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FALL 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 3


OUR FLAGSHIP HAS COME IN. New 55,000 sq. ft. Atlanta dealership is open for business

DELIVERING ON A PROMISE Keeping customers moving with parts & service

We are Mack. This is our Anthem. Introducing Anthem, the next-generation highway truck from Mack. Born of the American spirit, Anthem comes standard with a bold design that delivers serious aerodynamics, and a new interior that keeps drivers comfortable and productive. See how Anthem is built to move your business forward.


Our New Arrival



Fall 2016, Vol. 1, Issue 2

On the cover of our very first edition of Open Road, Nextran Truck Centers’ official magazine, there was an image of the shovels used at the ceremonial ground breaking of our dealership in Duluth, GA. It signified Nextran’s commitment to our customers, employees and strong partnership between Nextran Truck Centers and Mack Trucks. Now, less than two years later, what was once an empty lot, stands a 55,000 sq. ft. facility that serves as the Nextran flagship location for the Mack Trucks brand. We are tremendously proud of this new facility and appreciate all the positive feedback we have received since opening. But the journey is far from over. Our two organizations, as well as our other OEM partners, continue to push ahead. While opening new locations and cutting red ribbons is exciting, it’s just a byproduct of our larger goal: to provide our customers with the best service possible. In this issue, we’ll take a look at the grand opening and the evening of celebration with customers and friends. We’ll also recap our 2017 Sales & Management Conference and highlight some very deserving Nextran employees who exemplify outstanding service.


Did you miss our last issue? Ask a Nextran representative about it and we will hook you up! Or find it online at:

The transportation industry is constantly changing and evolving and it’s our job to stay on top of it. That said, we always welcome feedback or story ideas from our readers. If there’s an issue or a technological advancement you’d like us to detail, just let us know. As always, it’s a pleasure to have you join us on the Open Road. We hope the insights and information keep you moving forward.

Jon W. Pritchett President and CEO Nextran Truck Centers


Wall Sculpture at Nextran Truck Centers in Duluth, GA



ROAD FALL 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 3

This Issue 3




7, 8











16 4 \\ OPEN ROAD

Launching The Flagship


Mark Your


Checkout the upcoming truck industry events and happenings.

September 25-28, 2017 North American Commercial Vehicle Show, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA October 3, 2017 Nextran Ride & Drive Event Duluth, GA October 21, 2017 2017 MCE American Trucking Association Orlando, FL

SOCIAL SIDE CAR check out some the latest social happenings from Nextran

November 8-9, 2017 GMTA Fall Leadership Conference Marietta, GA November 14-16, 2017 2017 SMC and TSC Safety and HR Conference and Exhibition Memphis, TN December 6-7, 2017 NATMI Safety and Compliance Seminar Marietta, GA


Find us on Facebook and LinkedIn, we would love to hear your story.

Have a calendar submission for the next edition? Email us at OPEN ROAD // 5


NOW YOU KNOW A few interesting factoids about the trucking industry.

A fully-loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. or more.

Most cars only weigh about 3,000 lb.

There are more than 36 MILLION trucks in service in the U.S. SUN

In 2000, America’s professional drivers drove 200 BILLION miles – enough for 1,000 ROUND TRIPS to the sun.




Parts &



Every company that relies on a truck knows the negative effects that downtime can have on their operation. Those effects bring up a simple yet exceedingly difficult question. “How can we minimize down-time?” Stated differently, “How can we maximize uptime?” A critical ingredient in the uptime formula is parts availability. For Nextran Truck Centers, one of their approaches in assisting customers with maximizing uptime is an intense focus on providing the right part, at the right time, at the right price. According to Jim Ussery, Executive Vice President of Operations for Nextran, “Providing optimum parts availability to

Providing optimum parts availability to our customers requires the flawless execution of a thousand little things, each one equally important.”

our customers requires the flawless execution of a thousand little things, each one equally important.”

