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Monroe Truck Equipment Continues Growth, Evolution

Tue March 23, 2021 - National Edition #7
Ruksana Hussain - CEG Correspondent


Wisconsin’s Monroe Truck Equipment is an industry-leading truck and trailer equipment manufacturer, upfitter and distributor, with a mission to move communities forward.
Wisconsin’s Monroe Truck Equipment is an industry-leading truck and trailer equipment manufacturer, upfitter and distributor, with a mission to move communities forward.
Wisconsin’s Monroe Truck Equipment is an industry-leading truck and trailer equipment manufacturer, upfitter and distributor, with a mission to move communities forward. Towmaster builds confidence into every work truck its upfits. Monroe Truck Equipment delivers custom fleets for Denver International Airport. Monroe Truck Equipment built a new fleet of trucks for Rock County to help with Wisconsin’s infamous range of weather and conditions. The Monroe team offers expertise and in-house custom engineering, installation, manufacturing and distribution of performance-driven municipal, commercial and fleet vehicle solutions. For more than 40 years, Towmaster has engineered top-tier flatbed equipment trailers that are easy to use, last longer, and haul safely. The Monroe team also has developed deep partnerships with truck dealerships across the country to  better serve its end-user customers, including professional contractors, plumbers, electricians and more.

Wisconsin's Monroe Truck Equipment is an industry leading truck and trailer equipment manufacturer, upfitter and distributor, with a mission to move communities forward.

Backed by its team's expertise, the Monroe's products have helped cities, towns, townships and rural areas across the nation improve safety and infrastructure for more than 60 years. Founded in 1958 by Richard Feller, the company began as a fabrication and machine shop in Monroe, Wis. The addition of truck equipment installation started in the 1970s, further expanding in the early 1980s to include manufacturing snow and ice control products.

Demand for Monroe products helped the company expand its corporate manufacturing facility from the original 92,000 sq. ft. in 1989 to 400,000 sq. ft. today. Expansion continued with additional locations in DePere and Marshfield, Wis.; Joliet, Ill.; Flint, Mich.; and Louisville, Ky. Monroe then acquired Towmaster, the Litchfield, Minn., trailer manufacturer and upfitter, in 2017. Jim Smith, Monroe Truck Equipment's director of marketing, joined the company in 1987 as an inside sales coordinator and has experienced much of the company's transformation first-hand.

"It has been very exciting to be a member of the Monroe team, contributing to and witnessing the expansion through the years," said Smith. "We focus on building relationships with our customers, who are the drivers of our work here at Monroe. Our success is truly based on their success. That's our mission to help their business thrive and grow. Whatever challenges our customers face, we work to be able to come to them with a solution that will help them reach their goals."

The Monroe team offers expertise and in-house custom engineering, installation, manufacturing and distribution of performance-driven municipal, commercial and fleet vehicle solutions. The company has fostered relationships with municipal and town leaders in several regions across the United States to develop and manufacture fleets that help it address year-round municipal maintenance and safety projects. The Monroe team also has developed deep partnerships with truck dealerships across the country to better serve its end-user customers, including professional contractors, plumbers, electricians and more.

Towmaster Trailers, acquired by Monroe in 2017, was established in the early 1970s by Harlan Palm, who wanted to develop a high-quality trailer solution to help him move skid-loaders. Over the years, new lines of trailers were developed, and the business grew. The Litchfield facility has had several expansions over that time, and stands at 190,000 sq. ft. now, with almost 190 staff working on both trailers and municipal plow trucks.

"We are known in the industry for our quality," said Chris Pokornowksi, Towmaster's trailer division sales manager. "We pay very close attention to every aspect, the fine details. We've got the best warranty in the industry [10-year structural] because we stand behind our product. We pride ourselves on our response times to our customers and our ability to give them quotes and technical responses with a very quick turnaround."

The Towmaster team also stocks service and replacement parts for their products that can be shipped out the same or next day from their facility or dealer network across the country. While employees and dealership salespersons are provided in-depth training, customers are also invited on location to view offerings and understand the level of customization made available to them. With customer satisfaction as the driving force, both Pokornowski and Smith echo positive sentiments on future plans.

For more than 60 years, Monroe has kept its people front and center in every way; from lifelong customers, to the local communities it operates in, and the almost 1,000-strong corporate-wide workforce. And in the communities that Monroe is located, the company has worked with local high schools and technical colleges hosting workshops to learn the trade. The team organized COVID drive-thru testing sites, hosted five American Red Cross blood drives, bought gift cards from local small businesses, and even orchestrated a drive-through Halloween event to allow children to experience trick-or-treating in Monroe during the pandemic.

The Towmaster team has similarly committed themselves to the community. Last year alone, they quickly designed and manufactured 50 metal IV stands and delivered them to a nearby hospital after an influx of COVID-19 patients. They also hosted blood drives, supported local technical education initiatives, and hosted a socially-distant holiday light parade in Litchfield.

In early 2021, Monroe announced the acquisition of Southern Coach Commercial and Custom Vehicle Upfitting and looks forward to continuing to build upon the success that company has had for the past 40 years.

"We are extremely excited about having them be part of our team now," said Smith. "We want to exceed our customers' expectations; we'll be doing that by developing our people and our processes. We want to deliver the best value we can provide, the unrivalled expertise that our team has, a simple buying experience, dependable trucks and trailers and best-in-class support. That's what we are continually going to work on. Our goal is to grow." CEG




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