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Waste360 recently spoke with Maguire about how he gained the experience he needed to start his own business and his short- and long-term goals.
November 14, 2016
Brion Maguire, owner and managing partner of Trucks & Parts of Pennsylvania, has spent more than 17 years in the industry, rising through the ranks at McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing before branching out to form Trucks & Parts of Pennsylvania in 2014.
Over the years, Maguire has grown his experience in solid waste handling and disposal guidelines. Specifically, he has taken the time to learn and understand the impact that these guidelines have on truck and body specifications.
“Maguire's 15 years of experience at McNeilus proved to be an excellent training ground. He demonstrated proficiency at every undertaking and quickly rose through the ranks. He took on increasing key roles within McNeilus and eventually helped form and lead the company’s strategic accounts program,” says Maguire’s business partner Bruce Goldenberg. “In that program, he helped lead the sales team and worked to design a targeted sales approach geared for the largest accounts. Additionally, he was instrumental in helping McNeilus break into the New York City fleet.”
Waste360 presented Maguire with a Waste360 40 Under 40 award earlier this year, and we recently spoke with him about how he gained the experience he needed to start his own business, his short- and long-term goals and what he thinks the future has in store for trucks.
Waste360: Tell us about how you began your career in the waste and recycling industry?
Brion Maguire: I attended Oregon State University and earned my degree in environmental economics. After I graduated, I landed a sales representative job at McNeilus, and I stayed with the company for 15 years. Throughout those 15 years, I had the opportunity to take on many different roles of increasing responsibility within the sales organization.
McNeilus puts a lot of emphasis on educating the sales staff about refuse trucks and the industry as a whole. This in-depth training helps prepare you so that you are knowledgeable about the specs of the trucks you are selling and the application of the trucks before you hit the streets.
When I first started there in 1999, I was a regional sales representative in New England, and McNeilus didn’t have company vehicles at the time. Your company vehicle was a garbage truck, and you took that truck on the road every Sunday through Thursday to visit about seven customers per day. By doing this, I was able to quickly learn about the trucks and their applications. I also built a lot of great relationships with customers and vendors.
As my responsibilities grew within the company, my exposure to business operations also grew. I was very fortunate to gain exposure to all aspects of the company, from finance to engineering to production. Additionally, I had the privilege of representing McNeilus within large trade organizations like the National Waste and Recycling Association, the Solid Waste Association of North America and the Environmental Research & Education Foundation. And at those functions, I was able to learn more about the industry as a whole and network with various people within the industry.
Waste360: How did you gain the experience you needed to form Trucks & Parts of Pennsylvania?
Brion Maguire: By selling trucks for 15 years, I gained a good understanding of that market. And being in the field for so long helped me realize that there was a void for late-model, high-quality used refuse trucks. The demand was there, but there weren’t a lot of great suppliers. I saw the demand, and I understood it. I put together a business plan and partnered with Scott Dols and Bruce Goldenberg, who were the best in the field at the time. After we worked things out and developed a realistic plan, we opened up Trucks & Parts of Pennsylvania in 2014.
Waste360: What does your role as owner and managing partner consist of?
Brion Maguire: Like most small businesses, I wear a bunch of different hats. The toughest part of the business is making sure that we have great-quality used trucks to sell, and I spend a lot of my time seeking out the best trucks to buy for our inventory.
The reconditioning process for our trucks is crucial for our success, and it’s a long and detailed process to recondition a refuse truck. I work closely with our shop manager to make sure we are addressing the right items on our trucks and providing the best trucks to our customers.
In addition to that, I spend a lot of time working with our customer base to understand their equipment needs so that we can have the correct inventory mix at all times.
Waste360: What goals are you currently working toward for 2017 and beyond?
Brion Maguire: We have seen very strong growth since we started this company, and there continues to be an increase in demand for the refuse trucks that we offer. Our short-term goals include increasing sales and improving the quality of our trucks. In addition to that, we will be adding more technicians and sales people to our team in 2017. For long-term goals, we are taking a hard look at the scalability of the business, and we have high hopes of opening up additional operations around the country.
Waste360: What do you think is in store for the future of trucks?
Brion Maguire: Trucks and truck specs will continue to evolve with government mandates, operating efficiencies and material processing changes. Trucks that are cleaner burning and more efficient will continue to grow within refuse fleets. Also, vehicles will become both smarter and safer. Whether that’s through automation or driver awareness and object detection, trucks will become both easier and safer to operate.
The waste and recycling industry has been a pioneer when it comes to alternative technologies, and it will continue to be a leader with new technologies as they roll out.
Waste360: What advice do you have for someone who wants to begin their own company in the waste and recycling industry?
Brion Maguire: I would give the same advice to anyone starting a business in any industry. First and foremost, be an expert in your field and understand your customers’ needs. Also, set realistic goals, create a detailed plan to reach your goals and surround yourself with the best people. As far as the waste and recycling industry goes, it’s a great industry to start a business in because it’s an industry that’s not going to go away. It’s an industry that’s ever-evolving, and it relies on new technologies to advance. There is always room for growth and opportunities.
Vice President of Member Relations and Publications, NWRA
Mallory Szczepanski was previously the editorial director for Waste360. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Columbia College Chicago, where her research focused on magazine journalism. She also has previously worked for Contract magazine, Restaurant Business magazine, FoodService Director magazine and Concrete Construction magazine.
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