PM's Truck of the Month February 2002

When Dick Roderick took over his father's plumbing business in 1954 (Fall River, Mass.-based Roderick & Son Plumbing and Heating Supply Co.), he wanted his trucks to be distinctive. He took a liking to the brightness of Shell Oil's then yellow-and-red trucks.

"He used those Shell colors and threw in the blue at the bottom to be a little different, but you can sure see these trucks in the dark," said Rick Roderick, Dick's son, who recently joined the business after eight years as a minor-league hockey player. All of Roderick & Son's trucks use these three basic colors.

The truck is a 1979 Chevrolet step van and is still on the road, one of five trucks Roderick & Son currently has in its fleet. It is No. 26 in a long line of trucks serving the plumbing company.

The back door of the truck sports a picture of Roderick's store with the company logo over it: a dripping faucet with the words "Stop At The Sign Of The Drip." It also has faucets mounted on it, and people come up to the truck to see if they really work, Rick said.

A similar sight occurs in the front of the truck, where a toilet seat is mounted with the words "Tops For Bottoms -- The Best Seat In The House." Opening and closing the toilet seat seems to be pleasant pastime for some people.

The 74-year-old Dick Roderick, who still comes into the office every day, designed the company logo and the overall design of the truck. The little "add-ons," along with the bright colors, make sure that people remember the truck -- and the company.