Truck of the Month: Dan Wood Co., Kalamazoo, Mich.
Dan Wood Co. gets it right.
For starters, he popped open past issues of Plumbing & Mechanical and looked at previous Truck of the Month winners to generate ideas.
“We kicked around a lot of different things,” says Wood, who co-owns Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Dan Wood Co. with his wife, Marion. “The new wrap probably took about eight or nine months to fully develop.”
Originally, the company was going to feature a lady standing in either a shower or taking a bubble bath as the main wrap image.
“We had picked an image from a manufacturer catalog,” Wood says. “We got a lot of feedback on it and some people were offended. It was a very modest photo.”
Wood and his staff went back to the drawing board. They knew they wanted to change the company logo but still keep the maroon color that is a long-standing identifying symbol of the 22-year-old company. “We wanted to quickly communicate what we do,” he says.
Products that identify with plumbing (handheld shower), heating and cooling (vent and air duct) and electric (wires and outlet plate) accomplish that goal on the side of the truck (see above photo). The company’s name on the truck was shortened to just Dan Wood, while a roofline and the tagline “Quality Home Service” were added to the logo. Marion Wood did the main design on the wrap with assistance from her husband and Dan Wood Co. Marketing Coordinator Steve Moxley.
“We did a lot of online research and found that images work well,” Wood says.
Wood notes he wanted to add a personal touch to the wrap, which was produced by Kalamazoo-based Wraps-n- Signs (owned by Richard and Macal Deneve). Little did he know that would involve a full-body image of himself in uniform (complete with shoe covers) waving on the back of the truck.
“It kept coming back to me being on the back of the truck,” Wood says with a laugh.
When Wood left the metro Detroit area to attend Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, he had no intention of continuing the family tradition in the plumbing business. The Wood family has been in the industry for four generations, although the Woods started Dan Wood Co. in 1991, separate from the family business. Wood has two brothers who also run separate plumbing contracting businesses in Michigan.
Dan Wood Co., a member of best practices group Nexstar, now features 40 employees and 22 trucks and serves the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek areas doing mainly service and remodel work.
The wrap debuted several months ago on Wood’s four newest service trucks — three Ford E-350s with 12-ft. beds and one Ford E-450 with a 14 ft. bed. The new trucks are outfitted with customized Supreme boxes and Wood added rear cameras and floodlights, fluorescent lighting in the cargo area and remote locks. The trucks are equipped with GPS units and laptops with Internet access.
“We get a lot of work just from the trucks being out on the street. People notice,” Wood says. “We’re excited about the new graphics. It’s top-of-mind awareness.”
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