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A New Way Forward: How the Cornfields of Iowa Birthed an Industry Titan

New Way leverages 50 years of experience in charting the future of refuse collection vehicle design.

June 1, 2021

5 Min Read

Just how did a small agricultural equipment repair shop that painted in a barn in its early days transform into the largest private manufacturer of refuse equipment in North America? New Way Trucks’ success did not happen overnight, and the answer has a lot to do with the letter P. More specifically, our founder John McLaughlin’s steadfast adherence to his 5 P’s that have guided the organization since its founding in Scranton, Iowa in 1971: People, Product, Principles, Persistence and Prayer.

People: New Way has been blessed with great people since the very beginning. Our people are truly our most valuable asset, and we continually invest in educational and training opportunities for each member of our employee family. Happy, driven people treat our customers with the respect they have come to expect from our values-based organization.

Product: No matter the line of business, we have manu­factured high-quality products that are long-lasting and priced fairly. Our full line of industry-leading refuse trucks is Ameri­can-made in central Iowa and northeast Mississippi.

Principles: Our humble beginnings taught us that there is no better way to do business than honestly and fairly. The relationships we built a business on are based on treating others like we would like to be treated.

Persistence: Through 50 years of operations, we’ve en­countered our fair share of ups and downs. After surviving a farm depression and pivoting into the solid waste industry, it took persistence to survive. We have continued to learn from difficulties and have refused to give up over the years when there may have appeared to be little hope. Because of this per­sistence, we can be grateful for the prosperity we enjoy today.

Prayer: There are a half-dozen events that very well could have done us in, but because of our Christian values and faith in God, the Lord kept the doors open for us. Our faith-based background continues as we continue to transition and grow.


Thanks to the 5 P’s, New Way is proud to be the fastest-growing company in the $80 billion North American solid waste indus­try. Our refuse collection vehicles are currently operating in all 50 states, across Canada, Latin America, Asia and beyond.

Our industry-leading Distributor Network is the bedrock of our organization and covers the entire U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, South America, the Middle East and Asia.


At New Way, we believe that all solid waste is local. This is visible in the equip­ment variations our customers request. To meet that need, we manufacture the widest product lineup of any refuse equipment manufacturer. With nearly 40 models of 11 different product lines of mobile refuse collection equipment, there is no refuse collection need that New Way Trucks cannot meet.

Our product lineup feature six rear-load, two automated side-load (the industry-leading Sidewinder XTR™ and auger-driven ROTO PAC®), a satellite side-load, and two front-load models ranging in size from 6 yd³ to 43 yd³. We also manufacture K-PAC self-contained and sta­tionary solid waste compactors. Additionally, through the New Way FleetForce Rentals pro­gram, the company offers the only direct-from-manufacturer refuse truck rental program in the industry.

In addition, New Way is a key part of the industry’s move to alternative fuel vehicles and offers factory CNG integration on most models. We are a certified installer for all leading providers of CNG fueling systems and offer numerous mounting options to accommo­date unique customer challenges.

We are also proud to be a leader in the battery-electric refuse collection vehicle (BEV) revolution. New Way is further along in BEV refuse applications than any other body manufacturer. We have more BEVs in service today than any of our competitors and these New Way BEVs are working and on route every day.

New Way Trucks leads the refuse industry in providing environmentally sustainable BEV (top) and CNG (bottom) options for customers. 

New Way Trucks is proud to have aided in developing advanced refuse collection vehicles and to have played a major role in affecting positive, sustainable change.

New Way Trucks is still headquartered in Scranton, with manufacturing facilities in nearby Carroll and, as of January 2020, a 152,000-square-foot operation in Booneville, Missis­sippi. Mississippi represents the largest expansion in company history and illustrates the company’s commitment to growth. With a soon-to-be total of six manufacturing facilities in operation, New Way is a dominant force in the North American refuse and recycling industry.

Our parts department is centrally located in Carroll and can ship anywhere in the country overnight. All of us at New Way are excited for what the future holds as we continue to be a major player in the solid waste industry— not only in North America, but throughout the world.

For five decades, the McLaughlin family has presided over a diversified portfolio of businesses that now includes refuse and recycling equipment, animal control and mobile veterinary equipment, high-performance vehicle manufacturing, new and used automotive sales, and automotive parts and car care products distribution and sales.

To learn more about New Way Trucks & McLaughlin Family Companies, visit newwaytrucks.com and mcfamco.com.

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