Altec Supply in St. Joseph, Missouri, was looking for a new way to simplify the tool kits they supply with “bucket trucks.” These trucks are bought by tree care, utility, and telecommunications businesses across the U.S.
The challenge? Making sure the right tools get into the bucket “truck kits” that are deployed with each truck. But every truck must be customized with different tools—depending on the customer.
In addition to hard hats, climbing belts, and knee pads, a truck might need: impact wrenches, grinders, chainsaws, or hammers—all of which require different batteries and chargers, depending on the manufacturer. And that adds up to a lot more space inside the truck, as well as more dollars on the customer’s end.
More: Learn more about Altec Supply
The solution? Makita Rechargeable Batteries for cordless tools. They offer over 70 different cordless power tools that operate on the same 18V battery—including cordless grinders, drills, impact drivers, and chainsaws—and the collection is growing.
The battery is Makita’s 18V LXT (lithium extreme technology), which they’ve been using since 2005. It provides plenty of power, but is also very lightweight and easy to recharge in a vehicle. Better yet—the tools can be purchased as a kit (with batteries), or as a stand-alone tool—allowing buyers to save money by recycling batteries that they already own.
“The whole idea is standardization,” said Grant Holsteen, the Sales Manager for Industrial Sales for Makita in Kansas and Missouri. He partners with CJ Messner at IBT Industrial Solutions to supply the tools to Altec Supply. “It makes sense to have just 1 battery charger in the truck that can recharge all the tools. Plus, whenever you buy a new tool, you can use the same chargers and adapters you’ve already invested in. Right now, it’s the world’s largest 18V lithium line-up.”
The bonus? Power tool companies Greenlee and Burndy have also developed cordless tools that use Makita’s 18V battery and charger, giving customers a whole new set of tool options.
More: Visit Makita’s website
The result? Altec Supply can now deploy a bucket truck kit that takes up less space, costs less to maintain, and offers easy standardization—no matter which tools the customer chooses for their kit. Also, customers have greater tool choices available when they upgrade or expand the kits.
“Now there are lots of options for whatever your tooling needs are,” Holsteen said. “You don’t have to buy multiple sets of tools and batteries and chargers, which saves time and money in the long run.”
Messner, the Outside Sales Rep at IBT who helped Altec Supply work with Makita and carries the tools at the IBT warehouse, said that this flexibility offers a huge advantage for utility and telecommunications companies that choose to work with Altec.
“It’s so much easier to have 7 tools that all work off the same battery on a 4-port charger,” Messner said, adding that some chargers even work in a cigarette outlet. “Makita adds a lot of value for Altec’s customers, and they’ve been very helpful through the whole process.”