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Fitzgeralds Glider Tour


SuiteSuccess

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Made the journey from ECR to Fitzgeralds today. Hopefully can post some pics of entire rally and tour at conclusion next week, just not enough time to organize now. Anyway pretty eye opening and thought I would impart what we learned,

1. Doing about 80 trucks per month now with goal of 100/ month.

2. Kenworths, Freightliners, Peterbilts, some Macks. NO Volvos and no plans.

3. David gave us a nice tour but was brutally honest that we would not be a prime market they would court.

4. Pretty much assembly line with very little if any customization. Their market is O/O, and fleets.

5. Install rebuilt Detroits and NO automatic transmissions, only straight 10's, 13s, or 18s. Warranty pretty much like factory new,

6. Cost very close to factory new truck, i.e. $130k or so.

My conclusion would be much better off with factory spec truck with choice of transmission and other customization for not much more money than a Fitzgerald Glider for our purposes. Again our tour guide was honest in saying probably not best for our needs. Would welcome comments from others that took the tour, especially any differing opinions.

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I agree with the assessment that you are better off with a new truck.

 

However, IF you want a truck that you cannot get new - like an Argosy - then that assessment changes. I looked at a glider in that way - I could not get a new Argosy but I could "build" a glider.

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Good day, all.

 

To be taken with a grain of salt:

 

A glider costs at least 25% less than a comparable new truck, is generally exempt from the 12% federal excise tax, and often gets better fuel economy than some modern engines that are saddled with expensive and sometimes troublesome exhaust emissions equipment, according to Lisa van Westing, marketing director at Tennessee-based Fitzgerald Gliders, the largest single assembler of gliders.

 

From: http://www.truckinginfo.com/article/story/2013/04/the-return-of-the-glider.aspx

 

Regards,

 

Michael

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I had at one time thought about a glider as I am not far from the west coast factory. I know one of their closest distributors Pacific Power offers gliders that can be customized to no end. I will do some digging a report back! They are close to new truck pricing, but far from new truck headaches! I for one am scared to death of failures to a modern emissions system as they can make the cost of engine replacement look like spare change!

 

 

Curt

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The representative at first said if you had enough money, they would consider building an Argosy, by the end of the tour he had thought about it and it would cause too much disruption to the line to do it. Of course there are any number of either Freightliner Dealers or others that will be happy to oblige. On another trucking website it was mentioned that a rep from Freightliner at the MATS show said they just built 10 powered Argosy gliders with the DD15 remans with DPF filters and sent them to California to be finished, and they would be legal there. The export vehicles going to Australia are equipped that way so it was not an engineering problem.

I liked the general philosophy at Fitzgerald. They didn't invent the concept, just improved it. They have to have a "sacrificial" truck for every one they build i.e. a vin and a title from a truck that is coming off the road so they can replace it with one of theirs. The rep said that he buys thousands of trucks for that purpose every year, sometimes with the engines and transmissions they need to rebuild, sometimes not. He also said the EPA routinely audits them to make sure they are following the law, and he is confident that the legal circumstance is not going to change. He said it would literally take an act of Congress to put them out of business. Gliders account for about 10,000 units a year in an industry that sells about 300,000 class 8 trucks annually ,so it is only 3% of the market.

They are a proud bunch, happy to provide a product that a portion of the market is eager for, judging from the 6 month backlog and growing he now has.

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