Having the right part begins with having the right people. In his 35-year career, Chris Naylor, the Director of Parts Operations for Nextran has developed a deep understanding of what it takes to provide a successful parts solution. When asked what has the greatest impact he responded, “Our parts departments are suppliers of needs, and that begins with our people.” Nextran’s parts department currently employs 246 people. The average tenure is an astonishing 8.6 years. Many of Nextran’s parts managers and counter personnel started in entry level positions and have steadily progressed in their careers. It’s this high level of experience and



the overall body of knowledge that has enabled Nextran to provide best in class parts availability for their customers. One of Nextran’s customer focused initiatives is providing a parts delivery service at no cost to their customers. Across their 15 locations, Nextran currently has 92 vehicles dedicated for parts delivery. This fleet of delivery trucks will make on average twelve to twenty stops per route, which can equate to as many as fourteen hundred deliveries each day. The delivery drivers play a significant role in this initiative by bringing more value to their customers than just the parts they provide. Naylor added to this in saying, “Many of our customers consider our delivery drivers as their own employees. The drivers help their customers manage core returns, look over parts stocking levels, and act as a liaison between the customer and the parts department to better serve their customer’s needs.” Nextran uses a number of logistical solutions to provide optimum parts


availability. A significant initiative is an inventory control platform called the Logistics Partnership Agreement with Volvo and Mack Trucks. LPA is a system that allows Volvo’s parts warehouse to monitor the inventory levels of Nextran’s Parts Departments. LPA performs an analysis of Nextran’s inventory each night that includes current quantity on-hand, the items that were sold, and how many times each part has been requested. From this, LPA creates an order that is automatically uploaded to Volvo’s parts warehouse for processing. This allows an automatic replenishment of parts in the same day that the part is sold. This assures that the parts stock is always replenished and frees up the inventory control expediters to focus on other important tasks. Another way Nextran’s Parts Departments are increasing their customer’s up time is by keeping parts that have trusted quality within their $19 million inventories. By collaborating with the original equipment parts providers, Nextran has ensured that

the parts that they are supplying are time tested and trusted replacements. The reason for having quality OE parts is that they effectively increase uptime by increasing the life of the repair. Additionally, Nextran provides competitive pricing for these parts by purchasing them in bulk trailer loads. While discussing this, Naylor said “We trust the products we keep in inventory because they are high quality, and bring extra value to our customers. Our customers know this and trust our reputation to deliver only the best.” For the Parts Departments at Nextran, developing a comprehensive strategy to provide best-in-class support and service to their customers is their main priority. Whether it’s through the people who understand the importance of their goal, the quality of the products they offer, customer satisfaction is the basis for what matters most. It’s this basic element that Nextran continues mastering that has made them a trusted partner for maximizing uptime in today’s market.


Trucking the

American Dream Nextran keeps the Guarnzio family in the driver’s seat

By Shannon J. Winslow-Claunch

Florida based, family owned, TransPremier, LLC. trucking was established in 2000 and has gone onto earn the Orlando Business Journal’s Largest Hispanic Owned Business in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. Located close to major roadways such as the Florida Turnpike, SR 528 Beachline and the SR 417 Greenway and strategically located near major asphalt plants, TransPremier has become a leading hauling company of asphalt and milling for road building in Central Florida. In 2016 they were honored by winning the prestigious Don Quixote Award for Hispanic Business of the Year, which was sponsored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) and Prospera (formerly HBIF) and hosted at Disney’s Epcot. TransPremier President Sergio Guarnzio, Sr. is greeted by Nextran’s Juan de Oliviera at the Orlando location

Twenty six year old, Sergio Guarnzio, Jr. (Junior) serves as General Manager of his family’s business. His father Sergio is president and mother, Diana Bernate. Guarnizo, is VP and CFO. Their daughter, Diana Camila will graduate from Florida International University in Miami as a journalist this May. Sergio’s brother Jaime Guarnzio was recently promoted to financial manager. Their staff of 63 employees are fully trained and insured to operate a fleet of 43 late model Tri Axle Dump Trucks and six full clean up crews comprised of sweeper trucks, four wheel brooms, CAT skid steer, loader and CAT 306 milling head. The majority of TransPremier’s fleet was purchased at Nextran. “My dad loves Nextran. We started our company with Kentworth trucks and then came to be really loyal to the Mack brand.”

