Posts Tagged ‘TR’

Checking in with Tucker Rocky’s Steve Johnson

August 15, 2010

I didn’t have a chance to participate in Tucker Rocky’s national sales meeting in Texas last month, so I tracked down TR”s chief Steve Johnson to get his reaction to the five-day event and to see what he had going at the big Fort Worth-based national distributor.

Steve Johnson

The show was different this year, by design. More aimed at training and business improvement than entertainment and relationship-building. “This show was a lot more about product and selling product,” said Johnson. “It was less about fun and more about dealer training and how to run a good dealership.”

In Johnson’s view, the participating vendors and dealers “were more than positive, they were engaged” in what was going on. “A lot of people are still excited to be in this industry. But there’s a realization that there’s a new norm; it may come back a bit, but it’s going to be at a slower pace. You can’t expect 10%-15% compound growth. You have to hunker down and run your business as best you can. People were fully engaged; more so than ever before.”

Dennis Johnson, editor-in-chief of Dealernews magazine visited the show and did a nice job of reporting on the event in the August issue of the magazine. I’m not going to duplicate his efforts here, but Steve covered some interesting points in our conversation, many focusing on dealer training and customer service.

Big Push On Customer Service

As we chatted, Steve told me a story about customer service that came from his previous experience in the foodservice business. To paraphrase his story: There once was a large bakery that produced custom products for a high-end local grocery store. The big thing was fresh birthday cakes, made the same day and featuring custom greetings. It was an important item for the retailer and produced nice margins for both the bakery and the retailer. The cakes were always delivered on time, the names were spelled correctly, and everyone was happy. But one day, there was a mistake; a cake didn’t get produced for a birthday party that day. The customer went crazy, of course; what was she going to do for the party that afternoon?

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Arctic Cat, Tucker Rocky Do The Baja 1000

December 4, 2008

A couple of weeks ago I posted news that Johnny Campbell set a new record by winning his 11th Baja 1000 arcticcatbaja1000 atop a motorcycle. Well, news keeps trickling out from various sources about other “firsts”. The latest news comes from Arctic Cat and Tucker Rocky Distributing.

The other day I received an e-mail from Arctic Cat announcing that a pair of stock Arctic Cat Prowlers beat the brutal conditions to finish first and second place in the world’s longest, continuous off-road race. It was the first time in race history a side-by-side UTV vehicle finished what is widely regarded as the most grueling off-road race in the world.

Finishing first in the 634-mile race with a time of 27 hours and 57 minutes was a stock 2009 Prowler XTZ 1000 driven by Bi-Polar team co-owner and driver Jim Creagan and co-pilot Tim Wagner for the first 409 miles, followed by driver/co-driver Chris Fallon and Aaron Bahner for the remainder of the course.

Taking second place at 28 hours and 13 minutes was a 2009 Prowler XTX 700 EFI driven by three driver/co-driver combinations: Shane Morgan and Tabor Cresap, Scott Sorenson and Justin Serface, and Casey Squires and Mike Connors.

It was just the second attempt at the Baja 1000 for the Bi-Polar/Arctic Cat team. In 2007 they made it to mile-810 before succumbing to a broken suspension bolt. They returned this year, ready to prove the Prowler’s durability and to support their sponsors: Arctic Cat, Wired Energy Drink, Vision X Lighting, GBC Motorsports, TrailReady Beadlock Rims and King Shocks.

TR & SUPPLIERS
The 2008 Baja 1000 also served as the first time a U.S.-based distributor has taken an active role in the race.

The TR-sponsored race team (from left to right) included Brent Durfee, Brandon Baldwin, Lance Kerr, Tim Pritchard, Dave Cullinan and Brian Cornelius.

The TR-sponsored race team (from left to right) included Brent Durfee, Brandon Baldwin, Lance Kerr, Tim Pritchard, Dave Cullinan and Brian Cornelius.

Tucker Rocky teamed up with Dunlop, Motion Pro, Two Brothers Racing, and Motorex to race the Baja 1000 this year. Each company fielded a rider, which is the first time a group of key industry companies and personnel have teamed up for such a race.

The team consisted of Dunlop’s West Coast Sales Manager Brent Durfee, Motion Pro’s Director of Sales and Marketing Brandon Baldwin, Two Brothers Racing Director of Business Development Dave Cullinan, Motorex/Paragon Powersports Brian Cornelius, Tucker Rocky’s VP of Sales and Marketing Tim Pritchard, and Tucker Rocky’s Offroad Sales Specialist Lance Kerr. The crew chief for the team was Jimmy Sones from Malcolm Smith Adventures and the chase team was staffed by Tucker Rocky’s Director of Sales Del Munoz and Sales Rep’s Mike Schmahl and Malcolm Bottorff as well as Montclair Yamaha’s Vadime Miline.

The industry team finished 6th in the Sportsman class which was a great accomplishment but with a logistical error (they missed a pit and ran out of gas but fortunately the Mexican Police department picked up the rider an hour later and took him to the closest pit for fuel) and some damage to the sprocket and chain (the sprocket was severely bent and chain derailed) the team still finished within two hours and 39 minutes behind first place. The total time down from the gas and sprocket incidents was over three hours. Till that time (less than 80 miles left in the race) the team was poised for an incredibly strong finish.

The team was sponsored by Dunlop, Motion Pro, Two Bros, Motorex, Yuasa, Gaerne, EVS, MSR, Pro Taper and Tucker Rocky. The bike was a race prepped Honda CRF450x which performed great for the entire race (at least when it had gas in it). The JCR Honda pit crew did a great job as well. The team also thanks it’s sponsors as well as Malcolm Smith for his help and participation.