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A sales executive with Mack Trucks expressed optimism about the trucking industry during a recent briefing with the press in Portland, Ore., and Seattle.
“This is a hot market, and it’s a good time to be in trucking. We are not seeing a downturn,” said Jonathan Randall, senior vice president of North American sales and marketing for Mack Trucks, on July 10 during part of a three-day event.
“It’s true that orders have fallen off, but we are still at full production capacity, and there is a backlog that is diminishing,” Randall said.
The press was given a tour of two facilities in Portland and Seattle operated by Portland-based TEC Equipment, a Mack and Volvo dealer with more than 25 locations along Interstate 5.
Mack Trucks and Volvo Trucks North America are units of Sweden-based Volvo Group.
Construction spending and the “dirty truck” business remain strong “and we don’t see that changing,” Randall said. “Our order book is firm, solid and strong,” he said, but noted that next year “is likely to be down a bit from this year.”
A race car from Vital Speed Motorsports is unloaded at Portland International Raceway. (John Baxter)
The press observed the unloading of race cars from Vital Speed Motorsports from trailers pulled by two Mack Anthem tractors at Portland International Raceway, and toured dump truck company Silver Streak in Maple Valley, Wash. The company, a customer of Mack Trucks since the 1960s, hauls construction materials such as rocks and gravel.
Randall said that registrations of Mack Trucks had been 40% longhaul, but in 2019, registrations have been closer to 50%.
“The big sleeper business has been driving this success, as we are gaining customers with the Anthem,” he said. Construction trucks, as well as refuse trucks, “will be a slightly larger percentage of sales next year.”
Transport Topics reported July 18 that Mack sold 1,886 Class 8 trucks in June, down 6.9% from a year earlier. For the six-month period, it sold 9,429, up 9.6% from the previous year’s period.