Junior says TransPremier initially was taking their trucks to Nextran for service but when they experienced their first buying experience they were impressed with the customer service. “We made a relationship with Juan Carlos, who at the time was our mechanic at Nextran. He was very knowledgeable and creative about solving problems.” After Juan Carlos was promoted to sales person, in 2011 the company started purchasing most of their trucks from Nextran for more of their equipmeht. Now about all of our new purchases are Nextran Mack Trucks.” Sergio started Florida based TransPremier, LLC. with one truck and a lot of determination. Junior never remembers a time when his dad wasn’t on the road. He grew up cleaning and doing minor repairs on his father’s truck and as the company grew, so did Junior’s role. Then

in 2009, he enrolled at the University of Miami, where he double majored in Business Administration and Marketing and minored in Sports Administration. Upon graduating Junior worked for ESPN, in their headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, for three years until the family business’ growth brought him back to Orlando in August of 2016. “The company has changed a lot since I left. In the past four years there has been a crazy boom in our sector and it is still growing,” says Junior. “After all,” he says, “my mentors told me that every business is different and you can only learn so much at school. I am happy to be back learning and helping my family grow TransPremier.” Sergio has always been a big proponent of following his dream. “Sure,” say’s Junior, “You have to make ends meet, but do something beyond that. My dad has always



Sergio Guarnzio, Jr.

instilled in me and to all his employees to reach for their dream even if that means a parent has to work to build his dream for his children.” The majority of TransPremier’s employees are minorities and one is even a doctor from Cuba who unfortunately cannot practice medicine in the US. Junior explains, “Life happens but now that a man has a good job in the US driving truck. My dad says that’s OK because maybe he isn’t a doctor here, but that doesn't mean his children can’t go down that path someday.” The Guarnzio family believes in the American dream. They have seen it come true and they know that with a strong work ethic, anything is possible in this country. TransPremier has become a dominant company in the Orlando market and Junior says when he thinks about that sometimes he doesn’t believe it. “We aren’t just doing this, but we are doing this in the US with my parents still learning the English language. For them to pull this off in the US is surreal.” Junior says he laughs when he hears President Trump say, ‘Make America great again.’ “What are you talking about,” he says. “America is great already!”


Coming to America According to Colombia's National Centre for Historical Memory, 220,000 people died in the Colombia Conflict between 1958 and 2013 and most of the casualties were civilians. More than five. million Colombians were forced from their homes between 1985 – 2012, generating the world's second largest population of internally displaced persons. The Guarnzio family immigrated from Colombia in 2000 and Junior says that when his father owned his company there it was a way of life passed down from father to son. “Owning a truck in Colombia at that time was very dangerous.” Sergio worked tirelessly in war torn Colombia to support his family and so did his father, Jesús. They made a living hauling sugar and then oil refinery equipment from the coast to the fields. But, after one of Sergio’s business partners was kidnapped and an employee was murdered by guerilla forces while at their yard, Sergio decided it was time to get out. Last summer, thanks to their Nextran representative, Juan Carlos, Junior and Sergio had the opportunity to tour the Mack Truck factory in Allentown,

Pennsylvania. Junior says that as the tour went on they saw first hand the quality of work at Mack. The Guarnzios experienced the Nextran commitment to customer service, and could see how all three brands aligned. Junior says, “Nextran, Mack and TransPremier’s attitude is all on the same page with communication, quality, relationships, and do the right thing customer support. The trip was testimony for us to realize we are definitely aligned with the right company.” Before they left the Mack factory, the tour guide took Sergio and Junior to a back room museum of Mack trucks. “My grandpa first started with a 1946 Lime Green LJ Mack truck in Colombia and that truck was there in the museum. My dad went crazy. He showed me the huge steering wheel that he always told me about and how the gear shift was manual.” The Guarnzio’s talked about how far trucks have come since the forties and reminisced about how far their family has come too. “My grandpa loved Mack trucks and it was a great moment for us to be there with Nextran. It is a relationship we will keep for the long term and a relationship we are grateful for.”

