The GSE Podcast

Episode 2 - "Bulletproof": Inside Charlatte with Rob Lamb

June 08, 2023 Matt Weitzel Episode 2
The GSE Podcast
Episode 2 - "Bulletproof": Inside Charlatte with Rob Lamb
Show Notes Transcript

In the second installment of "The GSE Podcast", hosted by Matt Weitzel from Xcēd GSE, we delve into the world of electric Ground Support Equipment (GSE) with guest Rob Lamb, VP of Sales & Marketing at Charlatte America

With its electric bag tractors and belt loaders, Charlatte America stands at the forefront of electric GSE production in the United States. This episode shines a light on the journey of Charlatte America and its pursuit of electric innovation in the GSE space, particularly focusing on their groundbreaking new electric cargo tractor with an incredible 60,000 lbs pull capacity.

This candid conversation between Matt and Rob takes listeners down memory lane to their initial encounter at Memphis back in 2008. Despite being competitors at the time, working for different manufacturers, they formed a lasting friendship, a testament to the bonds and camaraderie within the GSE industry. 

The term "Bulletproof", which lends this episode its title, signifies Charlatte America's enduring commitment to robust engineering and innovation, personified by their proprietary axle design. This conversation goes beyond just technology and product design, to delve into how Rob's fluency in Spanish has proven instrumental in the GSE sales world, showcasing the importance of diversity and skills beyond the technical realm in this industry.

Listeners are also given a preview of the forthcoming launch of Charlatte's new electric cargo tractor at the GSE Expo in Las Vegas.

Brought to you by Xcēd GSE, a leading ground support equipment lessor offering operating leases, "The GSE Podcast" provides you a first-hand perspective into the inner workings of the GSE industry. Discover more about Xcēd GSE's services and the latest inventory at, and make sure to tune in to this enlightening discussion wherever you get your podcasts!


This episode of the GSC podcast is brought to you by exceed ground support equipment leasing your trusted partner for GSE solutions. We specialize in tailored operating leases for ground handlers and airlines, offering top notch equipment and flexible terms to suit your needs. Partner with the industry leaders like Charlotte America, we are committed to bringing you new equipment offerings and keep your operations running smoothly and efficiently. Choose exceed for competitive rates and exceptional customer service. Visit exceed Today in soar to new heights with exceed ground support equipment leasing. All right, we are we're live here and the second ever GSC podcast I've got with me today. Rob Lamb, the VP of Sales and Marketing for Charlotte America. Hey, what's up, Rob? How are you? I'm doing great man. I greatly appreciate the opportunity. Look forward to talking to you today. I would like to know why it was not selected as number one, but I guess we can talk about that. On another day, if you will. Yeah, I think number two is pretty good man. But you know, I think I've always known you. You know, as far as like people who are VP of Sales for different companies. I think you're the second that, that I ever met, really. So I know. We were I was originally with tog. And we met shortly after that, because you were my competitor at the time working for Charlotte. Yeah, what was it down at the Memphis barbecue where we met down on the 10th there? And? Yes, I do. And two together. I'm like, You're that guy? Yeah. Go ahead. Sorry. I just gotta say me, and lets, you know, it was wonderful meeting you. And I think you're one of those examples of just, you know, there's there's 500 People in this fraternity of GSE. That matters. And you're one and I'm one and, you know, we all get along? Yeah, I think Brad told me when we were talking that I was 499. So I just made the cut, you know, which is super exciting for me. No, but I remember the same thing. So to give a little background here, I was the account manager for FedEx for photog and you were the account manager or I imagine at that time, you're still the VP of sales there as well for for FedEx. And they invited both of us to join their barbecue competition Memphis in May. And you know, I think it speaks a lot for the industry. Because we're well are just you, I'm not sure which but, or maybe both. But we showed up. And like I said, we were competitors at the time, both calling on the same customer. And you were just so nice to me. And I was very green. Right? I think I had been in the GFC for about a year, maybe less. And you were just so nice to me, even though you know, you were my competitor. And it was it was fantastic, man. And we've been we've been friends ever since. And I really appreciate that and how nice you are to me. Yeah, absolutely. You know, when you're in sales or any kind of marketing, you know, you're, I guess you're you're born with this gift, and that is reading people. And when I met you, I mean, I knew from the very beginning, you and I were gonna get along, just body language. Eventually, the stories we told him and I really appreciated the friendship ever since. Yeah, man. And I didn't know if you're being nice to me, because you were such a nice guy or the fact that I think pretty sure I bought the keg of beer. So I wasn't sure if it was the keg that won you over or just my personality, but it could, again, could have been both? We don't know. Yeah, yeah, a combination of both. And we're all smiling because we're eating some of that fantastic. Memphis barbecue. So I want to say we came in 19th overall that year in ribs, if I remember correctly, however, the first year, and I'll get into my history in a minute, but the first year I was I was on the team, but I wasn't on the team. They would never let me you know, touch the barbecue cook anything. Like you said, I think I might have been in charge of you know, procuring a few things here and there. And it was not a FedEx event. But several of the team members happen to work at FedEx or were retired from FedEx. Yeah, it was the first year and I was 1997 and I was down there and then reads that turn the account over to me. And I'll be darned. You know, there's God, I think. And it's probably still this way. Today, there's like 300 cooking teams. And you've got ribs, whole hog, or shoulder and other. And the team that I was on used to cook ribs. And there were like 120 teams doing ribs. And they would crown a champion for each category. So we had four champions. And then at the end, they would crown the grand champion. And the team that I was working with there called the other team, they won the grand championship that first year that I was there. So they're like, oh, Rob, maybe you're gonna love Charmin like, I don't think so. Because after his eight year, I went for probably another 20 years, and they never wanted ever again. So they're there you have it, they've placed high and this and that, but they have not won a Grand championship. And since when I recall, it was a nice pay out for those guys that actually ran the team and were technically on the team. So can I ask you a question? Yes, sir. Do you go around claiming that you are a barbecue like World Champion? To like your friends that really don't know the whole story? You know, what? That because I wouldn't know. It depends on how gullible the person is. Okay. All right. But But no, you know, it did cost me some money because I felt like I then had to go get a green egg and learn how to do this and that, you know, this temperature and, and that and peel the back of the ribs of membranes, all that. So let's just say I'm the best at cooking barbecue on my street. I gotta tell you, I think we could have a barbecue podcast at this point. I'm thinking we should maybe start that. And actually, I think it's the reason that I have a big green egg is because you got a big green egg. This is a funny story. So you got a big green egg. And then I imagined that cliff Chapman got a big green egg. And then I went to cliffs house. And I was like, I gotta have one of those big green eggs. So I'm pretty sure that tell the story went in. So you're actually the reason that, that I'm into barbecue as well. Look at that. Well, and, and you know, and that sort of ties and, you know, to my background and how I got into this business. I got a green egg because Ben Reeves had a big green egg. So we'll go back here to the beginning of Rob lambs life. And that was I was born in metro Atlanta, and ended up going to Auburn University. And had a really good time over there. I can say this and be very proud of it. We'll show you how long ago it was. But when I was there, we never lost to Alabama. So nearly as impressive. I graduated in December of 1989. And it was funny back then everything was on the quarter system. I did not go to grad school. So I don't know what would have happened then. But never ever was on semesters. And Oh, see, I thought I thought you meant the quarter system was quarter beers. Oh, is that not? Is that not? Okay. I thought you just gave like somebody a quarter and they gave you a beer. That's not what you're talking about. No, no, don't make me do Auburn math. You know, okay. Well, there's a beer is the equals 12 pack or kids? Okay, yeah. So you were at Auburn