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Trump hails trucks on visit to Minnesota

April 17, 2019
Nuss Truck & Equipment hosts the president, who includes his fondness for big rigs in wide-ranging speech.

In his first official White House visit to Minnesota, on Tax Day, April 15, President Donald Trump spent time at Nuss Truck & Equipment, in Burnsville, for a wide-ranging speech and roundtable discussion on tax reform, the economy, the next presidential election, and the trucking industry.

Bob Nuss, owner of Nuss Truck & Equipment, welcomed Trump. What follows is their dialog, as well as one with Trump and another Nuss employee.

The full transcript can be found here:

THE PRESIDENT: Bob Nuss, you know, put this whole thing together.  And Bob has been a friend for a long time.  And what’s really impressive is this room is packed, but outside you could pack this room, probably 20 times over.  You have a lot of people out there, Bob.  A lot of people.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

MR. NUSS:  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Please, go ahead.

MR. NUSS:  Thank you.  Thank you much, Mr. President.  And I’d like to formally welcome you to Burnsville, Minnesota and home of the — I can’t list all the sports teams —

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s true.  (Laughs.)

MR. NUSS:  — so I better not.

THE PRESIDENT:  Some good ones.  Some good ones.

MR. NUSS:  Yes.  Anyway, we’re very happy that you’re here.  On behalf of our — all of our employees at our Burnsville operation and my family, we welcome you to our facility.  Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  It’s really great.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  I appreciate it.  I appreciate it.

MR. NUSS:  Well, I would just add that the setting — this shop was just filled with work just a few days ago — a couple days ago — and it was engines down, transmissions, loaders, work excavators.  And when we came to the employees and said, “What do you think?”  “Whoa, what, is the President of the United States coming to visit us?”  “Yeah!”  (Laughter.)  Well, we sell Mack trucks and we sell Volvo construction equipment.


MR. NUSS:  And what a better setting to have a Volvo loader and a Mack truck.  And these two represent everything that builds America and moves America.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s good.  Good.  I love them.  I love them.  I’ve been on many a loader.  I’ve been on many a truck.  People don’t know that about me.  (Laughter.)  It’s — I guess they do actually, otherwise —

MR. NUSS:  Well, I saw you at the White House on a Mack.

THE PRESIDENT:  The 5th Avenue stuff doesn’t play nearly as well as that, I will tell you.  I’ve been on many, many a truck — between Volvo and Caterpillar, and John Deere and so many of the great companies.  But this is a real beauty and considered a very high-end loader.  It’s great that you do that. Megan?

MS. MEGAN BRUCKWAY:  Thank you.  First of all, Mr. President, I just want to thank you for taking the time to come to Minnesota and letting Nuss Truck & Equipment host this awesome opportunity.  Even with the snow on the ground, hopefully you’re —

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s true.

MS. BROCKWAY:  — finding it comfortable.

Well, I’m Megan Brockway, and I am the human resources manager here at Nuss Truck & Equipment.  I’ve been with the Nuss organization for five years and find it very rewarding.  The Nuss family and organization is fantastic to work for.  It’s a great place to work.

I have two young kids at home, so some of the stuff that comes along with the tax cut act has really impacted my family.

Born and raised in Minnesota.  I live in small-town America, population of 3,000.  So definitely have seen some real impacts from this.

Working in human resources, I get the chance to work firsthand with many different employees and their families and hear the different stories.  You know, one of the main things that I can acknowledge from when they first got their checks, after the 2017 tax cut act came into effect, was their take-home pay, seeing that disposable income — you know, seeing that they would have a little bit more to spend on things that they may have otherwise not been able to afford.  So that’s been really great.

And as a company, Nuss was able to give all employees in 2018 a bonus, regardless if they worked there for a day, they still received a bonus.  So that was a really neat thing.

And just to hear firsthand from the employees what they were able to spend that money on — you know, a lot of people would say that they were able to have extra great Christmas family with their family, maybe donate more to charity, invest in their kids’ college expenses, maybe 401(k), you know, up that contribution a little bit.

So it’s been really great to see what people have been able to do with that extra money that they’re getting and just to see how it benefits the Nuss organization as well.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  That’s beautiful.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you.

And Bob is a great man to work for, right?  And his family.

MS. BROCKWAY:  Absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Good.

MR. NUSS:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I — again, it’s great to have you here and talk about our business and to talk about the story.

I’ve been in the industry 50 years this year, and started working at my dad’s dealership in Rockford, Illinois, back in 1969 as a parts manager.  I graduated from college at St. Cloud State University here in Minnesota.  (Applause.)

The economy in Rockford, Illinois, where we lived — in ’73, the economy was getting very slow.  And as you might know, Rockford was the second largest machine tool center in the world after the ’50s and ’60s.  And you saw the degradation of the jobs that left and the factories that are boarded up.  And when you combine that with the location we had, when my dad wanted to retire, I said, “We’re going to come to Minnesota.”

And I came up here, managed the — so we’re continuously over 50 years in the business, from ’59, when my dad became a dealer — more than 50.  And anyway, what we did was, I bought the dealership.  I came up — there was a dozen employees in 1979.  And today, we have over 350 employees in eight locations.  (Applause.)


MR. NUSS:  And we’re — as Megan said, we talk about the 401(k) and trying to bring — incentivize our employees.  And, like, a lot of businesses, wait for somebody to be in there a year or so, and they’re limited on what they can put in.  We established the auto enroll, and we went from 65 percent participation to 98, overnight.  Which, when you look at all the employee — I can remember when that 401(k) for all of our employees, when it hit a million dollars, I thought, “Wow, we’re…” — well, it’s over $23 million today.  And it’s our employees’ money.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Wow.  That’s what’s happening.  Thank you, Bob.  Thank you very much.

About the Author

Michael Catarevas

An experienced, award-winning journalist and editor, Catarevas began his career in trade publishing, working at Chain Store Age Executive and National Home Center News. He also served as the longtime editor for two globally circulated fitness titles, Exercise & Health and Men’s Workout. He then moved to Tennis magazine and as executive editor. He has also been a frequent freelance writer, contributing profiles, in-depth news stories, and features for Connecticut magazine and other publications. Before coming aboard at FleetOwner, he was managing editor for the New Canaan Advertiser newspaper. Catarevas previously wrote for FleetOwner. 

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