Girard Equipment Inc, headquartered in Linden, New Jersey, has embarked on what some would say is a new frontier with the opening of a full service and repair facility for tank trucks.
Girard Equipment, which recently celebrated 55 years in business, is best known today for pressure relief devices on chemical tank trailers. However, industry veterans will remember the early days when the main business of Girard was catering to the local fuel oil transporters in New Jersey, New York, and the western Connecticut trading area.
The company's new Linden facility opened in October 2006 and includes a 6,000-sq-ft shop with three work bays. The service and repair shop is open from 6 am to 5 pm on weekdays. During winter months, Girard Equipment also operates on Saturday and Sunday. Throughout the year, 24/7 roadside assistance is available for customers needing emergency service during off hours.
In addition to tank truck parts sales, the facility can handle a wide range of equipment service and installation. The shop also is in the process of obtaining an R-stamp for code repairs to cargo tanks.
The new facility is set up similarly to a convenience store for tank truck operators, according to Tim Girard, president of Girard Equipment. Located in the heart of the Linden petrochemical sector, the goal of the operation is to provide a safe place where drivers can park their trucks, pick up parts from the showroom, and be back on the road in a matter of minutes.
An added benefit for hungry truckers is the Bayway Diner, across the street. Recently featured on the Food Network as a popular local eatery, it is a frequent stop for truck drivers in the area.
Over the past half century, Girard Equipment built an impressive supplier network representing respected suppliers, including Betts, Blackmer Pump, Hannay Reels, Scully Signal, Liquid Controls, and Goodyear. Every product that is sold is on display. Vendor product literature is easily accessible, with instant access to part lists and repair manuals via the Internet on site.
All phone calls are answered directly by a skilled sales team with hands-on knowledge of all of the products they sell, according to Girard. In most cases, a customer will speak directly with a Girard mechanic from the shop.
Girard team members pride themselves on getting to know the products they sell through proper product training. All members of the sales and service team are trained in the use and repair practices of each of the products. In fact, it is a requirement.
The Girard team attends supplier-provided training, or the trainers are brought to them. Salespeople are encouraged to observe valves being repaired and are taught how the products work and what can make them fail. This enables team members to suggest proper maintenance procedures for their customers and helps to identify potential problems before they arise.
Beyond the equipment sales and service that Girard has offered for many years, the new shop made it possible for the company to expand into tank truck assembly. To that end, Girard Equipment has added a new vendor partner, Trans Tech Industries, a well-known manufacturer of fuel oil tanks.
“As many of you are aware, the process of building a tank is not as simple as picking out a tank design and mounting it on a chassis,” Girard says. “There are many options to be considered before committing to the perfect tank design. The Girard team will walk a customer through the purchase of every fuel oil truck from concept to completion.
“First, the customer must decide on the chassis preferred. Next, a variety of options need to be considered including total volume capacity, venting, meters, printers, lighting, hose reels, pumps, and bottom loading equipment. Once all of the specifications and costs are agreed upon, the Girard service team exceeds customer expectations by delivering the optimal fuel oil truck.
“We count on a lot of repeat business from our Tri-State area clients. It is our goal to provide the best level of service available at the lowest cost to the customer. We know that our customers are always looking to make the best use of their investment, so we consider nothing but the best for them.
“Our customers must feel confident that the quality of work being performed is up to their strict standards. The customer is encouraged to stop by our shop at any time to see the progress of their vehicle. Many times a customer may realize that a change needs to be made during construction. This is not a problem for us, as we will stop at nothing to ensure we are committed to 100% satisfaction throughout the entire process.”