Sears Elite 80 Truck Seat Upgrade Kit

Sears Elite 80 Truck Seat Upgrade Kit

One struggle that we’ve seen time and time again is the fight between a driver and their seat. You spend hundreds, if not a thousand, dollars on this thing, but after a few hundred thousand miles, your back and behind are crying out for mercy again. You’ve tried every brand over the years, and it’s always the same routine.

Lucky you! We’ve got a new option to soothe your aching bones. Instead of going without food for a month to finance a new seat, how about spending half of that on our seat upgrade kit? For just $525, you’ll get everything you need to give your seat a brand new look and feel. You can even choose your own custom color scheme! Choose a main color, center cushion color, and accent color for a truly one-of-a-kind look that fits your truck perfectly.

black Ultraleathercoffee Ultraleatherdark blue Ultraleather

dark grey Ultraleatherlight grey Ultraleatherlight tan Ultraleather

maroon Ultraleathermedium grey Ultraleatherred Ultraleather

Installing this kit is a breeze, too. It shouldn’t take you more than 15 to 30 minutes – making it a perfect project for downtime, without using up all of your free hours. You can even do it while you’re on the road! Here’s a tutorial video that we put together:

High-Powered LED Strobe Lights

The only bad thing about shopping online is that there are some things that you just need to see in person before you can tell if they’re right, right?

WRONG.

Here at Empire Chrome, we know how important it is to know what you’re getting. That’s why we put so much effort into creating high-quality images and video of our products. These new strobes are a great example. When they’re off, they seem innocuous enough. But when they light up, you can see why we think they’re so special. Just check out our demo videos below.

They’re really great lights. I risked giving myself a seizure during the filming and editing of those two videos, but it was worth it.

High-Powered LED strobe

High-Powered LED strobe
High-Powered LED strobe

High-Powered 4 diode LED strobe light with chrome bezel – $59.99 each, available in Amber, Blue, and Red.

As an added bonus, these lights can function on both American 12 volt and overseas 24 volt systems – making them masters of international relations. So pick up a set for yourself, and another for your German cousin.

Trucking News Convoy – August 11, 2012

This has been an interesting summer for us here at Empire Chrome. It’s been super hot, for one! We’ve been quite busy, especially in the shipping and receiving departments. But, we’re getting used to the increased workload, and our web team has even managed to wrap up a couple projects. So, it’s time to revive our weekly Trucking News Convoy! Here are some of the most interesting trucking tales we ran across this week.

We all have a tendency to think of teenagers and young adults as the most dangerous fools out on the road. But, there are always exceptions. Bridgestone recently sponsored a contest encouraging young people to create an anti-distracted driving PSA. My favorite is this one:

And this week in odd news, sometimes we humans get creative with our problem solving. A Fontana, CA police officer fired a shot into a truck driver’s windshield in an attempt to change his course. The whole story sounds like quite an event, and a waste of the driver’s time – the guy got caught anyway. Kind of hard to outrun the cops in an 18-wheeler!

Shifting the focus back to our favorite topic, chrome, we recently launched our own line of truck polish, JING!, and we have been working on the label this past week. We received a proof from the printer, and we’re really excited to get the final product in so the bottles don’t have to look so naked and sad anymore!
JING superior truck polish on Instagram

Until next time, don’t drive an ugly truck!

All About Empire Chrome Shop – Joseph

If you strike up a conversation with Joseph (aka Joe), the first thing you’ll notice is that he’s definitely a people person. He greets everyone with his signature southern drawl and a smile. At his previous job, working at a local video rental store, he encountered truck drivers from time to time, but not on the scale that we see here at Empire Chrome. Now, meeting so many drivers is one of his favorite aspects of the job. “We get so many regular customers in here, and you get to know them and help them out,” he says with a smile.

Joe may be one of the few employees who isn’t a relative, but since he started here a little more than a year ago, he’s settled right in. On any day that they aren’t working, you’ll find Joseph at the golf course with Michael and Richard – if he’s not out at his favorite fishing hole, that is!


Although he’s always been interested in working on cars both old and new, until he came to Empire Chrome, he’d never worked on a big truck and really didn’t have a lot of experience around them. “My granddad drove trucks in a convoy in World War II and used to tell us stories, and of course I’ve seen big trucks on the interstate,” he says.

