This post is written by Russell Hodges.

When stock and customer trucks need modifications, mechanics at Hodges Westside Truck Center are fully qualified to assist through metal fabrication, using tools like torches, drills, hammers and more to cut, bend and assemble existing materials to create new structures.
“We stretch and shorten a lot of wheel bases to fit certain-sized bodies on our chassis,” said diesel mechanic Erik Sullivan. “We add frame rows to the back of our chassis to build ICC bumpers. We also add lift gates or position existing lift gates to fit different bodies. A lot of our customers want lift gates installed or removed from their trucks. It takes a lot to figure out the positioning and angles of how far the lift gates need to be or how much frame row we need.”
Through metal fabrication, Westside Truck Center mechanics can add value to customer trucks and existing stock trucks. In addition to drilling frames and adding lift gates, Westside Truck Center mechanics can fabricate metal to build ramps allowing customers easy access to cargo. Ultimately, metal fabrication enables the business to serve the best interest of its customers.
“It’s something that presents us with unlimited opportunities,” said lead fabricator Nikko Laudicina. “Fabrication can be anything from shortening or lengthening trucks to building custom DOT bumpers and custom headache racks. Fabrication opens up a lot more windows for us. When a customer likes a truck, but doesn’t feel it’s long enough or it doesn’t have the right body on it, we can build or modify the truck to best suit the customer’s needs.”
While the majority of their fabrication work is geared toward straight trucks, Westside Truck Center mechanics have experience in modifying tractor trailers as well. Fabrication work can range anywhere from an hour long to a whole eight-hour day depending on the assignment, and Sullivan said mechanics at Westside Truck Center typically fabricate on a weekly basis.
“Fabrication work requires the right tools and the right knowledge,” Sullivan said. “That knowledge includes how to weld in different positions with different kinds of welders. Fabrication has been a significant part of our shop since I started here about five years ago. We’ve been getting a lot more involved in stretching chassis and extended tractors into straight trucks over the last few years. Fabrication has and will always be around.”

Russell HodgesFabrication

Leave a Reply