Whiteside Manufacturing Company
The story of how Davison continues to innovate Whiteside's product-line.
"How do you innovate the automotive creeper?"
It's a question that resonated with the Davison team. How do you make a creeper, essentially a board on wheels that's been a mainstay of mechanics' garages for years, more innovative?
"So there we were, sitting in our boardroom with the executive staff of Whiteside Manufacturing," Davison Design and Development, Inc., CEO and President G.M. Davison recounted.
Whiteside - America's leading manufacturer of automotive creepers - was faced with stiff competition coming in from overseas. Foreign competitors found a way to manufacture creepers efficiently, pulling away Whiteside's market. They came to Davison to revitalize their product-line and to reinvent the creeper.
"With a fresh perspective, our Creationeers went to work."
The Davison team saw that the relatively simple creeper had one obvious flaw - wheels. They were the most expensive part of the creeper; they fell into floor cracks, shifted wildly over bolts and got into the mechanics' way. So, they just took them off.
Now, mechanics hover off the shop floor on a half-inch bed of air.
It was simple. A 14-pound creeper that floated on compressed air bladders. Mechanics already have compressed air in their garage for tools, why not take advantage of it? Just plug it in and glide under the car. Once underneath, the mechanic can hit a lever, let the creeper fall to the ground and have stable leverage for more torque, something he couldn't do before. Oh, and the mechanic can still use the compressed air; he just plugs the tools into an air outlet on the creeper. When navigating over the hectic landscape of the garage, he simply floats over cracks, bolts, washers and other debris that would have stopped a wheeled creeper in its tracks. Plus, a tool caddy is built into the creeper body.
"It's ignited a whirlwind of interest in the mechanic tool industry and has breathed excitement into an 'old' product."
It's like something out of a science fiction movie, but it's destined to become a part of every garage. "And because it's cheaper to own - no replacement costs for damage casters/wheels - mechanics will actually save money." And all the while, Whiteside takes steps into a new era, while the competition is still milling in the past.
"We require creative, innovative, out-of-the-box thinking from a group that cares about their customers," said Kirt Whiteside. "Davison exceeds expectations."