In a relatively short amount of time, Joe has learned a lot about truck parts. He says that he really likes having the knowledge to handle projects on his own, like installing visors and other pieces. This is definitely one job where the learning never ends. We’re glad to have Joe on the team!

All About Empire Chrome Shop – Lorine

Part 4 of our “All About Empire Chrome” series features Lorine, who’s best known around here for getting things done! One of our big points of pride around here is that our family members generally work very well together. Like her husband Gene and daughter Betty, Lorine also lists working with family as one of her favorite aspects of her job.

Although she grew up on a farm with many different types of trucks, it wasn’t until she married Gene that she started learning about the world of 18-wheelers. It’s safe to say she’s neck-deep in trucking nowadays!

As the first employee, Lorine has watched the store grow from just Dennis to a team of nearly a dozen people.

 

all about Lorine

 

Over the course of her tenure here, Lorine feels that her “people skills” have evolved. She also said that one of her goals is “to make sure the customer has a memorable experience.”

Although we’ve made many achievements since 2004, Lorine says her personal favorite has been seeing our website grow from scratch.

All About Empire Chrome Shop – Betty

This week, Betty shared some of her chrome shop experiences with us. As one of the owners, she’s been around since before our doors were open. Although she helps out everywhere – running a register, handling web orders, checking in new stock – she handles a lot of the behind-the-scenes work, like payroll and invoices.

Like several of our team members, Betty has been around trucks her entire life. As Gene’s daughter, she grew up with a truck driver dad and several driver uncles. She says, “it was just a fluke” that she also wound up married to a trucker.

When Dennis decided to come off of the road and open Empire Chrome, she was working full-time with a local intermodal company. As Empire grew, it quickly became evident that she would have to help run the store full-time instead.

Trucking News Convoy – March 11, 2012

These busy days are turning into busy weeks around here! We’re trying to gear up for MATS next weekend, where Dennis and Betty will be scoping out all of the newest trucker toys.

While they’re in Louisville, Dennis will be giving away awesome prizes (we’re not talking t-shirts and hats – think BIG) to drivers who say hi. So watch out for the man in the yellow shirt. Need a refresher on what he looks like? Lucky for you, I did an interview with him this week.

 

  • It’s easy to forget that the truck show isn’t just about shiny trucks – there are also a number of informational seminars scheduled.
  • This is an interesting tidbit – police in Oregon used a dummy big rig to catch people driving dangerously around it. Over two days, they stopped over 200 people and wrote citations for 163. Kudos, Oregon DoT!

All About Empire Chrome Shop – Dennis

As much as truck drivers complain about the DoT, you might be surprised to find out that one of their officers provided the impetus for our chrome shop’s birth.

Back in 2001, Dennis, now the owner of Empire Chrome, was driving a dedicated run between Memphis and Indianapolis, hauling aircraft engines and engine parts for FedEx. During a regular inspection at the I-40 scalehouse, the DoT officer on duty pointed out that Dennis had a headlight out – in the daytime. “I said, when was the last time you noticed you had a headlight out at 3 o’clock in the afternoon? He said never, but he still wrote me a $150 ticket. I knew right then, that I was done driving.”

He spent the next year researching truck accessory manufacturers, chrome shops, and putting together a plan. Prior to his trucking days, Dennis ran gas stations and convenience stores for Phillips 66, so his background in retail helped.

Dennis at Empire Chrome, circa 2003

After spending a year selling chrome out of a tiny building on the service road, Dennis bought some land and began construction on his own building.

Dennis said that his favorite thing to do in the store is to figure out the right mix of parts to keep on hand, and to find out what products customers really want to buy. “My least favorite thing is probably all of the things I have my employees do,” he said. “If they’re doing something instead of me, there’s a reason.”

Dennis is the creative mind behind our “Chrome Time” video series. His two proudest achievements were Chrome Time 13, “when I chromed out my wife,” he said, and Chrome Time 17, which is best remembered for Junior’s unusual outfit.

chrome time 13 and 17 - Junior's skirt and chrome Betty

 

Even though the store has grown to 10,000 square feet and almost 10 full-time employees, Dennis says he’s not surprised. “We knew there were things we wanted to do that other chrome shops weren’t doing,” he says. Those plans included the website, which launched in 2007 and made our products available to customers worldwide.

All About Empire Chrome Shop – Gene

Editors Note: This is the first in a series of stories about the Empire Chrome Shop Team. Each week, we’ll focus on a different person, so you can learn a little more about what goes on behind the scenes here.

