, the option to sell truck beds is something that hasn’t gotten a lot of consideration. But, as history as shown, those dealerships are missing out on valuable profits. According to Chumchal, there are three categories to consider when looking at the possibility of adding truck beds as part of your product offering:
To ensure your dealership is properly equipped to handle adding truck beds in your lineup, Chumchal suggests making sure you have at least 300-500 square feet of available outside storage. That’s enough space for 15-25 beds, which is how many you’d be able to add with Chumchal’s suggested initial investment of $40-50,000. Additionally, you’ll need someone with the mechanical and electrical expertise to install the bed as well as a forklift to help with getting the bed onto the truck.
Chumchal estimates that the initial inventory investment could land anywhere round $40-50,000. However, dealers can expect a 30% profit margin, not including the $500-600 installation charges. According to Chumchal, 2-step national distribution of truck beds is logistically difficult, meaning direct dealers of truck beds reap the rewards and the profits.
Sales & Marketing
A new type of inventory comes a with a new target audience, so it’s important to think about who your customer might be. How will you advertise? Will it be print, social media, or TV and radio? Will you not advertise at all? Your additional advertising expenses, though more money up front, could help bring increased foot traffic to your dealership and revenue.
Originally published in NATDA Magazine Volume 12 Number 5