Parts &


In the Mix


By Shannon J. Winslow-Claunch

With over 60 years of serving customers, Thomas Concrete is one of the leading suppliers of ready-mixed concrete in the southeast. Thomas Concrete combines the delivery of concrete with other services such as project management, technology consulting, calculation of crack risks and strength prognosis in cold weather. The company has grown to 2,500 employees around the globe. Headquartered in Sweden, Thomas Concrete has an operation of 133 plants across Germany, Poland, Norway and the US. Atlanta based Fleet Maintenance Director, Joe Click has experienced the tremendous growth of the company since 1988 when Bowen Concrete was acquired by Thomas Concrete. Click was raised in the trucking business. His father owned a small trucking company in Ripley, West Virginia that hauled asphalt and coal. When the work slowed down in the 80’s, Click’s father sold his business assets and retired. Joe Click then went to work in the oil fields until the oil industry slowed down as well. In 1984, Click relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. Like his father, Click says that it’s the challenge of each day that he finds the most satisfying. “I enjoy the work that we do and I enjoy being around my fellow workers in the ready-mix industry,” he says. “Sure, we produce concrete every day but every day is different and has new problems to resolve.” In the US, Thomas Concrete operates


Alan Wessel, CEO & President with Joe Click, Thomas Concrete, Inc.

69 concrete plants with 600 readymix trucks in operation across Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Click’s role at Thomas Concrete is to direct the entire US fleet which includes maintenance, service and acquisition. He also manages five area fleet managers and numerous fleet maintenance employees. Since 2015, Click has been a satisfied Nextran customer. Over the past two years, Thomas Concrete has purchased 123 trucks to include four road tractors, eight dump trucks and 111 cement trucks. Click says, “Nextran is at the top of the list for parts and service.” The lifecycle of the new units purchased hasn’t required Click’s team to make many trips to Nextran service bays. Click says, “The periodic maintenance and warranty issues that have come up have been expertly handled. The people at Nextran get the job done quickly and do whatever it takes.” Click goes on to say,

“If we are busy and can’t get the truck to them they will come pick it up and do the work. This is the way business should be done and used to be done.” Getting the job done the right way is Joe Click’s personal creed. He has earned a reputation at Thomas Concrete as a manager who leads by example and as someone who always does the right thing. Thomas Concrete’s Charlotte Division Area Manager, Don Richmond says “I’ve learned that Joe doesn’t expect anything more from a person than they should expect from themselves. I think he expects a person to be accountable for their own actions and he expects a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. On a personal level I think Joe would give the shirt off his back to a person in need.” Another Area Manager for Thomas Concrete’s Coastal Division, Earl Ralph says, “I love the fact that with Joe there is no beating around the bush because in his eyes, there is no bush. Let’s just get the job done.”



BUSINESS Before all of the celebration and festivities associated with the grand opening of its flagship location took place, Nextran got down to business. On May 12th, a day prior to the ribbon cutting, Nextran Truck Centers held their annual Sales and Management Conference in their brand new facility.



After a day of meetings to review last year’s successes and challenges, as well as examine goals for the future, it was time to recognize some employees for their outstanding customer service. Which was fitting as the place the awards were handed out was built by outstanding customer service. “Nextran is only successful when our customers are successful,” said Nextran CEO Jon Pritchett. “Helping them move forward every day is what allows us to construct new locations and expand our operations. But the purpose isn’t to pat ourselves on the back for opening a state-ofthe-art dealership. It’s to up our game so we can give our customers an even better experience.” According to Nextran Executive Vice President of Operations Jim Ussery, that’s a sentiment shared throughout the organization. “The men and women we honor here tonight understand how important it is to deliver, even over deliver, on the promises we make,” Ussery said. “If we don’t come through, our customer might lose a contract and potentially lay some of their workers off. Those are people with families, so we have to stay dedicated at all times.”