University. And you all were on quarters. Okay, so at Auburn, they were on the quarter system. And that was a wonderful thing. Because if you had a really bad quarter, which was exactly 10 weeks, he could make it up to next quarter. So to reference that, people at Auburn would say, Are you graduating in the spring on time and I got to say like many others was Nam coming back for an extra football sees because school would start in the middle of September and it would end the first week of December. So yeah, I was there for national football season. graduated in 89. Met my lovely bride there. Julie, who I've been married to for 31 wonderful years. So I'm two years older than her. So when I graduated from Auburn, I worked at a local exercise equipment manufacturing company down there. Many people may have heard of this company. It's called diversified products DP Fit for Life. If you're older than 50 years old, I'm quite confident you had one of their pieces of equipment in your house and made everything from orbitron weights, to treadmills to air mics and this and that. And so it worked there for two years waiting for Julie to graduate. And I tell you, it was probably the most enlightening experience I've ever had because this was a gigantic company where We had at least 10 or 15 assembly lines. And these were pretty impressive assembly lines, you know, back in, you know, 9090 9091, you know, before robotics came out and so forth. But anyway, so she graduates from Auburn, like anybody else, we moved back to Atlanta, because in my opinion, at the time, it was very difficult to make a living and South Alabama so I came back to the big city, just basically threw my hat in the ring going through the newspapers back then as I can age myself, you know, the Internet was not really quiet around yet. So I found a job, you know, interviewed a few different places and ended up and started my airline career, if you will, with a big cargo airline called Emory worldwide. Emery airfreight had been around for several years. And I took a job there as an account manager in charge of the East Coast of the US handling their international air freight that sort of fit the bill because I graduated with a degree in international business, foreign language trade Spanish. So that was pretty cool. I'm like, alright, well, I'm dealing with imports, exports, you know, customs brokerage and all of this. And, you know, I cut my teeth there for five years. That was a, a more enlightening experience, because I was selling a good product, but it was, in my opinion, expensive. We've provided the service, but it's a very competitive business. It's even more today because there's so many freight forwarders not just the integrated carriers of you know, FedEx, UPS and DHL, there's, there's all these other people that are moving freight around the globe, but we could talk about that supply chain mess that these people and all of us manufacturers have been dealing with forever. But long story short, Ben Reeves, and I were in the same fraternity. And Ben got married to a lovely lady named Amy. And her father happened to own a company called tug manufacturing in Kennesaw, Georgia. Well, I ended up going to a Christmas party at her dad's house, Don Chapman one night and Don occurred or he learned that I worked for and rear freight. At the time, Emery was a pretty darn good customer of tugs. They had a hub in Dayton, Ohio, and an old colleague and friend of mine, who we both know very well, who I believe was your first podcast, Brad Compton was handling the Emory account up in Dayton, Ohio. And Brad being the professional salesperson and successful as he has been all these years had just sold. I believe it was 40 M H crew vans, basically where they took the back where the, you know, the shape tail, I think we call it two. And they basically cut it out and made it so they put two benches on each side and would take people out on the ramp back and forth to the aircraft, the crews and so forth. Well, I think that I've may have sold dawn that I had something to do with some of the operation or procurement or something. And at Emory, and next thing you know, he asked me to come work for Tang, and I get there and I'm like, kind of surely hope he doesn't expect me to get any business because I don't know anybody in operations. Nobody in procurement, I was in sales, trying to sell the airframe. But a long story short, I guess we could say that, that Ben got me in this business. I'm forever grateful to him. I've made so many incredible friendships. I spent eight years at tug manufacturing, it was tug manufacturing that it was Stuart Stevens and Stuart and Siemens and tug and then come 2005 It was dive rated apart and decided to take a big risk. And you know, they always say the bigger the risk that the higher the reward. And I think that somewhat applies in this case, because I got recruited away to go work for a French company where I work now. Charlotte of America and Bluefield, Virginia. So I was gonna go from the big city of Atlanta, up to the up to Central Appalachia. And yeah, it took me a while, you know, they told me, you know, robins not pronounced Appalachian, it's Appalachia. But I finally figured that out. Louis Galliano was the president of Charlotte at the time and he basically met with me and offered me the job and I saw that the industry was was trending towards electric vehicles, even though it was a limited market. At the time, it was still a market that, in my opinion had been untapped. And some of the sales management they had at Charlotte at the time, or previous to me, made it pretty easy for me just to come in there and, you know, get out in front of a customer and make the calls and they just weren't selling or marketing their vehicles correctly, because Charlotte had a superior product to its competition. And now the rest is pretty much history come September will have been there. 18 years. Wow. So that's at that time. Yeah, I had hair back then. Man. Oh, man. So long time ago, man. So at the time, when you when you left to go to Charlotte, what were what was their product line? Was it the like the T 137? Or was it that time was the 135 or something? And then did they have the belt loader? Yeah, so it was mainly just, you know, the, the DC powered bag tractor along with a DC powered full size belt loader. Okay. And, you know, they've had too large customers have done too little of two of the legacy carriers, but they really weren't doing business with anybody else. So there was some low hanging fruit. And, boy, you know, they say timing is everything. And I think my move to there was a perfect example of that. Well, yeah, you've done incredibly well there. And it's more than just timing. I mean, you're, you're obviously a great salesperson as well. So so they converted the both the bell loader and the electric Bragg tractor to AC I would say a couple years after you got there. Is that correct? Yes, sir. That is absolutely correct. It is. You know, and I know we'll we'll talk about technology as we move through the podcast. Of course, I know, that's something you want to talk about. But yeah, it especially when we get to new products, and so forth. As we move forward, we still only had one dc product here recently. And that was the intermediate belt loader. And that was one of those things, just you know, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But we're finally going AC on it, even though it's one of our most dependable vehicles. But honestly, in the realm of electric vehicles, a belt loader is probably the best application because you use, you know, so few amp hours and running a belt loader, or at least the conveyor deck of a belt loader. So do anyhow, yeah, I've a random question for you here do have anti-collision on the belt loader. Yes, sir. We do. We call the scout system. Oh, when did that come out? Um, I guess three years ago, maybe Wow, shortly after IATA hit, you know, come out and said that they would like for folks to put that on there. So yeah, we do provide it. Quite honestly, it's not something we've been surprised that not many people have mandated it. And sitting back, it's like, well, we know the customers know their business. If, if they're not specifying it, you know, I'm not going to ask them to pay the x $1,000. To put it on there. Yeah, it's honestly one of these things where so I have, I have a car that has all the anti collision stuff on it, but my wife's car does not. And I have a very hard time going from driving my car to than her car, because I'm used to the technology, right? So I know that my car is not going to get out of its lane and things like that. When I get into her car. I'm not paying as much attention. And then realizing like, Oh, I'm out of my lane, because I'm so used to that. So I think it's like, a lot of it may be that, yeah, these airlines and things like that they don't want their operators to get used to that technology, and then all the sudden because if they can't convert the whole fleet, right, then it's safer almost just to keep the fleet non non anti-collision just for the simple fact that unless you can convert them all don't convert any of them type of mentality, it would be my guess. I don't know what your thought is on that. Yeah, I think you're right. And as we say back in the 90s dittos rush. I know where you're coming