A New Solution: Because Truck Beds Deserved Better Covers
When talking about the history of Softopper, it all begins with the Dwyer brothers.
Larry Dwyer saw a demand for an innovative truck top when seeing a fellow driver resorting to a tarp to cover their truck bed. Recognizing the need for truck owners grappling with gear that doesn’t conform to the standard fiberglass toppers, Larry and his brother Bob enthusiastically embraced the challenge, ready to tackle the task at hand.
Larry learned how to sew, and the two brothers independently financed their new venture. They unveiled one of their models at a show in Loveland, where the word-of-mouth buzz about the new tops began. Post-show, their warehouse swiftly transformed into a modest office space. Initially, family and friends became early adopters of their tops before the brothers expanded their customer base to reach even more people.
Bonding through motocross
Russel Rhodes, a colleague and friend, first learned about the company through his MotoCross activities with Dwyer. Russ developed a strong bond with Larry, and their shared interests led them to spend ample time together mountain biking and racing motocross.
Dwyer mentioned that Softopper might need another employee with the amount of business they began bringing in. So, Russ casually dropped the question after a day in the mountains.
“What do you think about bringing me on to Softopper?”
Larry and Bob talked it over and were on board with the idea! Russ remembers the decision like it was yesterday.
“Going from a company that had benefits to one where I had to provide them myself – it was a huge change,” said Rhodes. “I talked to my wife about it. It was scary. My wife said if you take this job you’re not commuting – we have to move.”
Russ doesn’t regret his decision and continues to be an integral part of Softopper to this day.
Taking Risks and embracing change
Suzann Saunders, another long-time Softopper employee, took a similar path when joining the company.
“I’ve never been one to shy away from risk,” said Saunders. “Every step and every change along the way make you a little bit nervous, but you just push through and it’s worked out.”
Saunders job description was open ended when starting with Softopper. She would go on the floor sealing, trimming windows, packing tops, popping rivets, and tackling whatever needed to be done that day. If there wasn’t work to be done in the office, she was on the floor.
“I loved being able to be in different roles, learning the ins and outs of every part of the company.”
The company has gone through many changes since Saunders joined Softopper, but things continue to move forward. Russ and Suzy both have distinct memories of the first time they ever filled the back of a pickup truck with toppers, amazed with how many orders they had received.
“Every step and every change along the way make you a little bit nervous, but you just push through and it’s worked out,” said Saunders. “It’s just been a really good experience.”
Suzy serves as the operation manager for Softopper and makes the important decisions that continue to move the company forward.
Creating products they loved
Not many people know, but Softopper used to make a variety of different products including Jeep soft tops, boat bimini tops, cushion covers for sailboats, aircraft seat covers, side mount bike racks, and a lot more. The Dwyer brothers loved making things that suited their interests and hobbies.
This spirit continues in the present day, as Softopper persists in creating prototypes and pioneering truck solutions to give truck owners an even better experience.
Today and Beyond
Today, Softopper continues with the same spirit the Dwyer brother’s envisioned when they started their journey. We now offer fifty plus models in tan, gray, and black fabric, made for handing dirt trails or cruising down the highway.
Thank you for being a part of our journey. Whether you’re a long-time supporter or just discovering Softopper, we’re excited to have you along for the ride as we explore new horizons, push boundaries, and redefine what it means to ride with the top down. Welcome to the Softopper experience – where innovation meets adventure.