May 12, 2021
BY BEAU BECRAFT
Home theaters have become increasingly popular in households across the US, particularly during the pandemic.
As television and movies experienced an uptick in popularity (thanks in part to many studios releasing blockbuster films directly to streaming platforms), the professionals who create home theaters also enjoyed the resulting boost in business.
One such company is Federal Hill Home Theaters. The business, headquartered in Warwick, Rhode Island, has been in operation since 2006, serving the customers in a 100-mile radius with a full range of custom solutions for audio and video needs.
“We sell the products, design the layout, install the components, or any combination of those things,” says Vice President of Federal Hill Home Theaters, Rachel Goroza. “If a client provides the TV, speakers, or any other equipment, we can provide the labor to install and calibrate the system. Or if they are building a new house and need input on how to wire things before the drywall goes up, we can design a system to fit their needs. Maybe you’re a DIY person and just need a place to purchase the equipment. We provide all these products and services for both indoor and outdoor systems.”
Averaging around 1,000 miles of travel per week, FHHT required a work vehicle capable of efficiently storing and organizing a wide variety of tools, accessories, equipment, and products.
“We needed compartments to store our most used inventory such as TV wall mounts, HDMI cables, surge protectors, Power Bridges, etc.,” Goroza says. “It was also important for us to keep everything organized and easily accessible. We needed plenty of storage for our tool bags, spare tools, ladders, and areas to store products to deliver to our customers. We needed all of this in addition to the ability to fit under most New England bridges, which are notoriously low clearance.”
Having owned a Knapheide body previously, FHHT founder and owner, Matthew Lucchetti, knew where to turn for a new work vehicle, and soon began searching for a cargo van that would provide all the components necessary to be practical and efficient from job to job.
A visit to Jack Madden Ford in Norwood, Massachusetts provided several options, but it was a custom solution that was ultimately decided upon.
“We worked with the dealership to have a custom body designed to fit our particular needs,” recalls Goroza. “We wanted to be able to pick up the truck and drive it right down to our vehicle wrap guys where it would be wrapped with our business graphics and branding.”
To best meet the company’s needs, FHHT chose a Knapheide KUV.
Upfitted on a 2015 Ford Transit 250, the FHHT work van provides ample space for all the company’s storage needs, ample organizational solutions, and easy access to supplies, products, tools, and more.
They knew the moment the van was presented to them that it was the perfect work vehicle for the company.
“We fell in love with the interior & exterior compartments.” Goroza recalls. “Having the ability to store almost everything for a typical job & being able to access it from the exterior easily really helps the techs work efficiently.”
FHHT’s techs make the most out of the KUV, utilizing every square inch of the body to optimize their uptime on the jobsite.
“The techs prep the truck the evening before or the morning of our work day,” Goroza offers. “They pick up the custom order products and invoices for the next day’s work. Then, they are on the road from job to job. The techs are able to pull most products from our stock on the truck, which makes everything very efficient. It has helped the productivity of our installers in the field every day. It helps us keep organized, decrease runs to the office for basic stock items, and it is secure!”
A place for everything and everything in its place
The exterior compartments house a variety of components, including tilt mounts (for television mounting), AV cables (HDMI, optical audio, etc.), spare parts such as bolts and washers, power bridges, and extension cords.
The interior shelves provide practical and easily-accessible storage for things like wire spools, tools (such as drills, vacuums, and batteries), outlet plates, and plastic & fabric drop cloths to keep workspaces clean while on the job.
Floor space in the KUV is dedicated to storing an extendable ladder (strapped into the shelf), a six foot aluminum ladder, tool bags, and a designated area for storing customer product orders such as televisions, speakers, amps, and other various home theater components.
Goroza says the company will soon be upgrading the Transit 250 and “will absolutely be getting another Knapheide body.”
Say goodbye to crawling around in the back of your cargo van endlessly searching for tools, parts and equipment. Follow the lead of Federal Hill Home Theaters and invest in a KUV and get more billable hours out of your day.
Learn more about Federal Hill Home Theaters here.