from, you know, cuz I've got to the same situation with with an older car and a brand new car. And it's it definitely is something to get used to. I do not have a self driving car, but I do have all those those bells and whistles on it. Yeah, unfortunately, I don't have the self driving car either. But maybe one day. Well, we are in GSC you know, we don't make millions knits right now. But anyway, yeah, so I've been around airplanes for for 31 years. And this industry has been so good to me. I've learned you know, so many things from so many CEOs that I work for Don Chapman, Mike Grimes, John Keating, Louie Galliano, and even now my my current boss, bass, Jen novo, hello from Sharla Mandy tension, just some background here. Sharla is a company that is owned by the Fiat Group. And the Fiat Group is a French like the word group. And one designator of that is, is that it's not a corporation in that I can buy common shares. The Fiat Group is 231 company's in 170 countries and John qualify and Lauren find out, basically are the shareholders and we work for that family. And they own 70 companies with about 100 different subsidiaries is in Charlotte America is one of those companies where my president manages both locations. The only difference is is you know, the destination of the vehicle, how it's built with C spec or not, as he handles the, you know, the p&l and the operations management of both our facility in Burgundy, as well as in Virginia. So we're both called Sharla. It's just you know, from a legal standpoint, we're Charlotte America, and their Charlotte Mandy attention. So as far as my responsibility goes, I am my sales territory is all of the Americas. So I can go from Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the Maritimes, down to Lima, Peru or Santiago, Chile. Oh, it's a gigantic area, and I got a few people that helped me with it. But, you know, most of our business is in the US and Canada. Okay. Do you all bring units over from Europe and sell them in the United States? Are you only selling units that are produced in the United States in the Americas? Well, you know, it's, it's interesting that technically, we have two way traffic across the Atlantic. Okay, we build, I think we're the only manufacturer that builds like vehicles in both locations. However, there are right now, two products that we've been selling for years. The T 208, which is like a little, a little gate Tugger, if he will, little toe eight tons. I love that vehicle, because it might be the most reliable vehicle that we sell. And it's really, I love it, because we don't have much competition, we actually we have zero competition there. So that is that a smaller bag attractor, just less weight, and just smaller footprint? That's exactly right. We used to market it on time, you know, two thirds of size two thirds, the price of the T 137. Wow. So so that one they still build over there. Because we sell a ton of those to all the auto manufacturers over in Europe, how that makes sense. I haven't. And even though I'm selling it to three different airlines, here on this side of the pond, we just haven't gotten up into those big numbers over 100 to actually, you know, assemble them, err, it's easier for us just to build them there and put them on an ocean container and bring them over the other vehicle is the CFB 2000 The Charlotte flatbed 2000. So we've talked about the MH earlier, great. Textron bills, it's very similar to to the texture on MH except it's electric. It's a little more narrow and it's longer. But anyway, it's it's got a real flat battery in it, like underneath some panels in the deck on the back and got like 4000 pounds on it and it will and you can use it with baggage rails around it, you can put a mark of a baggage cart on the back with a shelf in it and curtains the whole deal, it will still pull, you know so as 3000 pounds of powerbar pull even with the weight on that deck. So it is another product is very unique to us. We're seeing a lot of a lot of interest in that vehicle right now. Yeah, that because it's got its narrow, it can pull a lot. Seems like there'll be a lot of applications for that. Yeah, and just like any other high speed vehicle, it will do 25 miles an hour. Wow. In many applications, many applications, thank goodness for the Curtis controller you can you can dial speed, you know, if you have a speed limit of 10 or 50 miles an hour or rap, we can make it that that's the you know, the top speed if you will. Well, that's incredible. So that's still being built in France. Along with the was it the 208 Yep, the D 208. The eight on the end of that stand Inspiron little that it will tow eight tons. It only goes eight miles an hour, but tow basically 16,000 pounds. It is just such a unique little vehicle turns on a dime. And when you see it, you can tell why. But just like all of our other vehicles that we build it or electric, even though internal combustion is still part of our business to 80% of its electric, they all have a version of the same Charlotte rear axle. And the reason that is is a big part of it, Terry? axle? Yes, sir. It is gotten. We build that in our factory in Burgundy, France. And it's one of the it's probably 50% of the reason I went to take the job at Sherlock, because it has been so dependable. They've been building it since the early 90s. It's the same design, whether it goes into 208, the belt loader, or the T 137. It's the Charlotte axle. We design the front X, we have another supplier build that for us. But that rear axle and its reliability is what makes our our product line, you know, almost bulletproof. You know, that's so funny that you said bulletproof because I think I've heard other people in the industry describe the axle as bulletproof. And I was gonna say, so it's basically both. So that's pretty good. Yeah, but I've heard I've heard I've heard stories about this axle. So apparently it is it is something that you all have that nobody else has, and makes your units very reliable. And it's the reason that you sell a lot of electric tractors. Yeah, we sure do. It. No, the problem is, though, you know, electric vehicles, unlike the internal combustion ones, where you gotta replace an engine hair, and yeah, all that maintenance with, you know, internal combustion, the problem with electric vehicles is, is they last too long. Now, if you take care of electric vehicle, you're not going to sell as many because you can get 1520 years out of the model the ramp. I mean, yeah, there's, you know, there's tough push backs, and, you know, some some old, you know, Stuart Stevenson's and pay movers and all those guys out there, but push backs different, you know, they're not working a whole lot. They can last, what, 30 years plus, but for some of them that's running around the ramp all day, you know, the last for 15 to 20 years, is pretty darn impressive. So speaking of push backs, do you offer a push back or an electric push back? We have played in that arena in the past. And, you know, we've only sold a few handfuls of those, we would like to be in that business. But it is just it's difficult because we don't buy enough from the axle manufacturers because we would not make that axle that would not be a Charlotte rear axle. No guys on that. And we currently do not have a an axle manufacturer to supply us those. I'd like to be in that business. Because last time I crunched the numbers, the price for one of those with the batteries that you know, would be the ballast on each pontoon on the right side is the same amount of money as an internal combustion. Yeah, but you know, as grants drive our business and so forth, it's it's usually just the tractors and the belt loaders when they get all the, you know, the emissions credits back and not necessarily the push backs, although there are some for that. Okay. Yeah. Because I think, you know, as the industry moves towards electrification, which we can, we can discuss, you know, you would think that Charlotte would want to be able to offer like, a full narrowbody package, right. So that way, you have all, you know, the push back the belt loader, or the baggage tractor, you know, enough to support in an entire operation, but I do understand that. I mean, if you don't buy very large quantities of these things, it can be, they can get super expensive, I imagine. Yeah, and, you know, the push from the airlines, if, if somebody came to me and said, Robin, two years, SCS made 100 of these, we'd go back to the drawing board. And, you know, we would redesign a vehicle to make it happen, but I just don't think the quantities are there today. That could be changing. But yeah, we're, we're satisfied with our portfolio with not having one of those. Yeah, so let's talk about electrification and GSC. So, obviously, you know, you've been selling electric tractors since the 90s. They've been out there. They are not. I wouldn't say they are the majority of tractors out there, but there's obviously a push from the industry to go more towards electric. What are your thoughts? Is that going to happen? Is there going to be II? Is every location going to go electric? Where do you all see that going? You know, it's it has been fun to watch it grow every single year, I spent about 10 years on the advisory board than every and stands for Electric Power Research Institute, that was really eye opening, because