Great Dane announced Friday the passing of former Great Dane Vice President of Design and Development Charlie Fetz. He was 60.
Fetz had a celebrated career in engineering before retiring from Great Dane in 2016. During his time in the transportation industry, Fetz contributed to numerous recommended practices and educational sessions. He served many years on the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association’s (TTMA) Engineering Committee, including a term as chairman. Many of TTMA’s Recommended Practices have been subject to Fetz’s keen edits.
“Charlie was a stalwart champion of structural integrity, and is largely responsible for Great Dane’s reputation for strong and durable products,” says Rick Mullininx, Great Dane’s executive vice president of engineering. “Yet, he was also forward-thinking. 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 was also active on the American Transportation Association’s (ATA) Technology and Maintenance Council’s (TMC) Future Truck Committee and S.7 Trailer, Bodies and Material Handling Study Group, serving 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 says.