Employees at Terex Advance Mixer, 7727 Freedom Way, took a break to celebrate at lunch Friday. The reason is simple: More work is coming, and more hires are coming to help do the work.
Less than a year ago, the company laid off 30-35 of its roughly 65 employees, said David Rinas, director of sales. It shut down its core business – building cement mixers, which weren't selling.
“We were losing money every day and every quarter,” Rinas recalled Friday. Though the company suspended its assembly line, it continued providing customer service and supplying parts. And it took advantage of the break to redesign the heavy trucks it sells, mainly for residential and commercial construction in the United States, so that it would be ready for the rebound.
The new truck design is ready.
“From a distance, to the untrained eye, it doesn't look a whole lot different,” Rinas said. But under its massive skin, the new truck incorporates many refinements to make it easier to service and more efficient, from a different formulation of paint to a new design for the interior of the drum in which contractors mix concrete.
That new design may be off the drawing board just in time. What specifically prompts the celebration is a big order from a “Midwestern customer” for 60 trucks. That's half a year's full output on the assembly line the company is restarting, he noted. It's also the biggest order the company has landed in six years, he said.
To help get the line running and keep trucks rolling out the door, the company is looking to hire 20-22 new employees, he said.
There's no guarantee that anyone laid off last year will be rehired, he said, “but clearly, if someone left us, and if they were a quality employee with a good record,” they'd have an advantage in competing for one of the open jobs.