that was sort of the, at the beginning of all of this, I think I was around 2000. If that makes sense. I think I carried it over. And I think I was there when I was with Brand X. And then I think I stayed on when I came over to, to Charlotte, I haven't been on it many years. But back then, the state of California was basically paying my salary, and keeping the lights on Charlotte out of America, because the Californians are the ones that started this whole thing. Not a huge fan of California, cost a lot to live there. And it's long ways from home. But they started out with the memo of understanding the California Air Resources Board, you know, and they went hot and heavy on it. Next thing, you know, all these different grants and so forth, are, are popping up on the West Coast and everybody started electrified airports, you know, from LAX to Burbank. But to answer your question, to give you an idea, I just told you back then it was pretty much the state of California with with a little bit sprinkled in on the East Coast and this and that, but there wasn't a whole lot of money to get from the government. So if you did it, if you did go electric, you had the infrastructure, and you were just smart enough to know to go electric and tractors and belt loaders. Because of the cost savings that's there. The ROI is higher on an electric vehicle than it is on an internal combustion engine. And I'm sure you've seen all those studies and this and that, but I'm not going to sell you on that today. But to give you an idea, so the whole state of California, at least the major airports there, they're making a push to go electric. Then you see the big cities, you know, the SeaTac Airport, both airports in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, all the hubs in Texas, Memphis, Denver, Dallas, Las Vegas, in here, most recently, we've got Kansas City, as a mid sized airport, as I might describe it, Vancouver and Toronto, this, you know, everything's starting to really burst at the seams. So you hear a lot of people talk about infrastructure at the airports, and that's the reason you don't see a lot of electric equipment at the airports is because the infrastructure, isn't there. So are these grants also covering the infrastructure for these airports? Well, you know, there's, there's different types of grants. Each airline is they have an environmental department. And I guess I could just very simply say that, you know, some environmental departments are more engaged with tech ops, customer service, or GSE, depending on how that airline manages their business through their different departments. Yes, the I word, if it weren't for infrastructure, I would be selling at least 100% more equipment than I sell right now. What happens is, and these are not things that happen overnight, it doesn't matter if it's the wealthiest state, the wealthiest County, you know, every airport has its own challenges internally. And that could be from the airport management, it could be the state that they're in, it could be where they are with, with the federal government programs that are offered the actual understanding of the grants, knowing the deadline of the grants are the big issue. But the main driver of the lack of infrastructure is the age of the terminals where they want to put in the fast chargers to charge these vehicles, even up to today. The reason Europe has sold twice as many vehicles as me and my competition has here in the US is because they don't really use fast charging over in Europe. So if you're not using fast charging, you have to buy twice as many vehicles right? As you might not have time for eight to 10 hours to you know, plug it up to a standard charger. Well over here, if people are going to do it, they're going to make their best attempt to do it right and to do it right is to spend the money and bring in the utility companies to help pay for this and that and the grants but bring in the the experts you know that that sell the fast chargers and build a terminal or find the power in an existing building. And then it's got 480 volt 38, three phase behind the wall. So you can put in these fast chargers that will take an electric vehicle for 20 to 80% and two and a half hours. And that's a flooded lead acid battery, okay? Those numbers are improving as the technology and batteries come along, too. But anyhow, it's, it's all driven by the age of the terminal, who is going to pay? Okay, I can't tell you how many times we've gotten almost to the finish line with an airline and or a city. And all sudden the project gets called off. And and this is mostly in some smaller cities. Yeah. And the reason and the reason it gets paused or delayed is because the city and the airport pump the airline was paying for it. And the airline bought the city and the airport were paying for the infrastructure. Yeah. And that's that's a true story. But you know, it happens. Again, it all comes back to sales, one on one communication. But we have seen that improved greatly. recently. And I think this Kansas City project, I can't speak for everything that went went on behind the scenes, but I spoke at a at a conference, an electrification Conference in Long Beach, California a handful years ago, and and met with all kinds of different utility companies and so forth that, you know, had a stake in this Kansas City project. And in my opinion, it sounds like they got it done before, you know, they expect it to, and today we're shipping vehicles for multiple airlines to Kansas City. All right. Well, no, I appreciate you explaining the infrastructure deal to me. I just have another quick question for you here. So what do you find to be like the most challenging aspect of your job? Oh, well, goodness. Right now, last year, five years ago, 10 years ago, let's speak in present day. It would have to be having enough flexibility to travel and be in front of the customers face to face. That is what I'm not able to do enough of that I want to do more of because this business is all about relationships. Yes, you have to have the solid product. But you have to have that interaction with the customers. And you know, with more management duties, the growth of the company, spending more time in Virginia, I live halftime in Atlanta, and I've got a townhouse in Virginia, that's just absorbing more of my time, and you know me pretty well, it's we have more fun on the road than we do at a factory. Right? That's for sure. That's the challenging part is trying to get back on the road and do what I do. Being the face of Sharla. Yes, I do have people that worked for me, that are doing a fine job out there in the field. But, you know, doing this for for so many years, there's I got a lot of friends that I've known for 25 years since I got into GSC. Specifically. And yeah, I miss those guys and gals. We're good. Yeah, yeah, the travel definitely got cut back during COVID. And all that. And so now just trying to get back out there. But on that topic, I think this would be a good time. So do you have like a memorable story or like about a project you worked on? You know, specifically in GSE? Yeah, one thing I was gonna say, too, if I can just come back. Yeah. One of the reasons I have been spending so much time in Virginia, during COVID since COVID. Is is the supply chain mess? Do I think it's getting better? Yes. Are my customers frustrated? Of course they are. If somebody tells you they're not having supply chain issues, that's an OEM and GSCI. I would, I would bet they're probably not telling you the whole truth. Though, right now, my biggest challenge besides the selfless challenge, what I think it's good for the company and keeping those relationships alive and working with the customers to find solutions is balancing the supply chain as it relates to those components going into finished goods versus replacement, spare parts at each end. And that both ways, it's just how we fraction it up. We're struggling with that all the time. Do we make money on parts? Yes, we make money on vehicles. Yes. But, you know, sometimes that well, many, many times the same people that are buying the finished goods the the T 137, CBl 2080 208 Whichever of our our numerous products that we have I can't get them the large number of finished goods that they're trying to I, and provide them with all the spare parts and replacement parts. So that's one of the things we've been trying to juggle or turtle. I think it's getting better as each month goes by. But there are some crazy things that we just can't get our hands on that balance there is, is what's interesting, because the customer needs to put the vehicles back into service, you know, that they're ordering the parts for which is my vehicle. But then again, they want to know where the new ones are, too. So that's probably the the real challenge of the OEM itself. Yeah, we think that makes sense. Oh, it totally makes sense. And, you know, our previous guests that was on the podcast, have said the same thing. I mean, it's, it's, we're all dealing with the challenge of the supply chain at the at this moment in time, and hopefully it is getting better. And I bet that is a difficult thing to juggle on, on what you're going to what you're going to supply, right, whether it be spare parts or the lawn, and they went both, quite honestly. And as a customer, you'd want both, but