Mike Vernon and Stacy Dabin have a simple equation for running a successful business: full loads equal higher profits.
“A lot of the competition has cut their rates,” Verdon said. “The challenge is to keep our trucks loaded all the time. As we go into the five boroughs of New York City, we bring stone for asphalt plants. When we come out, we bring petroleum-contaminated soil that’s used to top landfills. We bring sand from the south for concrete plants. In the winter we plow snow and haul salt. We keep the trucks loaded at all times so there are no dead miles.”
That strategy has helped the owners of Dabin Trucking (which does business as AMV Trucking) grow the company from a single truck and one employee to 40 trucks and 60 employees. The firm has expanded its footprint from Kenvil, N.J., to Long Island, N.Y., Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania, during a grinding recession in the construction industry. The company has also won a slew of awards for exhibiting some of the sharpest-looking trucks in the nation.
Of course full trucks only explain part of the company’s success. The business partners run a clean, honest operation. They service the heck out of their customers. They surround themselves with good people. “We are very team-driven,” Dabin said. “Everyone is willing to do whatever we have to do to make it happen.”
They also buy the most reliable, fuel-efficient equipment from the best dealers. And that led them to Todd Brown and his sons, Ryan and Corey, at Brown Truck Group in Bloomsbury, N.J. Over the last two years AMV Trucking purchased 17 Mack Granite axle-forward models with 455-hp MP8 engines and Mack 10-speed transmissions. The last purchase featured 505-hp MP8 engines and automatic transmissions with 18,000-lb.-capacity front and 46,000-lb.-capacity rear axles. “You want to build the trucks light with the proper gear ratio, tire size and tire pressure,” Verdon said.
The business partners are converting their fleet from competitor trucks to Mack for several reasons. “They’re better designed than the competition,” Dabin said. “The fuel economy is outstanding,” Verdon added. “The Granites are getting 7-7.5 mpg with the automatic transmissions. I believe we’re getting more torque with the 505-hp engines, and the drivers love them.” AMV Trucking adds two other parts to that success equation: their Mack dealer and Mack Financial Services.
“The main reason I buy Mack is because of the Brown Truck Group. I called Ryan at midnight and said I need a clutch for my Mack. He got to the dealership and dropped a clutch off to my mechanics. The Brown Group has never left me on the side of the road.”
Mack Financial Services has also helped to grow the business. “We were a new company and nobody wanted to touch us,” Verdon said. “The people at Mack Financial gave us a chance. They’re also personable, where if you’re with another manufacturer you’re just a number.”
Verdon said that all adds up to more profits for everyone. “My whole fleet within the next five, six years will be all Mack.”
Mack Trucks, www.macktrucks.com