Nextran management gather in the service bay area (Top) to strategize and recognize the people who make Nextran what it is. Ty Lindsay with Mack Trucks speaks about Uptime; Executive VP of Operations, Jim Ussery, hands out a few awards to employees who exemplify excellent customer service.

2016 Truck Sales Person of the Year, Steve Gilmore of Nextran Birmingham, Ala. and his wife, Patricia share the stage with CEO Jon Pritchett (Far Left) and Executive VP of Sales and Marketing, Charlie Brown (Far Right).

With the addition of the new Duluth, GA location, Nextran has the technology on hand to support that customer commitment. “This dealership is a Certified Uptime Center, meaning we have the process and the tools to keep trucks on the road,” added Ussery. “But most importantly we have the people who are dedicated to making it happen. And we’re proud to recognize them this evening.”

2017 Nextran Store of the Year: Orlando


Launching the

FLAGSHIP Nextran opens its brand new location to keep customers on the road and moving in the right direction.




n the fresh asphalt, over 500 people stood counting down in unison as the late afternoon sun grew dimmer and dimmer. Their attention was focused on a line of heavy duty Mack Trucks parked a few feet away. When the count down hit zero, the engines roared to life and the trucks slowly drove down the pavement drawing applause and shouts of excitement from everyone in attendance.

And with that, a dealership, actually a flagship, was officially open for business. Nextran’s newest location is 55,000 sq. ft. and occupies 10 acres of land, offers 30 service bays, including six natural gas bays and a quick lube bay. There’s a customer focused lounge area with full amenities, restrooms and showers. There’s 10,000 sq. ft. dedicated to parts, so a great number of them will be in stock and ready. As a Mack Trucks Certified Uptime Center with a fast tracked service write-up area, the dealership’s primary objective is to keep customers moving. Back in November of 2015, Nextran CEO Jon Pritchett stood here holding a ceremonial shovel in hand. Twenty months later on that same spot, he now stood on a stage holding an audience’s attention during the grand opening of Nextran’s 15th location in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth, GA. “We gather here tonight not just to celebrate a new building. We gather to celebrate an ongoing commitment. A commitment to providing the 800 men and women of Nextran Truck Centers with facilities, technology and an environment that equals their worldclass talents,” Pritchett said. “We gather tonight to celebrate a commitment to our partnership with the best truck manufacturers in the world, Mack and


CEO Jon Pritchett is joined by his family, wife Kelly, daughters Alexandra and Christina, as well as Mack Trucks President and CEO Denny Slagel and Jonathan Randall, Sr VP North American Sales, Nextran's Terry Barrows, Charlie Brown and Jim Ussery to officially open the new Duluth, GA location. Commissioned artwork hangs overhead in the parts lobby.


The pristine exterior of the flagship location welcomes the sun and a new day (Above). Charlie Brown, Philip Pritchett and Jonathan Randall study the commissioned sculpture made entirely from Mack Truck parts.


Nextran set the gold standard for Mack dealers around the country.” Denny Slagel, President and CEO, Mack Trucks

Volvo. And most of all, we come together tonight, to reiterate our unrelenting commitment to our customers.” “Nextran set the gold standard for Mack dealers around the country,” said Denny Slagel, President and CEO of Mack Trucks. “I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with what they’re doing, not only here in Atlanta but wherever they are. I know there are several other Mack dealers here who would agree with me. These guys represent what Mack has been and what it will be in the future, and this facility says the same thing.” The event featured a live band, dancing, cocktails and facility tours, which allowed guests to see the new employee training room and some of the more unique parts of the new dealership. Mostly, a series of commissioned works of art spread throughout the interior. Sculptures created from Mack Truck parts, as well as stylized photography, adorned the walls capturing the unique spirit of Nextran. Perhaps the most eye-catching piece was suspended from the ceiling that showed the Nextran logo when viewed from one perspective, then morphed into the Mack Bulldog when viewed from the opposite side. While the celebratory mood lasted the entire evening, Pritchett made it clear that although the facility was finished, the dedication to customers will never cease. “Tonight I’m proud to say Nextran’s commitment to our employees, our OEM partners and especially our customers is stronger than ever. And that – more than the number of trucks we’ve sold, or the number of locations we’ve opened – is what truly measures our success.”

