Customized Distribution, LLC.
"Great Dane has been our exclusive supplier of trailers for the 11 years that we've been in business," says Marc Gruber, president of Customized Distribution, llc. (CDI). "One reason for the long-standing relationship between our companies is that we share many of the same values, including the belief that providing quality products and services is integral to our success and that of our customers."
Great Dane has been our exclusive supplier of trailers for the 11 years that we've been in business," says Marc Gruber, president of Customized Distribution, llc. (CDI). "One reason for the long-standing relationship between our companies is that we share many of the same values, including the belief that providing quality products and services is integral to our success and that of our customers."
With a fleet of 51 Great Dane Classic reefers, all sourced under a full-service lease from Penske Truck Leasing, CDI services chain restaurants in six Southeastern states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The company operates from a combined 226,000 square feet of dry storage, freezers, coolers and refrigerated docks in its Jacksonville, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia distribution centers.
A second-generation foodservice distributor, CDI traces its roots to IDI (Interstate Distributors, Inc.), founded in 1972 and sold in the early 1990s. Asked by former customers to return to the business, IDI's former owner Tom Willingham along with Win Willingham, Bill Bartels and Marc Gruber opened CDI in early 2000.
"We picked up where IDI left off," Gruber says, "including spec'ing only trailers from Great Dane to ensure the quality of the products we deliver to our customers. Today, our lease suppliers know that we simply aren't interested in any trailers that aren't built by Great Dane.
"Our industry is tough on equipment," Gruber continues. "We found out a long time ago that Great Dane builds trailers that will hold up to the demands we place on them. Our trailers are not just durable because Great Dane pays attention to structural quality. Their craftsmanship extends to every detail." Specified for an expected eight-year service life, the number of Classic reefers in the CDI fleet grew significantly in the past year. In 2010, the company added 40 new trailers to its operation, half as replacements and 20 more for growth.
The 48-ft Great Dane Classics at CDI are all equipped with Thermo King multi-temp refrigeration units and fitted with an ITW Maxair air return and two F&G bulkheads to accommodate frozen, refrigerated and dry products on each load. Extra insulation is also specified in the trailers' roofs, side and front walls for better temperature control along with a Whiting Coldsaver III aluminum roll-up rear door in a stainless steel frame.
For enhanced cargo and trailer protection, CDI now specs Great Dane's PunctureGuard interior lining on both sidewalls and ceilings where load lock rods placed vertically can cause damage. In use is 0.070-inch PunctureGuard on sidewalls and 0.100-inch on ceilings. The durable, lighter weight option is a rigid, thin material manufactured using a unique process that thermally joins woven polypropylene and glass fibers into continuous thermo-plastic panels.
To facilitate delivery operations, CDI specs two 40-inch single roadside doors on all of its Classic reefers. "We want to provide a productive and safe work environment for our drivers," Gruber states. "Each side door is equipped with a pull out platform and a ramp and a grab handle. In addition, we spec an aluminum heavy-duty safety-grip floor and four Truck-Lite LED interior dome lights on each trailer."
One other custom specification on CDI's newest Classic refers is a full width aluminum front top rail protector to address concerns about potential damage from low hanging tree branches in customer locations. Other specs for the trailers include Hutchens spring suspensions and Meritor axles and Q Plus extended service brakes and automatic slack adjusters. Meritor WABCO ABS, Haldex brake chambers, Stemco Guardian wheels seals, Stemco-Engler hubodometers, Accuride steel disc wheels and 11R22.5 Goodyear G316 LHT Fuel Max tires, and Truck-Lite LED lamps are all standard as well.
"Every day of the week," Gruber says, "our chain restaurant customers rely on us to deliver food, packaging, cleaning supplies and other products necessary for running their restaurants. Their expectation is that deliveries will be accurate, undamaged, at the correct temperature and on time. "We believe in providing that level of service and much more," Gruber adds, "so our customers' needs guide us in every decision we make, including those for trailers. With Great Dane we have a supplier that cares about its customers, and takes pride in the trailers it builds."
For 70 years, Great Dane has never relinquished its pioneering role or leadership in the reefer market, always leading the way in developing revolutionary products. From the first produce van with a wet ice bunker and a gas engine and blower system in the early 1940s to the first factory finished aluminum refrigerated van in 1949, ongoing innovation continued to include new insulating methods and the creation of the broadest line of reefers in the industry. The revolution also included development of ThermoGuard, the exclusive interior liner that helps seals the reefer's insulation, significantly reducing the loss of insulation performance, cutting costs through decreased cooling unit run-time, lower fuel consumption, reduced maintenance and extended life. In 2010, Great Dane acquired Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, the industry leader in the manufacture of insulated fiberglass refrigerated truck bodies and all-electric refrigeration solutions.