Mundall Trucking Company is a name well known by those in the construction business in metropolitan Phoenix, AZ. The asphalt hauler's reputation for safe, quality equipment, excellent drivers and reliable service has passed the test of time. For 40 years the company has been building strong relationships with customers in the Valley of the Sun, consistently meeting its delivery schedules.
John Mundall, the current owner of the family-grown business, has carried on the traditions set by his father, Danny, who got his trucking permit in 1968 and began hauling sand, gravel, asphalt, and anything else he could get to fill his trucks.
“Back when my dad first started building the business, this was no boom town,” says Mundall. “People in this line of work were busy only for nine or ten months of the year. It wasn't until about 1989 that construction in the Phoenix area really started to pick up.”
Historically, Mundall Trucking Company has always used ten-wheeler trucks, unlike many of its competitors, who before Superdumps came along, ran with the bigger transfer trucks and end-dumps. “Our niche was in doing the tougher jobs, using our ten-wheelers and excellent drivers to get into the tight spots,” Mundall reports.
Business took a big upward turn in 1995 when Mundall Trucking bought its first Superdump truck with the Strong Arm tag axle. The trailing axle allows for greatly increased payload capacities in bridge formula states like Arizona.
“A customer offered us a guaranteed contract if we purchased ten of the new trucks in which to haul their asphalt,” says Mundall. The customer is Vulcan Materials Co., one of the nation's largest producers of construction aggregates.
Vulcan is also currently Mundall's largest customer. Mundall says a key feature of the Superdump is the Strong Arm, built by Brooks Strong out of Houston, TX. The booster axle is rated up to 13,000 lb. capacity.
“Strong designed the axle to lift up, completely out of the way, making it more versatile than traditional trailing axles that were fixed in the middle of the truck's bed. With the Strong Arm, drivers can perform just about any task, including dumping their loads directly into paving machines, as well as spreading, paving, or piling up materials in silos.”
The initial purchase of the Strong Arm Superdumps was a huge consideration for Mundall Trucking, whose policy up until then was to purchase used trucks and fix them up. “My dad taught us to be very frugal and not get ourselves into debt. That's how we survived as a business over the long term,” Mundall notes.
However, believing wholeheartedly that the new Superdumps were the future in aggregate hauling, Mundall went out on a limb and found a financer to lend him the $1.5-million needed to purchase his first ten trucks.
He describes the Superdump as “essentially a ten-wheeler on steroids. We grew up with ten-wheelers, so these new trucks were right up our alley. We didn't have to change the way we did business, only to learn how to operate some new equipment.”
Mundall's confidence in the trucks paid off. “We went from hauling 23-1/2 tons of asphalt to 25-1/2 tons with the Super 18s. And we get the job done faster now, too. It used to take between seven and eight hours, working with really good contractors, to move 2,000 tons of asphalt. Now we can do it in four or five hours. The asphalt plants love the Superdumps because they can book more jobs with the contractors. Everyone benefits.”
In 1997 Strong Industries began manufacturing its own Superdump truck bed as well. Up until then, the company had been retrofitting the Strong Arm onto the truck beds of other manufacturers. Mundall took delivery in 2002 of his first five units, which incorporated some features he had suggested would work well in his asphalt operation.
Strong Industries, he points out, looks to its customers for ideas on how to build better products. “The innovative, lightweight design of the Strong bed,” he explains, “has enabled us to increase our payload capacity to 25.8 tons, without sacrificing strength.”