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April '19

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D E A L E R S 46 • RV PRO • April 2019 rv-pro.com A fifth wheel and its tow vehicle represent thousands of dollars of hard-earned consumer investment – and traveling down the road, a hitch does more than just hold the two together. "A fifth wheel hitch is also a safety device, which a lot of people don't realize," says Scott Later, PullRite national sales manager. To keep RVers safe and their RVs intact, PullRite has made siz- able investments in product testing, which Later says differentiates the company from many of its competitors. "Before a product goes to market, every component and unit has to surpass SAE J2638 guidelines — and we do it to the letter," he says. PullRite not only tests its own products for flaws, but also those of other companies – to improve on PullRite's own design, engineering and safety. "Fifth wheel hitches are all we do. It's strictly our focus and that's why our reputation precedes us," Later says. The company also devotes significant resources to research and development. Its R&D department consists of four mechanical, electrical and design engineers. Additionally, PullRite owner Randy Pulliam – who designed the original SuperGlide hitch more than 20 years ago – remains very active in R&D. "We don't fudge on anything," Later says. "Not only do we have a reputation for standing behind our product in the small space we operate in, we pride ourselves on our innovation." Yet another important differentiator for PullRite: All hitches are U.S.-built and engineered using American steel from a Michigan supplier. Notably, except for a recently adjusted price on a hitch model that required re-engineering of one component, the company hasn't increased prices in more than four years, according to Later. Inexpensive offshore products have flooded the market with less- than-stellar quality, but Later says the industry, as a whole, has been very supportive of U.S. companies. "No one was manufacturing in our category in China 20 years ago, but then low-cost labor and materials were taken advantage of," he says. "The 'big hitters' decided to go off- shore and quality suffered, but we resisted and instead supported U.S. labor and steel. "And because we build a safety product, we wanted to ensure our quality. We were penalized during those years with an unlevel playing field — we would decrease our margins just to remain competitive, but then offshore products would just go lower. They had no bottom, but we persevered. "From a business standpoint, we feel vindicated," Later adds. "Our quality is what got us through, but consumers have to be educated on the product – and that's where our dealer partners come into play." As a two-step distribution model, PullRite doesn't sell to anyone but its distributor and dealer partners. What's more, PullRite seeks to partner with top-performing dealerships that set themselves apart because they understand the importance of the fifth wheel hitch, according to Later. "Many other dealers tell customers they can save them hun- dreds of dollars with an inferior product, because a 'hitch is a hitch' in their minds – and they sell a lot of them, too," he says. "But we take pride in knowing who the best dealers are – those who have excellent CSIs, ownership reputations, and upper manage- ments with a sincere dedication to providing consumers the best product, not just the best deal, so they can enjoy their investment more – and safely." Later adds, "We stress full training for our dealers. We're known for our service as much as we are for our product." PullRite, Top Dealers Persevere in Competitive Fifth Wheel Market By Rob Merwin PullRite National Sales Manager Scott Later says his company partners with the best dealers and makes sure that dealership personnel are knowledgeable about its products. "We stress full training for our dealers. We're known for our service as much as we are for our product," he says. Read More About PullRite: https://rv-pro.com/news/new-pullrite-hitch-hit-shows https://rv-pro.com/news/pullrite-hitches-reach-new- sales-record

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