AGRICULTURE BUSINESS MISSION CRITICAL TRUCK BODIES
Netto Ag Inc is a diversified family farming, dairy, and custom harvesting business located in Central California. It was founded in 1986 by brothers James and Frank Netto. In addition to their dairy operations they also grow wheat, pistachios, almonds, cotton and corn. They are a member of the $15 billion Land O Lakes agricultural co-operative, and at certain months of the year they harvest and haul silage and other cattle feed throughout Central California.
A Fully Diversified Operation
The breadth of Netto Ag’s operations require many different types of machinery, from harvesting equipment to bulldozers to water trucks to service bodies. During one of several harvest times each year, separate teams of employees — each operating a different type of vehicle/equipment — are sent out to individual fields, each team under the direction of a single “crew boss”. The crew boss is both the team leader, lead mechanic, and equipment troubleshooter. If any piece of machinery needs service or repair, the crew boss must be fully able to make those repairs in the field with little delay. The crew boss typically drives an upscale, fully-loaded service body work truck. There are times when as many as 20+ harvesters and another 50+ silage trucks are used in various delivery and maintenance capacities.
The Switch To Scelzi
A large percentage of those crew boss service bodies today are Scelzi truck bodies, most of them outfitted with extra fuel tanks, welding stations, compressors and other accessories to minimize return trips to the central ranch garage. Netto Ag didn’t always buy Scelzi truck bodies, but over time they decided the premium quality was worth the price. “It was mainly a return-on-investment decision”, says co-owner Frank Netto. “We bought truck bodies from other suppliers, and after just 1-2 years they were showing their age and in some cases, toolbox doors were falling off their hinges!”. But things changed after they purchased their first Scelzi truck body. “I bought a Scelzi truck body around 1996 for my personal use, and we could not believe the difference in product quality”, says Netto. “It was built like a tank — a sleek, gorgeous tank — and even 10 years later when the cab and engine needed replacing, the Scelzi truck body still shined like a young bull.”
The Need For Equipment Durability
From that point on, Scelzi truck bodies have been the preferred builder for all Netto AG’s new service bodies. That first Scelzi body is still in use, almost 25 years later. It is on its 3rd chassis cab (see photo), but the condition of the body itself still appears ready to handle many more harvests before its final season has come. D.J. Netto – Frank’s son — points out the unique needs of their harvesting operations this way: “During harvest time we are running close to 24/7, and we are very hard on our equipment. We can’t afford to lose much time due to long equipment downtime, so we need tools that are rugged and durable. The comparative total life cycle cost of a Scelzi Truck Body is just too good to pass up. And the fact you can re-use a Scelzi body after the cab is showing its age is just an extra bonus for us.” A walking tour of their central ranch garage revealed a large number of Scelzi and other vehicles, the Scelzi bodies ranging in age from 1 to 25 years. No other bodies have lasted nearly that long.
“With all our equipment — and not just truck bodies — we tend to buy high quality and don’t discard equipment that is still working fine,” adds Frank. “And that is why you see so many older Scelzi truck bodies here right now — and why you will see mainly Scelzi truck bodies here in the future.”
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