The “Custom Built” Difference: The Perfect-Fit Truck

Need-Driven Beginnings

Derek Dangelo started Custom Built Manufacturing, LLC (Custom Built) in 2006 as a small town, American-built, heavy-duty wrecker manufacturer. The reason he launched Custom Built was that in his 30 plus years of experience in running an autobody shop and his 30 years working in the towing business, he saw a clear equipment gap across the towing industry. As a tower himself, he needed a heavy-duty tow truck that was built to handle the jobs that he was getting calls on, so he decided to build them himself. He started with old 750’s and converted them to hydraulics configuring them to the exact specifications of what he needed for the jobs he was doing.

Now, he wasn’t the only tower that needed a perfect-fit truck. Towers nationwide were needing tow trucks capable of hauling anywhere from 20 tons to 80 tons.  To make sure his truck matches a customer’s need, he gives the customer free reign on the layout as he walks together with them on it based off CAD CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing). He focuses on their needs for exact specification of storage sizing.   Consequently, because of the wide range of need from truck size to varying equipment on the trucks, Custom Built has responded by offering many options on builds from an integrated 15-ton unit to a 60-ton rotator.  So, in summary, why did Dereck start Custom Built Manufacturing? He simply built for others what he made for himself—custom-tailored heavy-duty tow trucks built to handle the varying heavy load sizes.

Multiplying Growth and Success

Because Custom Built has experienced such a success from the high demand of towers being able to specific order their trucks to meet their ever-changing needs as a company, the company needed a new home.  Custom Built now has a new 300,000 square-foot facility. They have tripled the assembly department in size and quadrupled their over-all space.  Also, they have doubled their work force and, therefore, doubled their truck production from 20 in 2017 to 40 trucks in 2018.

Perfect-fit trucks is a major reason for Derek Dangelo’s success in the truck manufacturing business, but there is more.  Even though he is driven to constantly innovate, he is a down-to-earth family man who takes time to enjoy life.  Family is important to him like it is to the towers he sells to.  His son works in the business and runs the assembly plant, and his daughter and daughter-in-law work in the office. Custom Built is a small town, family-run business built with grassroots American pride and integrity.  Now life is more than just the year’s quota of sold trucks or the company’s financial bottom line.  Derek works hard and enjoys life. He likes to smoke a good cigar. He enjoys taking road trips on his motorcycles, his Harley Electra Glide and his Softail Springer. So, the best of all worlds for Derek then would be to smoke a good cigar while riding his motorcycle down the road!  He equally enjoys taking out the RV with the family on trips valuing the time he has with them.  In addition to a perfect-fit truck and a core value of enjoying life, what more does Custom Built offer to the potential buyer? Customer Built Mfg. offers a more user-friendly truck when it comes to maintenance and repair, intuitive safety design, and a superior warranty.

User-Friendly Maintenance and Repair

Custom Built builds trucks to be worked on, so everything is made to be accessible and easy to work on. You see a lot of cars and trucks that are nearly impossible to work on, and you know immediately that an engineer laid them out, not a mechanic.  Custom Built designs all our equipment with service in mind, so that your moneymaker can stay on the road not tied up in a shop.

Intuitive Safety

Safety begins with design, so Custom Built first looks where the danger areas are for the towers. They then layout the truck around two things: they place the towing and recovery tools on the left side of the truck and then place the controls on the right side where the operator will be standing away from traffic. Their goal is balance between keeping the tower safe and keeping the job work efficient.  Another way they enhance safety by design is by providing extra lighting on the truck and reflectives on both the truck and toolboxes which signal on-coming drivers to move over without being too over-the-top which would distract drivers causing them to drift toward the trucks.

Superior Warranty

When a company has a quality product tailored to the customer’s day-to-day need that is not only safe, but cost effective, there should be no hesitation in providing a warranty that says the same.  That is the very reason Customer Built stands behind their trucks by providing the best coverage in the industry–a 10-year structural warranty.  Also, they want everyone who buys from them to know that every truck is 100% built in America; each is built with integrity, are affordable, and are backed by excellent customer service.

Satisfied Customers

You don’t have to just consider what Custom Built says about their company, hear what several satisfied Custom Built owners have to say about the “‘Custom Built’ difference”:

“Yes, Derick and Nick are great people who stand behind their product. I had an issue with my California spec’d CBR40/50, and they corrected the issue immediately. I will definitely buy my next rotator from them.”

“I would like to share a little information on this business and the people who run it. First off, they have answered my questions and concerns day and night even on the weekend. They are a great bunch of people to deal with!   10-year warranty, I total believe it! I had a small miss hap, so I called them to see if the body panels were all the same and asked what the cost would be. Guess what! There was no charge, they sent them out at their expense!! I have always owned trucks from other manufacturers, but never got this kind of service. Keep up the good work!”

“Derek is a true straight shooter, which, as we all know, is hard to find in business these days. He builds both an excellent product that is second to none, while doing it at an economical price. The CB30HD he built for us is a true beast. He will walk you through the building process from start to finish, and even point you in the right direction on where to find a good used chassis to put one of his units on. My wife (and business partner) and I intend on either buying another one of his products that has been previously used or having him build us another truck when we are ready to expand our business again. Keep up the good work, Derek!”

“Great products, great people, and great workmanship, they stand behind their product 100%.”

“Nick and Derek are awesome; don’t think you’ll find anyone else in the business who cares more about their customers than they do.”