Shelli Thompson (L) and Al Niece (second from L) officially break ground for Niece’s new facility in Fort Worth along with personnel from Phoenix O’Connor construction, the general contractor for the project.
Despite continuing supply side challenges, Niece Equipment plans to double the size of its fleet of water trucks over the next three years, while adding a major rental and sales facility in the DFW market.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 29 at the site of Niece's planned new branch office on busy Loop 820 on the north side of Fort Worth.
"The whole state of Texas is hot," Company President Al Niece said, "but I've always wanted to be in DFW just because of the volume of business there."
The manufacturer, known best for its water and fuel trucks, has corporate offices and a manufacturing plant in Buda, outside of Austin, and a second plant in Fort Scott, Kan.
Niece said he started the permit and building process in Fort Worth before the pandemic, but COVID-19 and building supply related delays pushed the groundbreaking to September.
The site will serve as a sales, rental and service facility for the company's water trucks, fuel and lube trucks and freestanding water tanks. The 12,000-sq.-ft. structure will be built on a 5-acre tract just across the street from Fort Worth's "equipment row," home to several major equipment dealers' branch offices.
The company plans a grand opening in May of 2022, in conjunction with the NASCAR races at nearby Texas Motor Speedway. Niece is a team owner in NASCAR and said he'll have his racing trucks on display at the new facility for the grand opening.
Supply Chain Issues
Niece retrofits most major truck manufacturers' chassis with his tanks and plans to increase production to 15 units per month, but getting those chassis is the current challenge, Niece said.
"We signed everything with the builder to get going, and then started experiencing delays in getting the chassis we need," he said. "We have several hundred on order right now, but they come in one or two at a time.
"The plan is to double our current rental fleet, which currently stands at 200," he added. "To do that, we'll build 10 to 15 units a month, but we need the chassis to make that happen."
Niece maintains a huge rental inventory, because as he said, "when a contractor wants a water truck, they want it now, the same day in most cases."
Niece also said his company has the largest articulated water truck fleet in Texas, and it's all about meeting the urgent contractor demands.
Unlike dirt moving equipment which contractors tend to own, Niece said it is very common for those same companies to rent their water supply fleet. "We have customers that have been renting for four or five years continuously," he said, adding that he'll upgrade the customer's truck multiple times during the rental period.
If the supply side cooperates, and Niece is confident those problems will be worked out soon, the company will have 400 trucks available for rent within three years.
"After 40 years in the industry, we know the water truck business very well," Niece said. "And we take it very seriously."
About Niece Equipment
Niece Equipment provides contractors, municipalities and others with water trucks, fuel and lube trucks and water tanks on a sale or rental basis.
Each of their trucks feature Texas engineering and range in size from 2,000-gal. water trucks to 12,000-gal. water towers. The fuel/lube trucks range from 600 gal. to 4,000 gal.
For more information, call (888) 643-2372 or visit www.nieceequipment.com.
This story also appears on Truck and Trailer Guide.
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