By Robert Frank
So popular is Mack Trucks’ decision to move its maintenance facility from Montreal to Laval, earlier this year, that the iconic vehicle manufacturer is already investing in adding 40 per cent more capacity to its new facility.
“We just opened in January and we’re already full,” enthused Mack Laval president Mike O’Connell. “We’re looking to provide more service facilities by adding another seven bays.”
He told The Suburban that Laval’s excellent highway network played an important role in inducing his firm to invest $4 million to relocate to Île Jésus.
“Trucking companies make their money by the kilometres that they put on their trucks to carry goods,” he said in an interview. “Montreal is gridlock. If they’re stuck in traffic in Montreal, then they’re less productive.”
“More and more [trucking] companies are going off the island of Montreal and have relocated to Laval,” O’Connell continued. “Its location and high growth potential will continue to see business migrating here, especially where we’re located, just north of the bridge.”
He extolled the city’s approach to business development.
“I’m impressed with the way that they do business,” O’Connell declared, “Our values are safety, quality and concern for the environment, which fits well with Laval’s logical, environment-friendly long-term approach to expanding its business base. So we’re proud to be a part of it.”
He said that his company represents both the Mack and Volvo Class 8 (heavy-duty) trucks that his parent firm builds, and services all Class 8 trucks made by other manufacturers such as Kenworth, Peterbilt, Freightliner and International.
Customers include everyone from individual owner-operators to huge fleet owners like Transforce, which has absorbed a couple of dozen smaller trucking firms during the last few years.
According to O’Connell, it’s a winning formula.
“We’ve dramatically increased truck service and parts sales continue to grow,” he said.
“Most importantly to us, our reputation in the Montreal region is continuing to grow along with our sales.”
Mack trucks are instantly recognizable by the bulldog ornament that adorns most of their vehicles’ hoods. The company adopted the symbol after World War I, when British soldiers dubbed them Bulldog Macks for their tenacity.