Amtruck Limited leads the heavy duty truck industry selling and renting refuse and municipal trucks.
Family-owned and operated, the Levy family has been in the truck business since the 1940s. Amtruck has successfully carved a niche for itself selling and renting refuse trucks. The Canadian Business Journal sat down with Amtruck President, Russ Levy, to discuss his family’s business.
Sales and rentals: two sides of business
Amtruck operates on two levels of specialty. The company sells and rents refuse vehicles, or in layman’s terms, garbage trucks.
The company’s competitive advantage arises from its in-depth knowledge of the array of trucks on the market and the different industries that use these vehicles. So highly attuned to industry trends, it has also developed a market exporting vehicles to South America and the Caribbean at the end of their expected North American life cycle.
The right inventory mix
Anticipating industry trends and understanding the needs of its clientele means Amtruck invests millions of dollars in well-chosen inventory.
“We watch our inventory closely. We work hard to stock the main configurations—front end, rear end, and side loaders, recyclers and roll off vehicles,” notes Levy with obvious pride. “We always try to have the right type of vehicles in stock for both our rental and our retail customers.”
“Listening to our customers and respecting their demands. That’s the most important thing. We’ve been in this business a long time. A lot of people know us and we know a lot of people. We listen to what they want and we have good relationships.”
Levy is respectful of the critical connections that keep his business strong. Fostering excellent relationships with both clients and suppliers is the linchpin. “It really is about our relationships,” he says.
Why rent a garbage truck?
Naturally, we wanted to find out more about the successful rental side of Amtruck’s business.
“There are several factors out there that waste haulers deal with every day,” says Levy. “When trucks are manufactured it’s not just the truck that gets built—it’s also the body that goes on the truck. It can be quite a lengthy process.” The delivery of trucks can take several months once they’re ordered. And then they have to be sent out for all the necessary parts to be mounted on them to be ready for use.
“People rent trucks from us so they don’t have to delay service to their customers.”
Levy is pragmatic, “Most organizations don’t have many spare trucks lying around—it simply isn’t in their budget. So when unscheduled maintenance or accidents occur, those services still need to be rendered.”
Amtruck also provides an option for organizations to demo the latest technology before committing to a purchase with its hard-earned dollars.
This is a particularly appealing option. After all, reduced capital budgets are a fact of life for many municipalities.
With more than 25 years in business, Amtruck has seen its share of economic ups and downs and has come out of it with strength. Levy is quick to point out, “The single key to our success is managing our business well and responding to customers’ situations appropriately.”
Growth for the future
Amtruck anticipates strong growth in its refuse truck sale and rental business. Levy also sees its export business increasing over the next few years.
Amtruck intends to continue its existing business with the same dedication to customer service it has always maintained.
Whether it’s keeping abreast of new trends in the industry or deepening its cross platform product knowledge even further, Amtruck is always looking for new ways to become its clients’ go-to solution providers.
Levy is philosophical, “I definitely see a shift in the requirement for rental refuse trucks and the product our customers are asking for. As the industry shifts and grows, Amtruck will be there to lend its expertise to its customers.”
Taking care of fundamentals. A simple principle that describes Amtruck’s business—and will continue to do so for many years to come.