Great Dane announced the death of former Great Dane Vice President of Design and Development Charles “Charlie” Fetz. The company saluted Fetz for having had “a celebrated career in engineering” before retiring from Great Dane in 2016.
“Charlie was a stalwart champion of structural integrity, and is largely responsible for Great Dane’s reputation for strong and durable products,” said Rick Mullininx, Great Dane’s executive vice president of engineering.
“Yet, he was also forward-thinking," he continued. "During his years with Great Dane, he was the inventor or co-inventor on 16 U.S. and foreign patents, including Great Dane’s exclusive ThermoGuard liner and RIG30 rear impact guard.”
Fetz also contributed to numerous recommended practices and educational sessions. He served for many years on the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association’s Engineering Committee, including a term as chairman. Great Dane noted that “many of TTMA’s Recommended Practices have been subject to Fetz’s keen edits.”
Fetz was also active on the American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council, including with the Future Truck Committee and S.7 Trailer, Bodies and Material Handling Study Group. He served as chairman for several task forces, including the Future Trailer Productivity Task Force.
While chairman of the task force, he authored a whitepaper titled “Increasing the Efficiency of Pre and Post Trip Inspections,” which led to the development of Great Dane’s telematics solution, FleetPulse.
“Although retired, we lost a gentle giant in our industry whose impact will be felt for years to come,” Mullininx said.