SCELZI INC: NO COMPROMISE ON MATERIALS of CONSTRUCTION
As Spring approaches and the traumatic weather patterns of early 2023 settle down to something a bit less exciting, truck body builders are faced with the classic “Good News vs Bad News” scenario. The Good News is that Ford is almost back to full-time scheduling of chassis cabs to dealers and upfitters. This has caused a resurgence of business activity as production lines ramp up to fill backlogged orders and meet current demand. This is great news for all of us, and to our customers.
The Bad News is that the scarcity of other key components – including raw materials like steel and wood – continue to frustrate upfitters. Top selling cranes are also far behind normal delivery windows, and other key truck body components still experience wide fluctuations in pricing and availability. For some upfitters, mixing and matching grades of steel and bouncing between different suppliers is a normal course of business. This is not the case at Scelzi Enterprises, where maintaining a premium quality product is a bit harder to achieve. Great care is taken with the selection of raw materials used, and even greater care with the selection of key suppliers. The robust design of Scelzi truck bodies can only be achieved using premium quality materials.
It begins with the Scelzi underbody, where Scelzi truck bodies utilize both (a) a higher number of cross members and (b) higher gauge steel. By adding cross members, the body is much more stable on bumpy terrain, leading to a smoother ride and longer body life. The higher gauge steel adds even more weight and stability, and utilizing full weld seams rather than spot welding increases body strength even more.
The steel used for other parts of the truck body is also of very high grade — and that is usually Galvanneal A60. Rather than the Black Iron used by most upfitters, Scelzi has been using A60 for over 90% of their painted steel components for the past 4 years.
Galvanneal (or Galvannealed) steel is produced by hot dipping a sheet of steel into a zinc bath then passing it through a series of draining and heating processes so that a specified amount of zinc affixes or anneals to the steel, along with a small percentage of aluminum. The process gives a very fine greyish matte finish to the material. There are several degrees of quality for Galvanneal. A25 is the lowest, and the cheapest, while A40 is slightly higher quality. Most truck body upfitters do not use Galvanneal much at all, but Scelzi now uses A60 exclusively –the highest quality with the highest zinc content. Galvanneal sheets offer good paintability, weldability, corrosion resistance and formability.
An inventory of a typical Scelzi Service body (see photo) shows the many ways Scelzi maintains their premium status among work truck bodies. This includes:
A – Open Top Lids made of 16 gauge Galvanneal, including an 18 gauge inner panel using reinforced “hat” construction
B – Tailgate is heavy duty self-leveling with 12 gauge diamond plate inner panel. It hinges on a ⅝” stainless steel Allen head shoulder bolt with ⅝” bronze bushing. Side plates are made of stainless steel.
C – Compartment Doors are double panel (18 gauge outer and 20 gauge inner) laminated together for greater durability, along with a hat section for extra strength. Doors are mounted using a stainless steel hinge block with nylon insert and a 5/16 stainless steel full length door shaft. Each fitted with gas shocks.
D – Shelving is made of 16 gauge galvanized steel with a return flange curl, and brackets are 12 gauge galvanized steel
E – And More: Together they combine to make a Scelzi Service Body a very tough and robust work truck, sturdy enough to hold a team of workers all at once if ladders are in short supply.
Though Scelzi has always preferred fabricating their own components in-house, recent shortages by key suppliers have increased this desire even more. Using laser cutting machines for highest precision, Scelzi is less dependent on external suppliers today than at any time in their history. And given the ongoing supply chain issues around the world, that is a good place to be.