Gilbert & Roach is a premier truck dealership for Isuzu, Kenworth and DAF trucks with several locations scattered throughout New South Wales.
The company was first established in 1946, making Gilbert & Roach one of Australia’s longest-serving truck dealerships — under the ownership of Suttons Motors.
Gilbert & Roach has been offering products from the Kenworth franchise to its customers since 1981, but in addition to dealing a range of high-quality trucks across three respected manufacturers, it has also established an excellent rapport with ITW Polymers & Fluids, and in turn, PACCAR Parts.
The relationship with ITW Polymers & Fluids dates back to the mid ‘90s. After it began to purchase the Chemtech, Permatex and Rain-X lines directly from PACCAR Parts, Gilbert & Roach has found it easier to guarantee quality and reliability on its shelves.
“We had been selling Chemtech for a number of years before PACCAR Parts saw that we were selling heaps of it and decided to partner with us,” says Gilbert & Roach Huntingwood Parts Manager, Chris Richardson. “I’ve been here since 1996 and we were already selling their stuff before that, so it’s been a long time.”
As a Kenworth and DAF dealer franchise, Gilbert & Roach were, as a consequence, already a PACCAR Parts agent. So, as Chris says, it made sense to get everything from the one place.
“We were selling a lot of aftermarket items other than the genuine Kenworth and Isuzu product, but we didn’t have a good range of truck wash and those sorts of products,” he says.
“My predecessor, who made the decision to start dealing with ITW Polymers & Fluids, was obviously convinced that it was a good product. It definitely has a strong position in the marketplace in among a raft of other different products which do a similar thing, but just not as well.”
For its entire existence, ITW Polymers & Fluids has had the capability to excel in the market because of its broad product offering. Along with Chemtech, its well-known truck wash product, ITW Polymers & Fluids offers a series of sealants and adhesives through the Permatex range which are all available at Gilbert & Roach.
“They are all very well-known products in the market which have sort of become an industry standard,” Chris says.
“We have a large showroom at our dealership where we have a lot of products, and they’ve certainly got a good position in that showroom. And although Permatex is in competition with another really strong brand in the market, we have seen increased sales on Permatex’s product lately.”
Like sneakerheads or football fans, Chris says people are very brand conscious when it comes to trucks by gravitating towards certain brands which gain more attention in the industry.
With the ability to offer these more popular products to customers directly, the benefits have rubbed off on Gilbert & Roach as well.
“It’s funny, because you wouldn’t think that people would be that loyal to a truck wash,” Chris says.
“But if we weren’t offering Chemtech truck washes and a customer came in and said, ‘I want a drum of CT18’ and we didn’t have it, they would just go elsewhere. We wouldn’t be able to convert those customers to a different product, they’re just going to buy the one they want from somewhere else. So, in that sense, it’s very advantageous for us to sell Chemtech.”
According to Chris, ITW Polymers & Fluids’ sales department is testament to the reputation of the product. He says this initially influenced Gilbert & Roach’s decision to begin supplying ITW Polymers & Fluids, given that it, not unlike the product’s quality, has continued to impress him over the years.
“From an ITW perspective, they have always offered us a lot of support,” he says.
“Bryan, their sales rep, has always been helpful when it comes to us having sale days, events, and things like that. He’s always happy to help by providing material for promotions and things like that.”
And PACCAR, as Chris notes, have been no different.
“They make sure that they have a really broad range of products, and they make it easier to buy everything from them instead of getting it from a lot of different suppliers,” he explains.
“When people have a good experience with a product they keep using it, and that has absolutely played a part in the success of Gilbert & Roach as these customers will keep coming back to us.”