Heavy Duty Trucking Supplements

Truck Dealer of The Year 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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T D T D Truck Dealer of theYear 2014 Truck Dealer of theYear 2014 These six top dealer executives were nominated by their peers for the annual Truck Dealer of the Year Award presented by American Truck Dealers and Heavy Duty Trucking. The award recognizes excellence in business practices, industry leadership and community service. The winner and finalist were chosen by a panel of professors from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. B usiness at Salt Lake Citybased Kenworth Sales Co. is almost a microcosm of how the economic recovery has been uneven. ATD/HDT Truck Dealer of the Year Kyle Treadway, dealer principal, explains that on one hand, his business serves Nevada, which is still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, with the construction business only starting to show a few signs of life. "Then we have the oil and gas fields in Wyoming, which have been exploding, and we also have coal and gold mining, which have been very strong through the recession. So we see states like Wyoming with 4% unemployment, and Nevada with 11.5%." The recession would have put even more customers out of business, Treadway says, if truck buyers had not become much more sophisticated over the past decade. "To have survived the last 10 years, only the best, who are very shrewd about cash flow, forecasting, business planning and employment practices, could have survived all the turmoil," he says. Those shrewder customers, however, are not buying as many trucks as they might have at one time. "Used to be we had a pretty reliable five-year truck-buying cycle," Treadway says. "That is no longer the case. Different industries follow more of their core functions and their equipment needs are more about their cash flow. There's less of the 'I want the newest and greatest,' and more the management of pennies and nickels per mile." That's also the conclusion of Truck Dealer of the Year Finalist Bill Reilley of Lakeside International Trucks in Milwaukee, Wis. "Everybody that we interact with is talking about controlling their costs, much more today than ever before." But perhaps the greatest factor dragging down new-truck sales even more is the problem fleets are having finding qualified drivers. "Customers are not about to buy a new truck if they can't put someone in that seat," Treadway says. "They've watched others make that mistake. There's plenty of freight out there, but they're not going to buy a truck until they can hire a driver." Nominee Don Larson says much the same thing. "I could sell 5,000 trucks today if I could deliver them with drivers," says Larson, who is CEO and owner of Allstate Peterbilt Group in St. Louis Park, Minn. Emissions regs Another possible drag on truck sales is never-ending federal emission regulations. Navistar last year completed its Deborah Lockridge • Editor in Chief HDT • FEBRUARY 2014 2014 TRUCK DEALER OF THE YEAR

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