By Peter G. Hempenstall, NTEA Director of Outreach
This article was published in the July 2019 edition of NTEA News.
NTEA recently caught up with Truckwell of Alaska Inc., a distributor member based in Anchorage — Alaska’s largest metropolitan area. Founded in 1990, the organization is a truck upfitter catering to several industries, including oil field support, snow and ice removal, and construction. Truckwell is a distributor and installer of snowplows, truck bodies, emergency and work lighting, hoists and cranes, van packages, cargo management and custom fabrication. The business specializes in light- to medium-duty truck upfits.
Truckwell provides upfitting services to customers throughout the state, from the North Slope of Alaska to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. The company’s offerings are constantly evolving while maintaining a steadfast focus on oil field support fleets. Adapting to market needs and monitoring sales trends are critical to the organization’s success. Trends come and go in the contracting, landscaping, and snow and ice management markets because of the nature of Alaska’s economy. Truckwell’s recent entry into the vehicle graphics market has provided the organization with a significant sales increase in this sector.
The company operates from a 20,000 square-foot facility. Its shop includes nine bays with multiple overhead cranes and a paint booth to accommodate vehicles up to 50 feet long. Yard space is plentiful, holding vehicles scheduled for upcoming work and all of Truckwell’s inventory. The office includes administrative staff, a conference room and two break rooms.
Truckwell has gone through several ownership changes since opening nearly 30 years ago. Arnie Swanson, an original founder who always maintained ownership, is now the sole owner. At present, the company averages 22–25 full-time employees and three to five part-time staff members.
Truckwell of Alaska’s front lobby showing a counter built from a flatbed that was in stock. Learn more at truckwell.info.
Attention to detail is key to Truckwell’s success. Team members not only listen to customer needs, they watch clients’ history for a deep understanding of their specific fleet. Utilizing a robust sales pipeline during the last three years with a continually developing CRM system has allowed the organization to focus on high-growth, high-probability opportunities and allocate resources efficiently and effectively.
Last year, Truckwell had a chance to bid on its largest (measured by project hours) single-unit vehicle business opportunity. Following extensive product research, it was awarded a $250,000 bid with the State of Alaska — outpacing the competition on a comprehensive scoring basis by approximately 39%. Manufacturing and shipping delays required the 900-hour project to be completed in just 30 days. Using pre-production work, planning and overtime hours, Truckwell met the customer’s timeline and maintained profitability, without compromising current shop capacity.
For more information, visit truckwell.info, call 907-261-9982 or stop by 5801 Silverado Way in Anchorage.