Rudd Furniture delivers: first in a series on retailers who love their trucks.
Choosing the "right" truck for your particular operation is a real challenge today with so many styles and brands to choose from. In talking with numerous retailers it is obvious that this subject usually gets careful attention and what is "right" for one company may be "wrong" for another. Occasionally we hear a happy story about finding a good used truck but an investment in new equipment yields high productivity and few hassles. This is the first in a series summarizing why individual retailers made their personal choices.
Rudd Furniture has been a family business for 53 years, the last 27 at the same location in Dothan, a Southeastern Alabama town not too far from Georgia and Florida borders. Jason Rudd, grandson of the founder, has been mentored by his father Jim and worked almost every job in the company before assuming responsibility for operations. The showroom is about 12,000 square feet and is supported by a small warehouse without a dock. They have an attractive web site at www.ruddfurniture.com that is increasingly valuable to introduce prospective customers.
Despite increased competition, Rudd Furniture has doubled sales in the past four years and credit their growth to having good product lines, being dependable and looking good in everything they do. Delivery is included in the purchase price for customers within 150 miles so truck reliability is very important. Two delivery persons average 47 hours per week and 2,700 miles each month. The company logo on the truck provides low cost advertising wherever they deliver furniture.
Happy with their first Mitsubishi Fuso truck purchased in 1994, they acquired a 1998 Mitsubishi Fuso fe truck. The Lyncoach body with roll up door is 96 inches wide, sixteen feet long and has 96 inches of inside clear height. The height is outstanding for standing up Hooker entertainment centers or king mattresses. Wood tie-down slats on 8 inch centers simplify the task of tying off the furniture and assuring safe arrival condition. The sixteen foot body length was chosen so two sofas could be loaded end to end. The main difference between the new body and the 1994 unit is the addition of a pull-out ramp for handling today's more massive furniture pieces. Some are simply too heavy for two people to unload safely.
The Mitsubishi Fuso truck has proven to be very maneuverable on tight city streets or winding driveways and has ample power to run over the highways to distant customers. Space doesn't permit listing the technical specifications but they are found at http://www.mitfuso.com.
Bottom line, Rudd Furniture has made an excellent choice for their particular scope of operation and typical order size. This is a mid-size truck and body suitable for their needs.
Daniel Bolger of The Bolger Group helps companies achieve improved transportation, warehousing and logistics. Questions can be directed to Mr. Bolger care of FURNITURE WORLD at email@example.com.
Contributing editor Dan Bolger of The Bolger Group helps companies achieve improved transportation, warehousing and logistics. See many other articles by Dan in the Operations Management article archives on the furninfo.com website. You can send inquiries on any aspect of transportation, warehousing or logistics issues to Dan Bolger care of Furniture World Magazine at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him direct at 740-503-8875.
Read other articles by Dan Bolger