During the first stop of Mack Trucks’ west coast media trip last week in Portland, OR, executives discussed how the company was trying to win over new customers with its on-highway Anthem model, which first debuted in 2017.
Several days later and 150 miles to the north near Seattle, the focus shifted to the vocational and construction segments. Roy Horton, director of product strategy, said the Mack Granite remains a top seller in the market.
It is a position Horton said should only strengthen as driver-focused improvements first developed for the Anthem make their way to new Granites, which already feature multiple axle configurations and engine options.
Despite the Granite’s overall success, Mack’s position is not as strong in the western United States, where other truck makers have home bases and a loyal customer base.
These are some reasons why Mack featured Silver Streak Trucking during the visit to the Seattle area. Silver Streak hauls sand, gravel, rock and other building materials to job sites, as well as hauling waste materials away.
The company, based in Maple Valley, WA, has been a Mack customer since the 1960s, long before the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks got their start in the Emerald City.
Silver Streak’s roots trace back to the late 1950s, when current owner Tina Benson’s grandfather and father started hauling gravel and other building materials. She founded her first trucking company in the early 90s, bought out her mom’s trucking company several years later and officially merged the two earlier this decade.
Today, Silver Streak employs about 70 people and owns more than 60 trucks, the majority of which are Macks.
During a headquarters tour and ride-and-drive in a nearby quarry, Benson and operations Kevin McCann said most fleets in the west are very focused on horsepower, and often seek out 15-liter engines.
Mack does not offer a 15-liter engine, but McCann touted Mack’s 13-liter engine, saying Silver Streak’s vehicles often outperform the larger engines that competitors are operating in the same local gravel pits.
The ride-and-drive also featured City Transfer, another hauler of aggregate products to construction sites.
Both fleets are served by TEC Equipment, which has dealerships all throughout the Interstate 5 corridor. TEC has two Seattle-area locations and is building a third in Washington state, not far from the Canadian border.