By Peter Hempenstall, NTEA Director of Outreach
Meet our experts
This article was published in the February 2020 edition of NTEA News.
NTEA recently caught up with Specialty Vehicles Southeast Inc. dba Fleetco, a distributor member located in Pensacola, Florida. Fleetco Inc. was founded in the late 1970s and operated for about 10 years mostly as a truck and trailer repair business. John Briscione, now a 30-year industry veteran, purchased the company in 1987 and expanded offerings to include more truck and van equipment sales. He sold the business three years ago, but is still part of the organization, providing service to long-term customers as well as developing new business. Stephen McNeese, the current owner, oversees day-to-day operations and continues to expand the company’s horizons with new product lines and increased connections to local, state and federal government customers.
Fleetco began primarily as a trailer repair facility, though it offered limited truck equipment products and wheelchair lifts along with other mobility products. Under John’s leadership, Fleetco became a Reading distributor in 1987 and kept taking on new product lines. As the intco ventured further into truck equipment sales and installation.
Since then, the company has maintained a balance of both new equipment sales and repair service business. The most significant change in recent years has been a shift away from the wheelchair lift and mobility business while expanding offerings in the demolition/waste clean-up market (heavy-duty hooklifts and cable hoists). Fleetco continues to develop business with many local military bases and federal agencies around the country. Flexibility in its products and services helped the company adjust to market changes. The ability to shift resources toward repair services or new equipment sales as the economy changes has been key to its longevity.
A Palfinger 60,000-pound cable hoist and Pioneer rack & pinion tarp system installed by Fleetco. Learn more at fleetcobuilds.com.
Fleetco has weathered its share of storms. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan (Category 4) struck Pensacola. Although without power for two weeks, the company operated with generators powering lights and tools, and was serving customers again after just two days.
The business is located off Interstate 10, making it accessible to customers throughout the Florida panhandle. It also serves customers in neighboring Mobile, Alabama, and across that state’s southern regions. Fleetco sits on nearly 3 acres of land with a 12,000 square-foot building and employs about 15 to 20 people. Facilities include sales and administrative offices, a fabrication and repair shop with nine bays and a 56-foot paint booth.
For more information, visit fleetcobuilds.com, call 850-477-7645 or stop by 685 Broad Street in Pensacola.