Founded in 2012, Trucks By Design LLC is committed to providing drivers and their respective carriers with trucks that are configured specifically to meet the needs of expediting. Our first vehicle, the First Class Expediter, is designed to replace vans. Vans are not designed to haul heavy cargo and are woefully inadequate for long haul expediting. Vans have serious safety issues, limited capacity and leave drivers very little personal space. Larger trucks are also in development.
For drivers, our goal is to provide a comfortable, clean and quiet vehicle in which they can drive and live for extended periods. A larger, safer and more secure cargo area will also increase revenue potential.
For carriers, our objective is to increase the capacity and capabilities of their trucks. A carrier's larger trucks can be better utilized if some of their loads can fit into a First Class Expediter. Higher gross margins can be achieved if light trucks transport shipments paying higher revenue. Carriers can also reduce their exposure to the safety, insurance and legal liabilities of using vans.
Trucks By Design will continuously strive to make proactive improvements on its designs and will be responsive to the needs of its customers. Comments and suggestions are welcomed and will receive prompt attention.
Find out more about what we do – spefically for drivers or carriers.
The cornerstone to providing award winning performance was maintaining an emphasis on flexible, agile operations. Ops. employees were trained and encouraged to be creative and innovative and not adhere to fixed procedures or fall into a routine. Equipment utilization was always a top priority. Customers were under the impression that the First Class fleet was much larger than it was because every truck was used wisely and efficiently.
Until 1988, all trucks were company owned. In order to be more efficient and productive, First Class modified its pickup trucks and cube vans to have flat floors. With door openings greater than 60", those trucks could accommodate wide racks and place 30" skids side by side. They produced very high gross margins while saving larger trucks for bigger loads. After 1988, First Class grew very quickly and transformed into a total Independent Contractor fleet. The modified small truck concept was no longer used but it was not forgotten.
In 2009, First Class was acquired by Express-1. Bill Champe stayed on to lead the Metro Detroit operation until retiring in 2012. First Class as a company and later as a division of Express-1 consistently produced gross margins averaging 33%.
Using experience gained by more than 30 years in expediting and recalling the success of modified pickup trucks, Trucks By Design LLC was founded in 2012. A prototype, First Class Expediter, vehicle has been built, patented and tested in actual service. It has performed extremely well and has been able to take loads that could not be carried in vans. Customers have been pleasantly surprised by its capacity. Van drivers who have seen the prototype are very impressed by and jealous of the comfort and conveniences they can't enjoy in their vans.