some, you know, the the current state of the industry and the supply chain, sometimes you're gonna have to make that difficult decision. And I can Yeah, I'd say that it's probably a really challenging part of your job at this moment in time. Yeah, but that's what they pay us for. Right big guys. That is it. So so now I'm gonna go back to go back to my question here. So do you have like a memorable story about a project you've worked on? But 50 divided the value of only about 50 projects you've worked on? I didn't know if you had a good story in the chamber here you wanted to talk about? You know, it's interesting. We'll go with a G rated story. Yeah, those are always best rated. But the one I'm most proud of, I speak Spanish. Some might consider that fluid. Some might consider it trash. However, you know, I can travel anywhere and get by and you know, I would think any dialect. No, Spanish is the second most common language around the world. But I have a my sales manager. His name is Todd Goins. and he's been with the company. You know, I hired him one year after I arrived there. And he is fluent in Spanish. He worked for a big air cargo carrier down in Venezuela. He worked for a charter airline down in Miami. He's and he's actually from from Bluefield, Virginia. Ironically, as when I did the search and found him it was sort of that old company monster. Adam. Yeah, they're still remember them. Yeah, no idea where he lived in living in and town, I thought I was going to have to get somebody from, you know, from Charlotte, or Bristol or Roanoke or, you know, even Washington, DC. And here, this guy comes to work for me. And he's been managing the sales for me. And he's been in charge of Latin America, because he is absolutely fluent in Spanish, he speaks fluent. And his house is lovely bride is from Venezuela. And one of the first things we did in the first five years I was there, the most memorable, you know, besides bringing on the legacy carriers, and the very large discount carriers, and all those big wheels up here in the United States, he started poking around, down and down in Latin America. And if you're familiar with NAFTA, and everything else, Chile is the country that's probably the most like the United States when it comes to standards of living, and so forth. And he started working with some ground handlers down there that were doing some business with, with land at the time, and other called La Tam, and these ground handlers. I think there were two different ones. But long story short, we all know, you know, what the geography of Chile is from north to south, you know, the long skinny border on the on the ocean there. But once it was all said and done, after a few years, we had accomplished putting electric tractors on 10 different airports in the country of Chile. And that is probably my it's in my top 10 of success stories. But I think it's unique to show that we've gone to markets that other people have it and been successful. And that's why did the foreign language make a difference? Heck, yes, it did. But anyway, not super impressive. My fake. Yeah, married and they were like, gosh, I didn't know there were 10 airports in Chile. Well, we're Americans may even everybody else, we're ignorant to geography. I mean, unless you've been to Chile or whatever, you're not gonna know there's 10 airports so but there we know there's all always Santiago. Have the New York City of Chile. But it's just really cool to see how many different spots on the map. We've delivered electric vehicles to be a belt loader to Dubuque, Iowa, or to some tractors to Kalispell, Montana. It's not just the big airports in the big cities. Yeah. And I would say that you and Todd are pretty unique in the fact that you can speak Spanish fluently. And from that part of the country, I think that's pretty impressive. Yeah, you know, and if I were giving them the, the GSE business, I think that's something that, you know, we should talk about maybe that it was on your list. If somebody wanted to enter this industry, and they were an individual. The first thing I tell them is to work for a family company. That's my opinion. I did that with Don Chapman. And I've done that with the Fiat Group, John, Claude and Lawrence, I have owned Charlotte since 1999. So there has been no change. And, you know, the senior management, we basically worked with autonomy, they let us do what we're gonna do. And we've been profitable, really, ever since we opened the doors in 1993. This is our is our 30 year anniversary. So we're very excited about that congratulated me my number one, hey, thank you very much. You know, I'd tell somebody to go work for a private company. But then to come back from what I said a minute ago, if you're going to work for an international company, especially when like, the Fiat Group, or any other Fortune 500 learn a foreign language. It's not it would not be easy for someone my age. But if there was a young person coming in to enter the GSE business, I'd tell them to learn a foreign language. No. And specifically, since it is the second largest in the world, I'd say Spanish. It is pretty funny when I tell people, no, I work for the French and they say, Oh, you speak French? I said, No, I speak Spanish. They're like, well, what's that all about? I'm like, all you knows, French is is very similar to Spanish. However, you know, when you get over here, and the Americas, unless you're in Quebec, or Haiti, there's not gonna be anybody that speaks French. That's right. And that's what I studied in high school was French, and I made a huge mistake. Well, you know, it's, it's amazing how different how similar languages are, but then again, how different they are just because they're separated with by that mountain chain, and that little country of Endor, up on the top of the mountain there. But your geography is fantastic. By the way, I wish I know, half the amount of geography that you do. This is super impressive, but you were international business. So I imagine that, you know, so how has the industry changed over the years? Is there any like, you know, future trends you see in the GSE? Sector? Yeah, there is. But I want to come back to that other question. I just wanted to expand on, you know, back again, you know, trying to help the people that are coming into the GS O's, yeah, let's, let's hit up those people do that, you know, that, you know, these kids are graduating from, whether it be University of Georgia, Alabama, Nebraska, USC, whatever. Besides trying to find a family company that you get that you can work with learning a foreign language, I think that bigger is not always better. Everybody in the Europeans like to call it a full liner, or something a little bit lost in translation there, and that's fine. But companies in this industry, it doesn't matter how big you are, or how many products you offer, you're never gonna have everything that everybody needs on the ramp. If you have airstones, GPUs, belt loaders, this, that and the other, you're not gonna have tail stands or towbars, there's always gonna be something that you don't sell. But you need to find a company that's really good at what they do, what they focus on, and is at the top of their game. And that's what I've done. And then you go out, and you build the relationships out of this people, the 500 people I was talking about before, and you create those relationships and turn them into, but let's call them loose partnerships are very good friendships. You go in and you see somebody and they're like, you know, I'm talking to him about all our vehicles. And they say, Rob, you know, we need a new tow bar manufacturer, a new vendor. Well, good. My friend, Scott Kennedy at Hall industries a call if I'm going to see a small regional airline, and you know, they need some small stairs or something like that call Chad at Clyde. So that's just something that I would I would throw out there. Are we envious of the really big guys at times? Sure. But when the rubber hits the road, it's nice to work for a smaller company, where you can control, supervise and even advise As senior management what you're doing, and be on site where they're building the product day in and day out, if you have 34567 factories on every continent, and you're selling something to somebody, it's back when I was selling air freight, I couldn't control the guy driving that truck up to the dock in Amsterdam, whether or not he was going to actually get it on the airplane, ship it to JFK, get it down to Dayton, and have it delivered in Columbia, South Carolina, you have no control. And that's what I really liked about working for a small company, I would have to agree with you. So I work for Sasser family company, which owns Exede. And I've so much enjoyed working for a family company. And we kind of have the same, I mean, speaking, generally, we have the same type of mentality you do, right, which is go to the people who, you know, what I'm trying to say is we buy the best products from the best manufacturers. And that's the reason we buy a lot of Charlotte electric tractors, because you all are fantastic at that product. And we can kind of pick and choose what manufacturers we use for what pieces of equipment provide our customers with, you know, with the best pieces to fit their operation. So very much agree with all those points that you make