Operating heavy- and medium-duty commercial truck businesses at eight locations in five states, McMahon Truck Centers has become known for its support solutions and selection of premium vehicles. A family business, McMahon represents Mack, Volvo and Hino brands, and its product offerings include premium truck bodies and attachments from Jerr-Dan, XL Specialized Trailers and OX Bodies

“We are the fifth generation of our family to be in the transportation business,” CEO Mike McMahon explains. “We’ve learned the dealership business by starting on the ground floor and working our way up, and we’ve invested in the business in ways that have allowed it to expand our offerings. We are eagerly looking for future growth and acquisition opportunities.” 

Hub and Spoke

As a company in the commercial truck space, McMahon operates in a very mature industry that grows at about two percent a year on average. The trucks it sells are used for business, which means McMahon must follow different trends than those influencing the consumer car sector.

“In the truck dealer space, revenue from parts and service contribute to the growth of the business,” Mike McMahon says. “The people that buy these trucks come back to the dealership for parts and service, and we need to provide consistency and quality to repeat buyers.”

By creating a network of multiple locations in multiple states, McMahon has built its business based on a hub-and-spoke model. It has established roots in markets with a significant commercial truck presence. 

The company’s approach is to provide the marketplace with a wide product range. McMahon also understands that it operates in an account-driven business, which is why its sales team regularly gets out of the office so it can be out in front of the customers. 

In addition, the company utilizes the strengths of its manufacturer partners to complement its offerings. McMahon focuses its efforts on finding ways to help its customers ensure that their trucks operate efficiently, looking for service and process improvements so it can help maximize the uptime of the trucks it sells.

“The trucking business is very much about service, and we understand that we have a responsibility to closely take care of the customer,” COO Brad McMahon says. “Our part fill rate is about 96 percent over the counter, and we are available 24 hours a day. It is important for us to be available when the customers are working and to have the right inventory available.” 

Strong Ties

McMahon works hard to maintain relationships with outside service providers, vendors and OEMs. The company’s leadership manages those relationships through frank and open dialogue. It aims to align with its manufacturers by understanding their wants and needs.  

“Our role as a dealer is to translate what the OEM is looking to get across to the customer so they are on the same page,” Brad McMahon says. “We leverage local relationships with a global feel of telematics, soft products and everything else that is coming from up the chain of OEMs.”

A key aspect of McMahon’s organization is its complementary business unit of McMahon Truck Leasing. By adding leasing, the company has the ability to bundle or unbundle everything it does. 

“For heavy trucks, leasing is more than a finance tool,” Mike McMahon says. “It is highly relational as opposed to being transactional. Leasing gives us the full spectrum from transaction to relationship.”

Supporting the Future

Among the key investment areas for the company are tools for improving communication with customers. These tools allow trucks to notify McMahon before they break down. Communication tools also ensure strong ties between the OEM, the truck owner, shop technicians and McMahon’s staff.

The company has also been investing in facilities. It is building a state-of-the-art, 60,000-square-foot facility in Columbus, Ohio. It will be outfitted with all of the latest industry amenities to help attract technicians. 

As McMahon evaluates its expansion opportunities, the company believes it must take a fresh approach to going to market. 

“By using the best people and tools and offering customized solutions, we can make sure there is project ownership and accountability throughout the organization,” Mike McMahon explains. “Our company is a group of people with common resources and common goals. 

“We are trying to be a big company but with a small, personal touch so we can serve everyone from large public companies to the small-scale entrepreneurs.” 

Some of the major challenges and priorities facing McMahon are issues such as talent management and attraction. The company believes it is important to be green and growing, not old and dying. The company will also continue to seek out acquisitions and organic growth in its effort to capture marketshare. 

“Now that the economy has heated up, we need to be thinking about as much growth and gain as possible ahead of the next downturn,” Mike McMahon says. “We must broaden and scale services, and we must find the right people and tools so we can enter new marketplaces, drive growth and improve value to our customers.” 

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