Tucker Rocky Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Dealer & Brand Expo Combines With A Birthday Bash

Celebrating 50 years is a milestone achieved by very few in the powersports industry. Tucker Rocky commemorated this watershed event with a big bash in Texas… and according to big brass, the ride is just beginning. Little did Ed Tucker know just how big his slick idea was to become when he first started selling motor oil to motorcycle shops throughout the Dallas area back in 1967!

“Dad discovered that motorcycle racers were running ‘bean oil’ made by Castrol, which became his pathway into the market,” according to Ed’s son Jarrett. “He sold oil out of the back of his van with grit and determination to succeed.”

From the back of a van, into a converted bowling alley and series of strategic alliances, Ed Tucker Distributing has had quite a ride. The journey of 50 years was not without bumps along the way, but the company has made it through good times (and bad), so we tip our hat to them for achieving this significant milestone.

Tucker Rocky house brands were well represented.

Fast forward to today, and Tucker Rocky is one of the top distributors in the powersports industry, selling thousands upon thousands of products – including “bean oil” – to dealers throughout the country.
We headed to Frisco, Texas, to celebrate with one of the industry’s most enduring institutions.

TR combined its 50th anniversary with the Dealer & Brand Expo on February 9-10. The Expo was an opportunity for TR brass and staff to meet with dealers and vendors alike to discuss business and salute the achievements of all. With nearly 200 vendors and 800 dealers in attendance, this was Tucker’s biggest Dealer & Brand Expo yet, according to show officials.

Tucker Rocky road rep shows his dealers some of the latest products they may look to stock for the riding season.

TR also met with the media at a press conference held during the Expo. Tucker Rocky President Eric Cagle, who came from Caterpillar Industries less than 6 months ago, stated that the company is moving into the next chapter of its history based on three strong pillars: commerce, content
and community.

The K&L booth was busy during the expo hours, as were many others.

This was evident during the Expo as there were several business building seminars and vendor training sessions that took place before the exhibit halls opened. The community part of the pillar was also in full swing as dealers gathered with their reps to tour the hall and mingle at the surrounding tables during lunch, as well as the big 50th anniversary celebration that kicked off that Friday evening.

Tucker Rocky President Eric Cagle spoke to the moto media.

Tucker Rocky is laying the groundwork for growth in the coming months and years. In the press conference, Cagle explained how TR plans to achieve its goals and address some of the concerns that dealers have had in the past with customer service and logistics.

For one, Cagle was brought in because he is a logistics and supply chain expert, so he will likely make effective changes near and long-term, even if some of the current moves have been difficult, with some downsizing and consolidation of warehouse distribution centers.

Cagle reiterates TR’s commitment to its brick and mortar retailers by saying they have to do more to help dealers grow their businesses, including helping them with visual merchandising initiatives and building a better online dealer portal to communicate through.

He said the key to fighting the online retail surge is a healthy dealer who understands sound marketing and business metrics as much as the latest features on their new model year bikes. “If we can help a dealer and make them healthy, we can have a long-term customer,” noted Cagle.

TR’s Director of Merchandising Charlie Haydayia, said that brick and mortar dealers are not going away due to how specialized the industry has become. He argues that it’s more difficult to buy powersports products online because customers often need the expertise of a dealer to help them make the right decisions. “We believe that dealers have to talk directly to their customers to sell them products because of the complexity involved.”

50th Anniversary T-Shirts were printed on the spot to commemorate the event.

Cagle added a silver lining that consolidating warehouses would ultimately better serve the dealer. He says shutting down the lower volume warehouses will lead to increased efficiency and more timely shipments from TR’s remaining warehouses.

In 2017, Cagle says that TR is set to make substantial investments in its infrastructure, such as adding a new dealer portal that will make it easier to track orders and communicate with the company. They also plan to make significant additions to staff with the goal of “presenting a more professional face to our dealers.”

Specific areas that Cagle said will be beefed up with new hires include industrial engineering, business and sales analytics and warranty returns.

“Better sales analytics will allow TR to share with vendors ways to improve their marketing and improve their collaborative efforts,” noted Cagle. “We will be focused on things like improving fill rates. Today, we do quite a bit of cross-shipments, so we need to collaborate within our organization from inventory management to purchasing and accounting, as well as with our vendors to improve our services with our dealers. We think we have a significant opportunity to do so.”

The last key area Cagle said that TR would focus on improving is the culture. “I joined Tucker Rocky because I could identify with the culture,” he notes. “It’s a place that I feel like I can add value and be here for the rest of my working career.”

Cagle said he views his position with the company as a sort of ‘Shepherd of Culture’. He added that while the company has been through numerous changes in the past few years, he will be introducing some initiatives himself.

“I’m going to be introducing some changes myself to some staff additions. I view all of these things as positive addition to the culture at Tucker Rocky. The proof will be in the pudding, but my definition of success is you take the engaged employees we have today – who have a passion for the industry, a passion for our customers, and a passion for Tucker Rocky – and give them more and better tools so they can do their job more effectively. When we look back five years from now, that passion will have done nothing but grow. These are my goals.”

If Ed Tucker were still around, he’d be proud – and somewhat astonished at what he started. As Eric Cagle claims, the proof will be in the pudding, but based on Expo attendance, Tucker Rocky is on the right track for another 50 years.

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