AMN Drivetime: BendPak's Jeff Kritzer

AMN Drivetime: BendPak’s Jeff Kritzer

Kritzer worked his way up from the shipping and receiving department to president and CEO.

When you’ve worked for a company for more than 40 years, you certainly know “where the bodies are buried,” as they say. But more fascinating, you’re a walking history book, seeing the company through its ups and downs, successes and flops and stellar innovations that have defined the next generation of the aftermarket.

Jeff Kritzer, president and CEO of BendPak, is one of those guys.

Kritzer started at BendPak, a California-based company best known for its car lifts and wheel service equipment when he was a 20-something recent college grad. As he describes it, he found out about the job thanks to family connections: Owner Don Henthorn’s daughter was best friends with Jeff’s sister at the time. He knew Jeff was in search of a job, and Jeff soon started in the company’s shipping and receiving department. Thanks to his innovative thinking and hard work, Jeff worked his way up in the company, seeing through dozens of brands, products and industry firsts over the years.

“For me, if I was working for a company that made a product and just did that product for 20, 30 years, I would get bored,” Jeff shares. “So we’re just constantly evolving and changing…and now, we have a sort of cult following.”

In the latest episode of AMN Drivetime, sponsored by AISIN, Jeff delves into:

  • His “rags to riches” career trajectory at BendPak (1:10);
  • Advice and good business practices Jeff has learned from his mentors, including Henthorn (2:54);
  • How BenPak’s product lines have evolved over time to meet market demand (4:52);
  • How the BendPak name was born and its offerings for the aftermarket today (6:00);
  • Innovations around BendPak’s CoolBoss product line (11:51);
  • Why BendPak recently opened an industrial complex in Alabama and how it feeds into the company’s strategy (14:17);
  • Potential growth Jeff sees for BendPak and its aftermarket brands (15:51);
  • Reasons why the company purchased a new California HQ and wants employees to come into the office each day (17:13);
  • How EVs are affecting lifts and wheel service equipment (20:03);
  • Rapid fire questions (22:23).

AMN Drivetime is sponsored by AISIN. Find more episodes here.

You May Also Like

Tesla Model 3 TPMS service

Resetting and programming TPMS sensors for a Tesla is a lot like any other vehicle, and the challenge is still the same: keeping the light off.

bendpakEVgarageTPMS-1400

One of the first items to be replaced on any Tesla model are the tires. This is due to tire wear from the instant torque of the electric motor. When replacing the tires, you will have to service the TPMS sensors. Tesla has used Baolong (from 2012 to 2014), Continental (from 2014 to 2020) and a proprietary sensor that uses Bluetooth. For 2021, the Model Y started to use a sensor that communicates using Bluetooth protocols. Not much is known about the new system except that the sensors are currently available only through Tesla.

AMN Drivetime: Grace Hovis, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply

Grace Hovis’s journey in Hovis Auto & Truck Supply blends tradition with digital innovation in the automotive aftermarket industry.

Drivetime_-Hovis-1400x700-1
AMN Drivetime: MEMA’s 120th anniversary with Bill Long

MEMA looks to the future as it celebrates 120 years making a big impact.

AMN MEMA
AMN Drivetime with Epicor’s Jon Owens

Owens describes what he’s learned from volunteering in the industry and his vision for AACF as current its president.

Jon-Owens-AMN-Feb-24
AMN Drivetime: DRiV’s Jeff Koviak

A grad of Northwood University, Koviak delves into his career and how he’s grown with the changes at Tenneco and DRiV over the years.

Drivetime_ Koviak

Other Posts

BendPak founder Don Henthorn passes away

Under his leadership, BendPak has grown from a small machine shop to a leading manufacturer of car lifts and automotive service equipment.

Don-Henthorn-BendPak
Can you jumpstart an EV?

First thing’s first: Find the LV battery, which could be anywhere in the vehicle.

bendpakEVgarage12Vjump
How important is regenerative braking for EVs?

Regenerative braking helps to increase the overall efficiency and range of the EV, increasing the range of an EV by up to 20%.

EV-IQ-EV-regenbrakes
BEV brake service tips

In order to disconnect the 12-volt power system on the Model S you must access the “frunk” or front trunk. And before you disconnect the 12-volt battery you need to do two things.

bendpak-EV-garage