If you’ve spent any time in our installation bay through the week, you’ve probably encountered Gene. He’s our resident go-to guy when a product needs modified or downright taken apart and fixed. We tease him about his meticulousness, but everyone understands that he likes to do things the right way.

Gene takes a lot of pride in his work, which also includes designing new or custom pieces for our customers. He said that one of his favorite achievements at Empire Chrome (so far!) has been getting the opportunity to do that type of work more in-depth than ever before. He really likes it when a driver comes in with an unusual or unorthodox idea and is willing to give him the time to make it happen.

Gene has a long history with the trucking industry. He says that, officially, he first drove a truck when he was 16, although he had been behind the wheel a few times prior to then. Most of his time was spent around agriculture, hauling farm equipment and the like. That legacy continues with his son Junior, a cattle hauler who stops by for some chrome every now and then.

He stayed on the road until 2005, when he came to work with his family at Empire Chrome. But, he’s been hanging around and helping to build shelving since 2003, when we were still in the small building on the eastbound I-40/I-55 service road. To him, the most memorable aspect of working here has been seeing the store grow from that tiny space into a 10,000 square foot showroom, and one of the largest and most successful chrome shops in the country.

Here’s Gene, showing Christine around our Peterbilt.

Gene and Christine in our Peterbilt

 

Gene’s a people person. It’s not uncommon for him to leave for a quick trip to the grocery store, and come back with a story about how he met a person waiting in the line whose family he knew 40 years ago in Colorado. He’s full of great stories, and he loves to tell them. So next time you’re in the chrome shop and he looks like he’s not busy, ask him if he knows anyone from your hometown. You might be surprised at the answer!

Happy Holidays and THANK YOU

From the desk of Lenae, VP of E-Commerce:

Friends,
This has been, by all accounts (not that I asked, but if anyone disagrees, they’re going to have some ‘splainin to do), an EPIC year for us all here at Empire Chrome. We started the year off in the freezing cold, doors wide open in record lows, because we didn’t close a single day while our expansion was being finished. As uncomfortable as it was, most of our customers don’t have the luxury of being able to come see us anytime they like, so closing wasn’t fair to them. We subjected ourselves to sickening fumes while two different companies worked to get the floors done. It felt like it was going to go on forever. But here we are, just about 10 months later, and it’s hard to believe this store was ever any smaller.

We waited anxiously through the month of May, as the Mississippi rose to record highs along the levee located just a block away from our store. Customers from all around the world checked in on us – although we were not in much danger on this side of the river, it was still terrifying. Despite my paralyzing fear of heights, Dennis recruited me to go flying one afternoon so we could show everyone what the flooding looked like from above and how we were, in fact, not underwater and very much open for business.

Many of you know that we are a family business. Although there are a couple of employees who aren’t technically family, they might as well be. Working with your family, for us, is more rewarding than frustrating. It takes time, but when you find that balance between wanting to smack someone and realizing how brilliant they are, it’s the greatest. If someone had come up to Michael and me, anytime between the ages of 11 and 20, and told us that we’d be working on incredible projects together and enjoying it, we would have died laughing. Then punched each other in the face.

But here we are, almost 10 years after the store first opened in what is now a teeny tiny church on the east I-40/I-55 service road. Our latest incarnation has us covering the maximum amount of space allowed on this lot. I never dreamed, all those times when I heard my dad talk about opening a “chrome shop,” that such a thing could be possible.

So, what I want to say to all of you is THANK YOU for making what we do possible. As hard as we work, it wouldn’t make a difference if our customers didn’t notice and keep coming back. This has been a year full of growing pains, one that saw our shipping volume doubled while the number of people on staff stayed the same. Of course, this meant that we screwed up a few times. THANK YOU to those customers who gave us another chance after we made a human error. Every OOPS was turned into a lesson, and as a team we worked together to prevent it from happening again. Your support has made it possible for us to keep food in our bellies and turn the dreams in our heads into reality.

We have even more improvement planned for 2012. Dennis is constantly hunting for the newest, best, and most affordable products on the market. I’m working on making your online shopping experience as easy and as fast as possible. And everyone is relentlessly learning every detail of our over 8,000 items in order to serve you as best as we can.

Happy Holidays to you and yours,
Lenae
VP, E-Commerce and Internet Marketing

On behalf of the Londagin family and Empire Chrome Shop