there. Yeah, and, and to that point, I know, it's gonna sound like I'm kissing your butt. But please go ahead. You know, now, you know, you piqued my interest. Go ahead. Okay, well, and anyway, you asked me, you know, what's the most challenging part of my job? Well, we could say I could be very sarcastic and say, getting the customer to pay their bills, pay that invoice. You know, your net 30 Come on, you know, we're out 61 days, where's my money? Yeah, the deal. The DSO just rambles out of control. And I have seriously told my senior management, you know, where my equals or whatever you'd like to call them, that start to panic, my VP of Finance this or that? You know, we're selling a lot of equipment to exceed, you know, and this is a new line. And I don't know, Rob, are we comfortable with this? I'm like, Yeah, I say because they're set up like we are. I said, exceed is its own company, but they have a parent. That is the largest manufacturer of rail cars in the world. I have that right. We do not manufacture we leased we lease all of them. And you're right, though. I mean, we Yeah, they've been in business since 1928. And we yeah, we have a very long history. I think we lease every kind of vehicle. That's, you know, we leased cars from these trucks. We leased rail. Yeah. So Sasser is very much in in all those industries? Yeah. So I tell I tell my management, I'm like, I'm not ever worried about, you know, exceed not having the money, they're gonna pay their bills, because you do have the Sasser structure behind. And that just makes just a huge difference. after that. So you and I are, we're in the same comfortable position. Yeah. And from my understanding, I think we we pay, like, net 15 or something i, we pay very quickly. And so I think that, that works out for everybody. So how has industry changed? Well, I think if, if you look at it from a very macro perspective, you know, I think you're gonna say, Well, it's pretty simple. It's the merger of all the legacy carriers, the large carriers, they changed some things. I mean, I remember years ago, I'm down in Houston, Texas, and I hear something about Houston and Chicago and all this. And actually, you know, I've worked out this fantastic deal. And the TWA is of the world, the America West's the Northwest's, we won't go back as far as Eastern. But you know, there were just so many carriers that were buying all this equipment. And they almost got a little bit nervous. She like, well, I'm doing business with those guys about these guys. They're merging, are we going to keep that business? So that is really what I think, changed over the years, and really was the vehicle that that got GSE. Accelerated, is because all of these airlines merge. As far as the trends that we're seeing. We talked about DC the AC earlier. Yep, we played with the hybrid thing. We've done hydrogen fuel cells, there's lithium ion batteries, or lithium polymer. Now, there's sodium ion, which I think sounds pretty cool, because we know that there's hardly any danger, you know, if you're using sodium ion, so we're looking forward to proving that. I think that that's one of the business trends overall. not just in the GSE sector, but in life, in general is the LinkedIn tool. I think that we've had some success with that. And it's at 500 people, I keep talking them out again, you know, if you go to mine or anybody else, and you're gonna say we have 500 connections, yeah. Are those 20 people? Or 50? People trying to sell me a new something? Maybe. But I think that's been a useful tool as well. I completely agree. Yeah, yeah, we do a lot on LinkedIn, or at least we're trying to, and it really helps have those connections and let them know, you know, maybe you have some, some products available, that are quicker on demand ready to go. So it really helps out letting them know that. So what I'm, what is Charlotte working on right now? What are your new products, any new innovations? Well, you know, couple trade shows ago, we are they we were one of the first DSC companies to come out with an autonomous tractor, that was gaining a lot of momentum. And then COVID, hit and Riot, right as we came out of COVID, nobody's gonna spend$150,000 on a bag tractor, you know, even if it didn't need a driver, that just too many unknowns there. And I think just people are comfortable with it yet. I think it's coming. We've built a handful, we've sold a couple. But that is something that it's going to be on our product offerings, but it's, it's not at the top of the list, what I will tell you is at the top of the list is cargo trackers that are electric, the T 137. In the four to 5000 pound draw bar pole, Rach, we want to build a cargo tracker. So we're gonna be showcasing the Las Vegas show, the vehicle that does 60,000 pounds, oh, wow, this handsome, this has some interest from many different prospective clients around the world, we're gonna put a very large battery in it, you know, so they can run our long, long time. And if you're going to ask me, you know, what's the next biggest thing and in GSE are one of the bit the most significant growth opportunity in the GSE sector is its electric cargo operations. Okay, all these airports and airlines, they've been buying vehicles for the ramp, you got to move the people, you got to move the bags. Okay. As I said, when I was in the air freight business, Robert was the one thing he really liked about the airframe business. And I think a flight attendant would tell you this, or anyone that works for a passenger airline is that when you're in the cargo business, the packages don't talk back. They can't complain. Yeah. So. So that's a nice thing. But the ramp is pretty much caught up. I mean, they're gaining all this momentum with all the different cities and the grants and everything we talked about before. But the cargo folks are in different buildings, which brings back to infrastructure work. So they've got to get the infrastructure, and they're in a different a whole different budget, then, you know, airport operations, or at least I would presume that it at most airlines anyway, depending on the size, but the electric cargo tractor is going to be the next thing because the cargo operations, as the airlines continue to make money, they're going to get that funding. And the sky's the limit, people don't realize, on these gigantic hubs all over the world, that all of those vehicles with those big diesel engines in them to pull the tab the six 810 1000 pounds of draw bar, you know, they're going to be replaced by electric vehicles. Little bit of the challenge, there's coming up with the ballast, and that's just a matter of r&d and so forth. But I think that's where the big growth opportunity is really. So with this new 6000 pound tractor will this be on the same frame as the T 137. And will it have the proprietary axle that we had discussed? It is going to have the proprietary axle however, it's it's the next generation of our CT five series. If you look back at the at the CT five that stands for cargo tracker, 5000 pounds draw bar, there's a very large cargo airline, they came to us and said, Hey, Rob, we love the T 137. We use it all over all over the world. However, when we want to drop a dolly or pick up a dolly as we sort during the night or the day, make sure would help if the operator were in a rear cab design so they can reach back grab the tether, pull the hitch up and drop the load right there and drive off. So they asked us to basically build a rear cab design electric tractor. Well, what we did may sound pretty simple, even though my chief engineer has been a Surelock since inception 30 years ago. To keep it simple, stupid, what we did is we added more ballast. But in our vehicle, one of the selling points of the T 137, is you open up the trunk, and everything is there. Okay, you got the old panel, you got the Curtis controller, you got your power steering pump motor. And all we did was we moved everything from the trunk of the vehicle and put it in the front of the vehicle. And then we moved the driver compartment to the rear, added more ballast, and that got us to 5000 pounds. So it is a totally different frame than the T 137. And the CT six is going to look like this 85 Just a little bit different, it's gonna have some more, it has lines on it, it's, it's actually a pretty nice looking cargo tractor. We'll be rolling that out at the Las Vegas show in September. Man, that sounds nice. So Will people be able to drive it there? Is there? Is it going to be in the demo area? Or just at the booth? Are they going to have a demo area, I don't even know they are gonna have a demo area. And and I would bet that's probably where we're going to put it. Okay. Along those same lines, as far as what Charlotte is doing. And trust me, it has not been easy with getting all the bodies to come back to work and hiring new people that everything else that that's not just you know, in the world of manufacturing and assembly of everything from painting to welding, but it's also an engineering side. A lot of engineers, you know, where are they, I could probably use another one right now. But we found a nice balance to still be able to create these new products, even during the COVID Catch up, as I call it. And right now, what we have done is there's two other projects, and one of those is taking our electric tractors to a higher