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Timm Achterberg of Podman Products showcases a specifically designed aftermarket gauge display for Dodge trucks.

Podman Products Gauges the Light Truck Niche

John Gunnell has been writing about classic cars since 1972. He is also the owner of Gunner’s Great Garage in Manawa, Wis. He owns 11 cars and seven motorcycles.

Timm Achterberg is owner of Podman Products, a Horicon, Wisconsin-based company that produces pods specifically designed to neatly display aftermarket gauges in Dodge trucks.

“These are made from the original molds after the company stopped producing them about 10 years ago,” Achterberg said. “Just last December, we started selling them again—we made a production run.”

Pods are available for all 1981 to 2002 model year Dodge pickup trucks. The pods were never offered as OEM equipment, but were a popular item in the aftermarket.

“All of our models are contoured to the factory dashboards and they’re especially popular with diesel truck fans because they need more gauges to monitor their diesel engines. They link to extra gauges so they can watch their engine when they’re making more power, so they don’t burn them up.”

Achterberg got into manufacturing the pods after wanting one for his own personal pickup about seven years ago. That’s when he discovered they weren’t being made anymore.

“I put some polls out on the internet to help me determine how many other people wanted them,” Achterberg said. “The manufacturer saw that the interest was sufficient to remanufacture them.”

The pods are made in Cleveland. Achterberg said he’s been “tinkering with trucks” since he was old enough to drive—or about 30 years. He became a truck mechanic and spent the last 10 years working on tractor trailers. Now, he makes seven different versions of the pods.

“We make three different ones for the right side and two different ones for the left across three different generations of Dodge trucks,” he said.

So far, Achterberg has been selling the pods direct to consumers, but he’s trying to get into the trade market and reach out to shops and wholesalers. Currently, he has two retailers selling his products and he is looking for more who are interested.

In addition to spotlighting the product at large swap meets. Achterberg has a website and a Facebook page. So far, his Facebook page has generated most of his sales. He has explored the Chevy market, too, but hasn’t found enough interest in those gauge pods.

“We need at least 150 orders to offset the costs of creating prototypes, making the molds and supporting the manufacturing,” he explained.

“The units are priced according to the number of pods they have. Customers get the unit they order—it’s called the top—as well as the base and all the hardware. Everything you need to mount it is included,” Achterberg said.

“The base is held to the dash with Velcro and not screws,” he emphasized. “Then there’s spring clips in the base that two screws go to and they pull all the pieces down.”