Can Fitzgerald Build One for You? By Jason France on April 6, 2018
Your Source for Freaky-Fast, Crazy-Cool Customs
Happily, for the Fitzgerald Glider Kit staff and their families, not many customers require the seven-day turnaround you just read about for the Gas Monkey Energy Drink sponsored, Laughlin Racing NHRA Pro Stock hauler on the previous pages. However, when it comes to purchasing the truck of your dreams, in the color of your choice, with the options and accessories you want, it’s hard to find any OE or glider kit manufacturer who can meet your requirements in less time at a lower cost.
With approximately 1,500 gliders on the ground at a given time, some of which are rollers, and a tremendous inventory of popular and hard-to-find options and accessories in stock at any point in time, Fitzgerald can turn an order into a freaky-fast delivery for some of the craziest, coolest custom trucks available. The Fitzgerald team does exactly that on a routine basis. You name it, they’ve got it or can get it in short order. No build is too complex, no request is too outrageous that you have to trim your wish list or make less-than-satisfying compromises. To learn more, RoadKing sought out Brian Bourke, Fitzgerald Director of Marketing, for an overview of the Fitzgerald offerings and choices.
All About Choices
Every Fitzgerald glider kit is built to meet customer specifications and expectations. Very few trucks leave the Byrdstown, TN assembly facility in a stock configuration. The truck make/model and the reman powertrain components you specify are the first things to be decided. Although most customers are generally happy with the “stock” Fitzgerald specs, any special order a customer may need will be accomodated:
- Peterbilt – 389 and 579
- Kenworth – T660, T800, W900
- Freightliner – Coronado, Columbia
- Western Star – 4900SB, 4900EX
Engine choices include:
- Detroit 60 Series 12.7L and 14L, in-house or factory reman
- Cummins N14 and ISX Series
- Caterpillar C15, Platinum-level overhaul
Transmissions are Eaton-Fuller remans backed by a 3-year, 300,000-mile warranty. Most rear ends are also reman. Good housings with new gears, bearings and other parts are solid choices for second or third lives. To make their trucks look as cool under the hood as they do on the outside, some owners prefer the added touch of color-matched drivetrain components. That’s easily accomplished prior to glider kit assembly. When confronted with a down or wrecked truck, customers turn to Fitzgerald ready-to-roll or almost-ready-to-roll solutions. That helps Fitzgerald customers retain business.
Once the basic truck is configured, accessorizing is the fun part for most customers. Whether outside and/or inside the truck, the choices are endless, and the combinations make each truck as unique as the customers who are buying them. The most common selections involve custom visors, exhaust, deck plates, bumpers, lighting, cabin sleeper panels with lights, paint, and on and on. Accenting factory or custom paint jobs with stripes, graphics, custom lettering and other options is very popular. There’s never a dull day in the Fitzgerald accessories department as the staff provides all of the customer-specified accessory and option choices for final assembly.
In addition to the standard warranties on all of its glider kits, Fitzgerald offers three optional, structured-warranty upgrades up to five years and 500,000 miles. With more than 2,000 warranty centers across the United States, Fitzgerald provides what may be the largest such network. For owner operators and small firms, particularly based in rural areas, Fitzgerald even allows customers to perform their own warranty work, provided they have the tools and qualifications. With accurate warranty claim descriptions and photo documentation, replacement parts will be shipped, and customers will be reimbursed for labor at standard, motor-manual time allocations. That approach helps customers keep earning during the day, and making repairs at night or on weekends.
Whether you’re a one-truck owner-operator or run a fleet that numbers in the low triple-digits, Fitzgerald takes great pride in offering a premier selection of customer-tailored highway and vocational glider kits. Approaching its 30th anniversary in 2019, the family-owned business has established a solid reputation for delivering customer satisfaction and building its business through repeat customers and referrals. When it’s time to upgrade, customers can count on assistance with financing, trade-ins and connections to purchasers of used trucks.
To wrap it up, Brian Bourke answered the all-important question: What about acquisition and owning and operating costs? “Customers typically get into a glider at a savings of 20% or more compared to the cost of a comparable new OE truck. But that’s just the beginning. A well-assembled glider provides ongoing savings in maintenance and repair costs, minimal downtime and better fuel efficiency, while providing drivers with today’s amenities and key safety features. It’s not unusual for customers to tell us that drivers take great pride in being assigned to a Fitzgerald glider, and retention rates are significantly better. The reactions we see when drivers are provided with the opportunity to pick up their trucks speak volumes about the pride and satisfaction associated with driving a personalized Fitzgerald glider.”
Even if freaky-fast or crazy-cool aren’t key criteria for your next OTR truck purchase, be sure to check out your glider kit options at FitzgeraldUSA.com.