Adam Draeger, of Draeger Tools, LLC, is a Cornwell Tools distributor in southeastern Wisconsin. His operations launch out of Fort Atkinson, and his route takes him to and through Lake Mills, Milton, Edgerton, and Janesville – a route that Draeger said runs him around 250-300 miles a week, selling to mostly automotive repair shops, body shops, some farms, a couple industrial establishments, as well as a few heavy duty truck shops.
Draeger was previously a powersports technician for roughly 20 years. “I was burnt out, wanted to do something different, and I just started selling tools,” he said. And he’s been doing it for 12 years now. “It's been good ever since. The beginning was rocky, but you get established and you learn as you go.”
One thing Draeger learned along the way – his old truck wasn’t cutting it. Draeger was operating out of a 2002 International 4300. The truck was a cab/chassis design and had a crawl-through, hydraulic brakes, and spring suspension.
“I wanted a step van so that I’d have roughly the same footprint, but with more useable space. I’m no longer losing space to passenger seating – that’s all useable space now.” Draeger purchased a 2016 Freightliner MT55 just two months before this interview and said the truck has been a “great upgrade.”
“I wanted this truck because my driver seat is my only non-show area. Everywhere else – I wanted product. The more product I can fit on here, the more profitable I am… I like to have the inventory and the spots to put it.”
Draeger purchased the vehicle with 38,500 miles on it, and as it had already been in use for a previous distributor, there was little work to be done. However, Draeger did have a toolbox opening replaced with a three-tiered rolling shelving unit. He also had an L-shaped desk installed, added a bigger refrigerator and multiple shelves above it, and a custom cubby hole for a jack and jack stands was installed.
“I love it,” Draeger said of his MT55. “So far, so good.” The change of truck has provided this distributor with plenty of benefits, and he’s glad he made the switch.