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Photos by Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Rick Memmer, right, and his son Andrew are owners of Truck Maintenance Inc., a fleet truck repair and management company.
Business spotlight

Truck repair firm gears for new shop

To pair with McMahon Tire at New Haven site

Rick Memmer, owner of Truck Maintenance Inc., “We care about your trucks as you do.”
Cathie Rowand | The Journal gazette
Truck Maintenance Inc. employee Mike Keil performs preventative maintenance.

Truck Maintenance Inc.

Address: 3801 Option Pass

At a glance: A semi truck maintenance, repair and management company

Employees: 44

Annual revenue: $3.2 million

When was the company founded: 1979

Biggest accomplishment in the past 12 months: The business decided it will construct a 6,400-square-foot facility on Adams Center Road near Moeller Road in New Haven. The company will be leasing about a third of the building to McMahon Tire. Rick Memmer, owner and president of Truck Maintenance, said the pairing is a good fit. “We don’t do tires, but we do use them so we have a good relationship. It’s also a chance for them to do business on that side of town.” Memmer expects to open the new location by Oct. 1.

What was your biggest mistake in operating this business: Not moving more quickly into a second facility. Memmer said while the planning and construction of the building were what he expected, the transition of putting his footprint in another location was much smoother than he realized. He plans to hire a parts manager, office administrator and two mechanics.

What are the key challenges facing your business or industry: The industry changes day to day and the economy fluctuates, Memmer said, so maintaining staffing becomes an issue. He said most job candidates have gone to college, but “I need more people who have gone through some kind of trade school.” Those individuals are often able to apply principles more quickly, he said. “It’s very, very challenging. We have a good core of employees right now, but things can change so fast.”

What is your strategy for staying ahead of your competition: “My son, Andrew, is the co-owner and a Purdue University business school graduate who used to worked for Dell computer for five years,” Memmer said. “He brings technology experience, which is something I don’t have a lot of. Nowadays, everybody emails and most everybody has a smartphone. My son has helped me with that type of stuff.”

What resources have you found most helpful in running a business: “Mentors from older businesses have been invaluable. They have gone through many of the things I might face,” Memmer said. “When I was first starting out, an older businessman was a reference for me and vouched for me and that helped a lot. You don’t forget that.”

What are your growth projections for the next five years: We try to grow 5 percent to 7 percent per year, Memmer said.

What is one thing about your business that people might not be aware of: “That we care about your trucks as you do,” Memmer said. “We try to manage your fleet. We have free truck inspections for customers who are looking at buying a used truck and want to make sure they’re getting a good one.”

If you weren’t running this business, what would you be doing: Would probably be a mechanic

Source: Rick Memmer, owner and president Compiled by Paul Wyche of The Journal Gazette Business Spotlight profiles small businesses that are at least three years old and have 100 or fewer employees. To recommend a business, e-mail the name of the company and the name and phone number of a contact person to or fax to 461-8893.