Tom Wood’s is not just the name of a company, Tom Wood is a person. In 1979 Tom started working for a local drive line shop because he “needed a job” and a local drive line shop was hiring. He worked for that company for 20 years. Sometime in the mid ‘90s, with the emergence of off-roading as a sport, he saw an opportunity to do something new and do things differently. He quickly built a name and reputation for himself as the guy to go to for specialty off-road drive shafts. However, management of the company he worked for didn’t share his vision. He decided to start his own company, to see what could be achieved by focusing solely on off-road drive shafts. In 1999 he quit his job and with virtually no money to get started he founded Tom Wood’s Custom Drive Shafts. He started small, working by himself in a small rented garage in a bad part of town, sometimes staying and working 2 days straight with no sleep. Diligence and hard work eventually allowed him to hire an employee, then another, then more. Eventually He was able to buy a bigger building in a better part of town and hire even more people. He now owns 7,200 square feet of production and warehouse space and employs 14 full time people. Today, the name Tom Wood is synonymous with off-road drive shafts. Tom still comes to work every day and he is still part of the company. These days he mostly does things like working with our suppliers and answering emails, but he still answers the occasional phone call. Over the past few years Tom’s son, Shawn Wood, is stepping in to take over management of the company so that Tom can spend more time doing the things he enjoys.
Our crew is very experienced. Half of our employees have been part of the company for 10 years or more. Most of our phone staff are former co-workers of Tom and have been working in the industry for over 20 years. If you have ever called us with a question or to place an order, you will know that our staff is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. Any time you have questions about anything drive shaft related, give us a call. It is our office staff’s full-time job to assist you and answer your questions. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything from us, we’re happy to help. We believe that knowledge should be free, think of it as a public service. It is not our job to “sell” you anything, we genuinely just want to help you to find the shaft or solution that is best for you and your individual needs.
Tom Wood’s Custom Drive Shafts has always been a family company. Tom’s son Shawn started working for the company shortly after we opened, when Shawn was still in high school. Tom’s nephew Jason is our shop supervisor and primary builder. In addition to the Wood family we have the Reardon family. Troy and Karry Reardon have both been key employees for the better part of 20 years. Each of them has or have had sons and other relatives employed here at one time or another. Many of our other employees are people who simply replied to a job listing, but everyone who works here is more that just an “employee”, they are all part of the Tom Wood’s family.
Focus On Quality
Quality has always been Tom Wood’s number one focus. We have never wanted to be the cheapest or even the biggest, only the best. We believe in the business model of creating the best product available and offering it at fair prices. Our brand reputation has been built the hard way, by always holding ourselves and our products to the highest standards. This will never change.
Every drive shaft we sell directly to the customer is built specifically for that customer. Whether it is something that is completely unique or something that is fairly standard we build the shaft the way you the customer orders it. None of our drive shafts are pre-made. This means that the shaft you get from us is tailor made with your needs and your dimensions in mind.
Here’s how the process works. A customer places an order, either through our website or over the phone. If it’s ordered over the phone, we ask you all the important question to ensure that you get exactly what you want and need. That evening our production crew cuts the tube for your shaft and makes sure that all the necessary components are assembled.
The following morning the crew comes in at 5:00am and starts the build process. First the shafts are pressed and welded. One end at a time we press the parts into of the shaft into the tube, straighten it, weld it, then re-straighten it. We ensure that the shaft is straight within a few thousandths of an inch. Once both ends are welded, and the shaft is straight it moves along to the balancing department.
To avoid warping or damaging sensitive balancing fixtures and equipment we don’t build and balance shafts on the same machines. Drive shafts are put into state of the art Axiline balance machines and balanced at 3,300 drive shaft RPM. Once the shafts are balanced, they move on to the paint and package department.
The shafts are then cleaned with a degreaser and put into our paint booth. Using an automotive type air-sprayer, we apply a fast-drying black paint. When the paint is dry, we grease all the grease fittings and put them on a rack to be packaged. They are then packaged in special made double wall boxes and shipped via UPS. At about 4:30 Utah-time they are loaded onto a UPS truck and sent on their way to our customers, all over the United States and beyond. This entire production process usually takes place within about 24 hours. Almost without exception, all the shafts we build are shipped one business day after being ordered. Getting things shipped quickly is very important to us and something we take great pride in. We never allow ourselves to get behind schedule. You get a custom tailor-made drive shaft without any extra wait time and without having to pay an extra price.
Nearly all the components we use are Neapco, Spicer, or Tom Wood’s brand. Everything we use is sourced for its superior quality and/or function. In addition to using Neapco or Spicer, something that makes us unique, is that we have our own parts made. There are some things that other manufacturers either don’t make at all or don’t make the way we think they should be made. Because of this we have invested into having many parts manufactured for us exclusively and exactly to our specifications. This could be anything from a minor design or material change on an existing product, to a flange or yoke that didn’t exist, or even something as complex as a completely original slip yoke eliminator kit. Here are some notable examples of Tom Wood’s unique parts. Super Flex offset universal joints, an innovative design which allows for greater flexibility. Our Gold Seal joints; designed for strength, serviceability, and with the best warranty in the industry. Forged and/or steel yokes, for superior strength over traditional cast iron yokes. Flanges to fit vehicles that nobody else seems to care about such as Toyotas and Suzukis. Slip Yoke Eliminator kits for NP242 and NP241C transfer cases.
All the tubing we use is USA made DOM (drawn over mandrel). We use tubing with wall thicknesses ranging from .083” to .188”. The heavier tubes being used when the customer’s planned use make dents and other rock damage a concern.
We have a huge inventory. This is important for two reasons. One is that we are almost never out of stock of anything, we are always ready to build whatever it is you need built. The other reason is that by buying in super-bulk quantities we can control costs and build premium quality products at competitive prices.