voltage. Right now everything is is 18 volts, okay, and 80 volts is fine. However, there are some customers that are demanding higher voltage and their vehicles to make them more compatible with their own road vehicles. And they can charge them at the same place at the same time. And it all makes sense. So that is one of our engineering projects that's going on behind the scenes is that a very difficult project? No, it's not. It's just a matter of finding the components and the time to do it. But it is on paper, and that's going to be showcased as well in the future. But one thing that I do have the was at the Paris show is what we call a P ad. That's Papa eco ad. That is a vehicle that is not quite the Charlotte flatbed. But it's heavier than a burden carrier. burdening carrier being the little ones, you know, you see on the golf cart, or you might see over in the provisioning area somewhere in an airport. And it's right in the middle. It's priced more than the burden carrier, but it's not near as much as the full size flatbed electric that we sell. And we think we got a real winner there. It's going to be at the show. And it's basically a here I'll say it again, it's a bullet proof. There you go. burden of carrier is what it is. I mean, it's got its typical Sarwat you know, design, it's still all around, you could run something into it. And it's going to be less than the cost of a t 137. Actually. So will the was it the PE ad and the T six? Will they both be manufactured at your facility in United States here? The CD 60 will be in the beginning. But the P the P 80. Is the P 80. That's right. Yeah, the P I'm sorry, the P 80. O is a distance okay. Yeah, he just stands for electric. I wish I wish I had a chance to name these things I would have given a really cool name like, like some kind of wild animal or something. Yeah, they really need to give me that opportunity. I'll talk to whoever you need me to talk to. Yeah, they covered leaks and the rest of That's right. But they came out with the name of this darn thing before they asked me about but anyway, we've got two of those right now we're bringing one to the US to demonstrate with one of our customers and that's something you got to be careful with too because if yes, I'm really hot they all want a demo and it's hard for my guys to convince me oh we need for demos well that's that's for it's for assets that are out in field not making any money. Yep. But yes, that we plan to build that one here too because we believe that The demand is gonna be so high for it. And you look at those things. I mean, of course, they're not near the quantity of the bag tractor or about loader, especially not even a forklift. But they do exist on every airport. And there's a big market for that. And that's what we're gonna be bringing to the Las Vegas show as well. Nice. Well, that'd be great. Now, the lot of new things that check out from Charlotte at the GSC Expo, so that'd be a lot of fun. So it's a, I have a couple really impressive they were able to get this done very, very polished COVID, when lead times are, where they are and everything else that I can keep some engineers focused. We're very proud of that. Yeah, you went into development during the slowdown. But I think that if I remember correctly, that you all kept building units during COVID. And and then they weren't they were gone. Incidentally, I'm pretty sure. Yes, sir. We have a an old friend in the industry that basically kept more of our people employed than we should have, let's say, we had to furlough many employees, just like anybody else did. But yes, we stayed open, we remained profitable, because we were building 100 D one, three sevens for one of our largest customers. And we can't be more grateful to them. And it's something we'll never forget. It's a great partnership we have with that airline? Yeah. And I mean, you know, you you built your bread and butter, and you kept innovating. And you're still here today because of it. Yeah. And if we could just get our suppliers to keep up I mean, this electric, tidal wave that's coming, I don't think all of us are gonna be able to build as many as the industry is going to want. Because, you know, they all want them yesterday. Yeah, of course. And that's just because of the planning, planning processes of, you know, different finance departments and the other drivers behind the curtain. I mean, honestly, that's, that's where exceeds, been able to kind of come in, just because, you know, I remember. And I was, I was telling Brad, this on the last podcast, which is, when I first started, you know, you come in every day, and they would tell you, Oh, you know, lead times are six, eight weeks. Now, you come into that office, and no matter no matter what manufacturer, you're working for their easily, six, eight months, I mean, it's completely changed the industry and Exede has been able to, you know, buy up a lot of equipment and, and inventory it. So you can have a quick startup. If you're a ground handler or an airline, then you know, we can provide that equipment on a lease and, and get people going because these lead times are just currently as a supply chain and the demand are, are a lot longer than they used to be. Yeah. And I know that you're seeing your management's kicking yourselves, because, of course, the hindsight is 2020. And I think everybody's crystal ball was running low on batteries. But I mean, just think if, if exceeded, had bought 100 vehicles, I still could have built those 100. And in addition to the ones I was building, for my friends in Texas, yeah. You know, I know. Yeah. You know, you guys are just sitting there thinking, I've goodness, if we just taken that risk and gotten those because, I mean, you guys are with the product. And you and your team, from Carla all the way over and up. I mean, everybody is such a professional. They're even working with my people. My sales coordinators, we just added another one to her name is Emily, Jessie. They can't say the best things. I mean, they do say the best things about working with your folks. And like I said, we know when we get our order from exceed that, it's, it's gonna be solid. You're gonna be reasonable with us. You know, when we give you the lead time, you understand the business. That is what's that's what's so important yet so many people have been around a while. They do know the difference, you know, between a tractor a belt loader, I believe us that referenced before, but you wouldn't believe how many people that don't. We have a lot of experience on our team. Yeah. And we love dealing with Todd. Obviously. He's just he's fantastic as well. So I know you brought him up before but but yeah, it's worth mentioning how great Todd is, what a great guy he's got on your team. And you know, we've got Troy on the West Coast. And, you know, he brings a very specific skill set to our team because he was on the other side of the desk. 25 years. That helps. Yeah, the, the regional airline he worked for was was different than any others. That was he was electrifying putting electric vehicles in the cities that you know, I've never heard of, well, maybe I have. Yeah, maybe Yeah, exactly. That was just gonna bring that up. Maybe you have but yeah, you know, All over, you know, Idaho and North Dakota and Washington state and Oregon and all these other places. But what he was doing, he actually helped us design, what we call the CBl 150 II. And that is the intermediate belt loader that has a 20 foot deck on it. And it's the 48 volt mA. And the way he and my engineering department designed it was, well, yeah, you know, fast charging is wonderful. But what if I, what if I buy this or one of my hubs, and I can fast charger, but then all of a sudden, I have a need for something. And in Bozeman, Montana, and we say, well, it's 48 volts, it's a battery that you can take from 20 to 80%, pretty quickly off a 110 charge and the wall overnight. And in those cities, we know they're not hubs. So we know they're not flying airplanes at night. So what we did is we put the fast charging plug on there, if they had a fast charger, well, they did have a fast charger in the hubs. And then when they sent it to that outstation, as we all call them, they were able to use that same exact asset, because it had a cord on a reel, and they could plug it on the wall. And you need no infrastructure for that. So that's one of the things that he taught us, and continues to be more of a solutions expert than anything else. And that's why we're, we're so fortunate to have him on arcane, because he can see it from the other perspective. You know, I don't you and I had done on that side of the desk. And he, he sometimes helps us understand how the different processes work, you know, when it comes to finance and purchasing, and, you know, the, the tech ops piece and so forth. So, but now, he helped design that. And it's been a big winner for us. And what we're doing with that vehicle right now, is, it's probably my fault, because I did not market it as well as I should have. But there's a lot of airlines that think they need a full size belt loader. And if they're flying, all narrowbodies, and especially if it's a 737. You don't need a full size belt loader. You know, what's the door sill height on one of those things is very low. And with a 20 foot deck with all the electric gadgets