Long after the first predictions were made of how solar or wind power or rechargeable batteries would replace fossil fuels, gasoline and diesel engines are still the predominant energy source in commercial work trucks. Those great ideas are coming but they are not here yet. First something becomes possible, then it becomes economical, and finally it becomes well-designed and ready for widespread acceptance.

Eventually, the future arrives. But rarely as quickly as predicted. New technologies can yield huge leaps of improved efficiency, but the learning curve to get to that point can be very steep for early entrants into a field. And quite a bit of time can be wasted on ideas that don’t pan out. Sometimes being first at something is not as wise as being the most committed to perfecting the previous “Next Big Thing”.

The Next Big Thing at Scelzi

The truck building professionals at Scelzi Enterprises have made their choice, and consistent “Premium Quality” is still the biggest Next Big Thing their customers are asking about. Not a half-baked new body package or not-ready-for-prime-time gadget that fails far too often, nor a plastic/composite storage unit or accessory that will wear out or break under rigorous workloads. Instead, Scelzi focuses on USA-sourced components made of steel, or (better still) Galvanneal, that are laser cut, grinded, sanded, coated with computer-matched OEM quality paint and finish, and then precision fitted to tight tolerances. Scelzi is keeping one eye on the horizon for what is coming up ahead, while both hands are kept firmly on the steering wheel, busy fulfilling and exceeding current customer expectations.

Harder To Maintain Quality Products

The draw and allure of adopting too much cutting edge technology is offset by the increased challenges today of just maintaining a high level of quality for existing products. “I think new technological ideas in the work truck industry are fun to talk about,“ states President Mike Scelzi. “And how they might make us all more efficient and even safer in the years ahead. But if you commit too much, too soon to new ideas and devices that have not been thoroughly tested yet, you are taking your eyes off the ball of today’s challenges to keep your customer’s businesses thriving. It is easier for startup firms that don’t have a customer base and a reputation to uphold.”

Supply chain issues continue to confound truck body upfitters. There is a greater temptation than ever to switch out high-quality brand name components with substitutes having little or no track record of premium quality performance. Whether it be cranes, compressors, mud flaps or screws, Scelzi continues to resist this temptation. As co-owner Gary Scelzi puts it, “Back in my racing days I saw the need to take a few chances every now and then to win a race, and sometimes they paid off. But building truck bodies and making the Scelzi name mean something over the long-term is a whole different competition.”

Adds Mike, “At Scelzi, we are going to take care of the ones who brought us to the dance – our customers – and we believe they trust us to know when to adopt a new technology that won’t cause more problems than it solves. That will probably mean we won’t be the first to implement some new, untested cool thing.”

Scelzi’s dealers and customers may not have considered their truck bodies the Top-of-the-Line when they first began building them in 1979, but after several decades that is the consensus today. And one that Scelzi Enterprises plans to keep, despite new challenges in the world around them.