Groups of customers, friends, family and Nextran employees tour the new facility (Top). View of the Training Room (Bottom). OPEN ROAD // 21


Bringing out the Best

We are proud to recognize some of the dedicated employees who not only make Nextran an amazing place to work, but a strong company that moves the trucking industry forward. RADCLIFFE (RANDY) DANN III Director of Fleet Product Support

ILEANA VALDES Regional Controller

How long have you worked at Nextran? 13 years with Nextran. 43 years in the trucking business.

Why Nextran? I came from KPMG where I worked with Steve Perez! Was hired for Miami – Worked in Atlanta&Conley 2001 – 2005 – upon purchase from bankruptcy and being the only CPA along with Mr. Perez in the company.

Why Nextran? In 2003 Nextran created a new position (Fleet Support Mgr). After a “World Wide” search they found me. It’s been the best job I’ve ever had and it will be very difficult to leave Nextran when I finally decide to end my career. **(The “World Wide Search” phrase is my trademark inside Nextran.)

What aspect of your job do you find the most rewarding and why? Being able to work in my career choice with very bright co-workers. Still facing some challenging situations at times.

What aspect of your job do you find the most rewarding and why? Customer Service - Helping customers obtain there goals. Our team strives to over deliver -”Yes” and “can” rather than “no” and “can’t”.

W  hat advice would you give to a new Nextran employee? Learn as much as you can. Ask questions – many knowledgeable people willing to help!

What advice would you give to a new Nextran employee? Your working for and with the best. Absorb all you can.

W  here do you live and what do you love most about your city? Born and raised in Miami! What wouldn’t you like about that????

Where do you live and what do you love most about your city? Sarasota, Florida. We have it all here, beaches, boating, great restaurants, and culture.

Where is your favorite place to travel? I love traveling! Try to get away every year! Just came back from EUROPE – Rome and Spain! Took my in-laws to visit the VATICAN!

What is your favorite sports team? Buffalo Bills - My wife (Diane) and I are season ticket holders and have been through 4 Super Bowl losses. Someday there will be a “W” in the win column. When you were young, what did you want to be and how does your career path match or contrast those aspirations? Something in the automobile industry and rolled into the trucking industry.


If you could open a Nextran dealership anywhere in the world, where would it be? Las Vegas or California! These places are VERY interesting!!! D  o you have a mentor? Well, professionally I share everything with Mr. Blanco here at the office. He and the guidance of Nanette Tool seem to always steer me in the right direction. They both are very easy to talk to and always very helpful.

The shape of trucks to come

A brand new truck for regional haul has to be street smart. It’s got to meet the demands of the road and the needs of the fleet. It must be lighter, more versatile, and marry efficiency with performance. The new Volvo VNR is all that—and much more. It’s designed to attract a new generation of drivers with the latest I-Shift, the innovative, one-of-a-kind Position Perfect™ steering wheel and the most ergonomic seats on the road. Look closely. Everything you see will show you why the Volvo VNR is the shape of trucks to come. Check out the Top 10 Stories at



Our Certified Uptime Center gives your business the time it needs to keep moving forward. Uptime is more than a crucial metric in the trucking industry; it’s your livelihood. A repair that takes a few hours should never hold you up for a few days. That’s why our service bay is equipped to give you a lightning fast assessment. So if it’s a small problem we can get you back on the road quickly. And if it’s a larger issue, we can let you know what to expect so deliveries aren’t missed and promises aren’t broken. Because the strength of your word is the crux of your business. Trust us to keep you moving.

Nextran Truck Centers Presents Open Road  

Fall 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 3

Nextran Truck Centers Presents Open Road  

Fall 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 3