MCT Industries has been recognized as one of the top small businesses in New Mexico. Shown here is the company's 32,000-sq-ft shop in Albuquerque. Home for the company since 1974, the building recently received a major update.

From truck equipment sales to trailer manufacturing, MCT Industries does it all

March 1, 2011
NOT many truck equipment distributors also manufacture the spindles that go on the axles they manufacture. Nor do they machine the rollers that transport

Not many truck equipment distributors also manufacture the spindles that go on the axles they manufacture. Nor do they machine the rollers that transport cars along one of the world's longest aerial tramways, or assemble scissors lifts that enable airport service personnel to reach the most remote parts of airplanes.

The company, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a major supplier of truck equipment, particularly for state and municipal customers. Truck body lines include Omaha Standard service bodies, AATAC wreckers, K-Zee platforms, and Amrep and Pak-Mor refuse bodies, and CM ranch bodies.

The company has a 32,000-sq-ft facility in Albuquerque that houses the corporate offices, a 24-bay shop, and parts warehouse. The facility handles the company's truck equipment operation and also trailer sales and service. MCT Industries is a dealer for a wide spectrum of trailer manufacturers such as Big Tex, CM Trailers, CPS Trailers (Manac Inc), Doolittle Trailers, Holden Industries, and Trail-Eze Trailers.

But it is the company's manufacturing prowess that sets it apart. MCT Industries, which started building trailers outside on a vacant piece of property 35 years ago, is now an ISO-9000 company that delivers custom products for the military and other exacting customers.

“We build as much as 70-80% of the components that go into our products,” Martinez says. “Building them in-house helps us create jobs and profits.”

With the capacity of its shop maxed out, MCT Industries built a manufacturing plant in nearby Bernalillo, 17 miles north of Albuquerque.

Getting into truck equipment

MCT Industries specializes in truck equipment for state and municipal customers. Martinez saw an opportunity to sell truck equipment in 1985.

The company had established itself as a reliable supplier of light- and medium-duty trailers to the public sector. MCT Industries was able to use that as a springboard into the truck equipment business.

“We were already selling trailers to the state and local governments,” says Bennie Martinez, Ted's son. “Why not truck bodies and equipment?”

That was more than 25 years ago. MCT Industries continues to distribute truck equipment and is particularly committed to snow and ice equipment, including Buyers Products, Meyer, and Monroe snowplows, spreaders, and deicing equipment.

The company also is big in the solid waste business. Not only does MCT Industries sell and service refuse packers and roll-off hoists, Martinez has a waste-hauling company and operates a landfill.

Presidential recognition

The same year MCT Industries entered the truck equipment business, Ted Martinez was recognized by President Ronald Reagan as the nation's Small Businessman of the Year.

That was Martinez' first encounter with presidential recognition, but it was not the last. In 2003, the Bush Administration selected MCT Industries to help promote passage of legislation aimed at providing tax incentives for small businesses.

“We had to apply for the Businessman of the Year award, but the White House called us directly in 2003,” Martinez says.

The event, featuring a speech by President George W Bush, attracted about 3000 people to the company's plant north of Albuquerque.

“We chose to hold it at our Bernalillo plant because it was brand new at the time,” Martinez says. “We had to gut the inside of the plant in order to create the space needed to accommodate the crowd. It was a huge undertaking. Almost every machine tool in the plant was removed, and we had a few days to do it. For security reasons, the White House does not give you more than about a week's notice to prepare. Once we received the green light, we had a matter of a few days to empty out a manufacturing plant and prepare for a crowd of 3000 people.”

Bennie Martinez handled communications with the Secret Service. His sister Claudine was the company's liaison with the White House staff.

The legislation passed, and the Martinez family was on hand to attend the signing ceremony at the White House.

Humble beginnings

Ted Martinez is just the sort of small-business success story that Reagan and Bush admire. Born on a small ranch east of Las Vegas, New Mexico, Martinez had to drop out of high school in ninth grade in order to work.

He realized that he could make a better life for himself and his family elsewhere, and he bought a car to drive to Los Angeles where he heard he could make good money working on tanker ships.

He left the ranch and made it as far as Albuquerque when the car broke down. He went to work for the gas station and parked the car behind the station. For a brief period, Martinez lived in that car.

The Job Corps provided Martinez with an opportunity to learn welding, a skill he applied working for a company that made water storage tanks.

Soon Martinez began using his welding skill for his own company. He was asked to weld together a trailer. Then another. And another.

He used one of those trailers to transport the steel he needed. Soon he began hauling steel for other companies, eventually building his trucking company to a fleet of 100 trailers.

Martinez bought some land — the present site of the truck equipment shop — in 1972. For two years, he built trailers in the open before he constructed a one-bay shop and a small office building on the property in 1974.

“We lived here,” Bennie Martinez says. “I was born on this site. My father worked hard here. One of our neighbors reminds us about passing by here and seeing my father outside in the snow welding a trailer.”

Government business

As it does with truck equipment, MCT Industries specializes in manufacturing trailers for government entities.

“We haven't really gone after the commercial business since the 1990s,” Martinez says. “My father thought about getting into the business on a national basis but decided not to. He built a lot of different trailers — auto transporters, goosenecks, livestock, utility, you name it. People still ask us to build trailers for them, and we will. But now we only really pursue the government business. We decided that marketing trailers to the private sector on a national basis is just too competitive.”

MCT Industries can trace its name back to Martinez Custom Trailers, and manufacturing custom trailers continues to be the company's specialty. The company produces few models on a volume basis. However, MCT Industries builds two models repetitively — a small container chassis capable of handling a single 20-ft ISO container and a special drop-floor trailer designed for transporting and service of jet engines — the MCT universal aircraft engine trailer.

The aircraft engine transporter is a full trailer with single axles front and rear. The two main beams, spaced about four feet apart, carry the cradle that supports the aircraft engine.

Other military applications include munitions trailers and dollies, aircraft tow bars, and a diesel-powered aircraft maintenance stand

The maintenance stand is designed for C-5, B-1B, AWACS, B-2, C-17, and other large aircraft. The onboard diesel engine propels the stand into position and then elevates the work platform up to 36 feet. The platform is U-shaped, providing a work area that wraps around the tail of the airplane.

MCT Industries is located near the base of the Sandia Mountains that rise up more than 10,000 feet above sea level. The summit can be reached by the Sandia Peak Tramway, carrying as many as 50 people per car. During the 15-minute ride, passengers climb 3818 feet at a speed of about 12 miles per hour.

The tramway opened in 1966. As part of a refurbishing project in 2009, new track cables were installed. MCT Industries produced the rollers that the cable system uses.

“We did not perform any welding because of liability concerns,” says Fermin Maes, sales manager.

Going ISO

As a military contractor, MCT Industries is required to meet exacting standards. Not surprisingly, the company is ISO-9000-compliant.

Among the specifications its jet engine trailer is required to meet:

  • General: including production management, reliability testing, parts control program, logistics support standards, environmental test methods, and human engineering design criteria.

  • Welding: including flux core arc welding, aluminum alloy, cutting and welding electrodes, and carbon steel and low alloys.

  • Quality assurance: including personnel, inspection system, calibration, magnetic particle testing, liquid penetrant testing, and welding procedure.

  • Materials: including aluminum, steel, cast steels, high strength/low allow steel, and corrosion resistance.

“ISO-9000 helps us as a truck distributor,” Martinez says, “It has increased our quality techniques to ensure the delivery of quality products.”