on it that the full size one has? Why spend all that money on full size, we do it with an intermediate belt loader downplays erim. And over that's like that thing needs to be in Vegas as well, man, it sounds like a great product. Yeah, you know, I haven't checked with with Adam and Emily on how much square footage we bought. I know it was it was sizable, but we're making those decisions by the end of this month of what we're going to take. So is that of those reasons? Oh, sorry. Go ahead, Demeter. Yeah, I was just gonna say one of those reasons we got to make those decisions is because when I build those vehicles, they're gonna take slots. Yeah. For vehicles or I could be selling finished goods assets to for a customer that means they're things yesterday, I don't want to wait that six to eight months that you mentioned a moment ago. Well, that's a really interesting product so that that belt loader, is that quite a bit cheaper than the larger belt loaders that we're used to. I think those are the CBl 2000 Is that do I have my Do you have a numbers correct? You're absolutely right. And thank you for having it correct. Again, I'm gonna go back and I use this before but it's it's two thirds the size and two thirds the price it's sort of like that T 208 versus t 137. But we're I think that you you benefit in this area is the price of the battery. I'm only going to speak I'm only going to speak from the flooded lead acid side. But you know, you can get a 415 amp hour battery in there. 48 volts with only 24 cells a heck of a lot less expensive than you can the big ones that go in the the electric bagging, Pargo crackers. So that's a piece there too. And as I mentioned before, as well, unless someone is driving about the traction motor, that is what is going to eat all of the the amp hours out of out of the battery. However, if you have the regenerative braking set high enough it will push the lamps back into that battery. But if you just work it in and let's say a three gate zone news driving it from one diamond to the other, and go into that door and slowly driving up the door. We can crank that thing back with the electronic controller to go a half a mile an hour as it approaches an airplane so you really know some people Look at it. So you need an ERP system? Because though it ain't gonna get there fast enough? Well, it's a super interesting product. I'm glad you brought that up. I was I don't think I was aware of that product. And it seems like a great option for carriers who are only, you know, have narrowbodies in their fleet. Yeah. And, you know, I mean, and I think we're all learning something. I mean, it's, it's been on the market for a while, but I'll take the blame on that one, marketing it not marketing it to every airline. Hopefully, we're doing it right now. You know, yeah. And it's, you know, it's got, it's got front brakes, it's got a rear suspension on it. So you don't get stuck in the snowed where one wheel just spins and spins, it's safe. It's, like I said, you really wouldn't notice driving it, you know, then it's that much smaller. Because it does have a 20 foot conveyor deck, see our full size one as a 25 foot conveyor deck. I believe our major competitors have 24. And that really probably does the job on an ace creating even. But yeah, we like that comfort zone of having that extra foot on the full size, but you definitely don't need it on anything with a wide body. And I think maybe what the airlines are doing is when they go to purchase a valve loader and we can basically pitch this CBl 150 E. It's like, okay, well, you might not want it in your hub operations, because you never know if one of your, let's say, unseasoned ramp operator is going to hop on it, drive it over to to gate be 18. And, you know, that's, you know, an area that a wide body is coming into, and you know, they grabbed the wrong belt loader, because they do look the same. Yeah, you know, he's not going to be he or she is not going to get the job done. However, if you're buying GSC, for Omaha, Nebraska, let's say, I don't know of any widebodies coming into Omaha, I don't know, I've not been there in a while maybe I maybe that's a bad example. So let's use Macon, Georgia, then you got narrowbodies coming in there, maybe maybe a 717 or an A 321. You can buy that GSE specific to that city. And you know that the wide body is not gonna be coming in where you can use that CBl 150. Now, the airlines may argue, well, we're always moving our stuff around. And I get that I understand that because the schedules change and everything else where they try to figure their business. But yeah, I think they can manage both fleets, save some money. And, again, if it's electric, once you train your employees that people love to work on, and they're easier to work on that internal combustion has been one of the exciting things all over these years is, is the training and enlightening. Some of these employees are even older than me that have been scared to stand in the puddle of water and plug in electric vehicles, as I think they're gonna get shocked. Yeah. Natural legs and realize we've already had shocked and all you have to do is change a contactor and maybe we'll then definitely have changed tires. That's one thing that happens with electric vehicles. But first two years, you're not really do anything to walk your vehicle. And then when you already hands up really good, too dirty, because not dealing with all the pieces that are, you know, associated with an internal combustion vehicle. Well, we only have five minutes left. So I'm going to ask you one last question. And then we'll we'll wrap it up here. So so how does your how to short a lot stay ahead of the competition with product offerings and customer support? Well, it's, it's a solid product. We've had many people come after us. I'll say I think we're on top as a guy can back that up with our backlog. And when you're on top, it's it's a little bit of a nervous place to be because you're never gonna stay on top forever. But yeah, well, I'd love to be but I'm a realistic person too. But you just have to focus on what the customer wants. Like I told you a minute ago where I failed that the CBO 150. Okay, we've sold many, many of them. I just think we could have sold more and given the customer more solutions. But the solid product like I said before, in all those, you know, the tractor, the belt load the D to await we make a lab truck and a water truck to same axis. All we did was stretch the T one three, Senator, I didn't even talk about those products. Those are for narrowbodies as well. That's one of the cooler products we make. It was definitely will also be in Vegas. We'll have to cover that on on the sequel to this podcast. Go ahead. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. No, me I'll talk forever. But anyway, all that being said We have not changed too much. They broke don't fix it. Yeah, we went from DC to AC, we're using, you know, a better power steering pump motor. Yeah, we're trying to find the best electronics, you know, the going from ABC controller over to Curtis's has been a wonderful thing. But when I took this job almost 18 years ago, I did not take me taking this job was contingent on Sharla bringing back one of my most valuable employees. And his name is Martin Locke. He works for me too. And he is my customer service manager in charge of all field service, as well as warranty and QC about may sound different that he's in charge of QC, but she to have a successful manufacturing facility, the person that's over manufacturing, your production manager cannot be over QC, because he's going to try to get it out the door. So we have those checks and balances. I think you're right about Nazis. Yeah. And Martin oversees all three of those things. Okay, field service warranty and QC. And he has the best electrical mind when it comes to troubleshooting a vehicle. And I did this almost 18 years ago, I told Louis Galliano. I said, I'll take the job but only if you bring Martin Lockback Martin Locke was not terminated he he left Virginia to come down to to Conyers, Georgia to work for Komatsu came down here. It's too hot for me, I'm going back to the mountains or it's cool. So it worked out. Martin and I came on board at the same time. And we're incredibly mutual respect for each other in our, our friendship is even stronger. You know, him and his people, along with just Adam homemaker, answering his cell phone at home on a Thursday night, or a Saturday morning. That is what sets us apart. When I came to work there. I say guys, answer the phone, and we will get the business. Because there are many other companies that don't even do that. I know that sounds silly, stupid, and simple, but that's the truth. Yep. I agree with that. Well, this, this has been great, man, I I really appreciate you making time to come on here and talk to me. And we'll definitely have to have another one of these again, and just really appreciate the time. Sure. Hey, round two is fine for me. Maybe we maybe we visit after the Las Vegas show. And we can talk about the successes of that. There we go. I think that's a I think that's a fantastic idea. Well, this is Ben, Matt and Rob Liam from Charlotte on the second GSC podcast and thanks a lot and we will talk soon. All right, sir. Have a great day. Again for the No problem. Thank you. Bye