Monroe’s Commercial Division makes a move to Winston-Salem
As one of the leading commercial truck upfitters in the country, Monroe Truck Equipment has eight locations across the USA, with the most recently acquired one located in Kernersville, North Carolina. But late last year, it became clear that they had rapidly outgrown the current facility in Kernersville and needed to make a strategic move to a new campus that could accommodate the business this new location brought in. In fact, the commercial upfitting business is a huge industry. A lot of us might see and notice vehicles produced from this industry on a daily basis but never knew the official name for it. We see larger municipal dump trucks and plow trucks on the road frequently, clearing snow in winter and hauling materials or doing roadwork in the summer, but what about those smaller work trucks that don’t need a specialized license to drive and operate?
Those smaller vehicles are commercially upfitted trucks, which are 1-ton truck chassis, from manufacturers such as Ford, GMC, or Ram, upfitted with a variety of bodies to provide various vocations with compact, specialized work trucks. A landscaper might use a dump body with high sides to haul brush and mulch, while a plumber might utilize a service body with lots of lockable storage doors to haul materials and tools securely to a job site. A rancher could use a towing body to haul a trailer full of livestock, and a snow removal service might use a truck with a smaller version of a snowplow for clearing driveways, narrow alleyways, and parking lots in the winter months.
Monroe Truck Equipment is one of the biggest commercial upfitters in the United States, and they continue to expand their locations and offerings periodically. In January of 2021, Monroe Truck Equipment acquired Southern Coach, a commercial upfitter based in Kernersville, North Carolina. Southern Coach were respected upfitters in the region, bringing their own expertise and professional work ethic to the company. Bringing Southern Coach under the Monroe Truck Equipment name allowed them to gain traction in the southern Atlantic region while still providing the same care and commitment that Southern Coach customers had grown accustomed to. Then, in December of 2021, the Aebi Schmidt Group acquired Monroe Truck Equipment, bringing everyone under a global umbrella.
Even with the influx of those global resources, truck upfit operations had consumed every single bit of square footage at the Kernersville location, and being spread across three separate locations in town made it difficult to work efficiently. Truck equipment inventory and storage flow problems, offsite chassis storage inefficiencies, and lack of expansion space - all these capacity constraints prevented growth and increased lead times. The solution was clear: they needed a new location.
Moving to a new, larger location would come with numerous benefits. The biggest and most important would be the expanded upfit capacity and warehouse and chassis storage. With more space on the shop floor, they could upfit more trucks at once, and with expanded warehouse storage and chassis stored on ground instead of at a secondary location, the logistics of getting parts and trucks to the shop floor would be vastly improved. Lead times would be reduced, leading to more business and increased chassis allocation. More space would also mean being able to expand their product upfit offerings to be more in line with Monroe’s current core line of products, including the ZDump Pro, Service Pro, Trades Pro, and Tow Pro.
With these goals in mind, a new facility was leased late 2022 in Winston-Salem, about 20 minutes away from Kernersville. The newly acquired building was previously a construction company warehouse, clocking in at 55,000 square feet. However, it wasn’t perfect and needed some updates and renovations, including a full office area and production floor renovation. The building also needed to be converted into a working upfit facility, which meant installing a 4-truck wash bay, overhead doors, new access ramps, paved and gravel parking, and enclosing the open-air storage area.
The whole office team was able to move in March of 2023, with the production team following in June of 2023. All production goals were met during relocation and renovation activities.
Now with the whole team together in a single location, they’re looking forward to serving all existing and new customers. They were also pleased to retain all their employees, even with a slight shift in commute times. With an updated, brighter, and cleaner office, Winston-Salem continues to impress employees and customers alike with its new look and new name under Monroe Truck, as part of the Aebi Schmidt Group, while still offering the same exceptional service they’re known for.