Derek Jensen, owner of Jensen Decorative Concrete Inc., works with concrete finishes, such as colored concrete and stamping for patio and driveway areas. Previously employed for 12 years with another concrete company, Jensen noticed a trend in truck body necessity pertaining to his industry. Or, more accurately, he noticed what was missing.
“I worked for this company for 12 years and drove one of their company trucks for 10. For those 10 years, I didn’t have enough space. It was such a mess when you had small toolboxes where tools were being piled on top of each other,” says Jensen.
Organization in the field is not only ideal, it’s more practical, more efficient, and more cost effective. The longer it takes to find the tools you need, the longer the customer waits. That’s simply bad business. In an effort to increase productivity and efficiency, Jensen took matters into his own hands, so to speak. “I took the whole design and twisted it. I enlarged it probably 30 percent. I added my own little tweaks to it,” says Jensen. “I realized that throughout those years, I was helping design trucks for other crews. It was all because I knew what worked and what didn’t.”
Featured Image: This practical body design makes it easy for five people to work from.
Above: Derek Jensen’s aluminum body design on Ford’s F-550 Super Duty.
It’s understandable if, when you hear the word “design,” you think of the process starting on a computer with design software or even utilizing old-school schematics. With Jensen, that wasn’t the case. “This was drawn up on a napkin,” he says, laughingly. “There was no computer design at all.” But, the body couldn’t come to life without some very specific help: a trusted body builder with years of experience and a good working relationship with the designer.
“I chose Ohnsorg Truck Bodies, Inc of Belle Plain, Minnesota, because they performed builds for my previous employer. They are really the best at doing these custom builds. My particular build is rather extensive and they took the idea right out of my head and made it a reality. Since day one,” Jensen says, “since 12 years ago, I’ve had a good working relationship with Ohnsorg. They do a lot of the concrete company trucks in my area. For me, how the whole process worked out was easy. There was no transaction and no paperwork that needed to be done on my end, because the whole build was financed through Ford. So, once Ford gave the ‘ok’ on the loan papers, Ohnsorg started building. I didn’t have to put a down payment to them; I had already put a down payment to Ford and they simply sent Ford a bill when the truck was done.”
After receiving the truck and financing, the build starts completely from scratch on a flatbed ordered through southern Minnesota, which is used for the base of the build. “All the toolboxes on the driver’s side are sitting on top of that flatbed, but everything was custom made for it,” says Jensen. “It’s a six-week process to build each one of these bodies. I have two of them now. I went in there once a week just to pull more ideas out of my head and the truck builders made it to a T.”
EXPERIENCE TO EXPERTISE
With so many truck body companies on the market, one major question came to mind: “Why build your own?”
“The bodies were built for personal use, for my job application,” says Jensen. “I designed this particular body style for myself and it works absolutely perfect for five guys to work out of each truck. I don’t have a huge shop, so every tool has to be with me every day.”
There is a lot that goes into choosing the right body: climate, geography, application, load baring necessities, etc. For Jensen, geography was the defining key, along with what would be most practical and last longest. “This whole truck is 100 percent aluminum and other bodies have steel on them. I live in Minnesota, so steel bodies don’t even last one year. I designed these with the thought that I’ll never have to perform a re-build unless I get into an accident. And, we can pull out 12 bolts to take this whole thing off and swap it on a new truck when the time comes. From the feedback I’ve gotten out of everybody that’s in the concrete industry, this is by far one of the best setups you could have out there.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Find out more about Jensen Decorative Concrete Inc., visit www.facebook.com/jensendecorativeconcrete.