Source: Terex Roadbuilding, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Terex is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its legacy brand, Advance Mixer, by restarting a new front discharge mixer assembly line in response to improving market conditions. The company recently signed a 65-truck order with a large producer operating in multiple Midwestern states, the production carrying into 2013.
With a fourth-quarter start, the initial order calls for trucks built with various axle configurations to meet specific market requirements, says David Rinas, director of Sales and Marketing for Terex Roadbuilding, adding, “Several other loyal customers have begun reserving production slots for the last quarter of 2012 and first quarter of 2013.”
In late 2011, the long-depressed new mixer truck market prompted Terex to shift focus from new truck production to a glider truck program and supporting aging customer fleets. At the same time, the Fort Wayne production facility received much needed modernizing. Product, processes and production methods were upgraded; lean manufacturing principles implemented.
Improving market conditions and quote and order activity have reenergized new truck manufacturing at the Terex Fort Wayne facility. “We will be hiring new team members for welding, assembly, engineering and support,” says Human Resources Manager Eric Parent. Hiring has begun and will continue through August and September, so new team members can be fully trained by the start of new truck production.
Assembly line workers will be producing a revamped front discharge mixer truck design, the product of more than eight months of intense engineering effort, which includes both truck and mixer upgrades. “We began the redesign process with a comprehensive customer outreach program to identify and prioritize enhancements,” says Rinas. “We believe our customers will be impressed with the design changes, especially with regards to servicing.” A prototype of the new Terex front discharge mixer meeting stringent EPA 2010 diesel engine emissions standards will be completed by September, he adds, with full-scale truck production slated for the fourth quarter.
The orders dovetail the start of a fifth decade for a mixer truck configuration that debuted in the Great Lakes States and has since been adopted in regions east and west. A group of Midwestern ready mixed producers banded together in 1972 to design and manufacture an alternative to the conventional rear discharge mixer, forming Advance Mixer. “The front discharge mixer offered improved truck maneuverability at the jobsite and reduced jobsite labor requirements,” says Rinas. “It also allowed producers to make up to one additional load delivery per day, which today is equivalent to an extra $1,000 of revenue.”