McCoy Construction & Forestry, Truck Country collaborate
Over two years after coming under the same ownership group, McCoy Construction & Forestry (MCF) and Truck Country a pair of regional businesses that are closely tied to the timber industry are enjoying the synergy created through their new-found partnership.
In May 2018, the Dubuque, Iowa-based McCoy Group announced the purchase of a group of seven Midwestern John Deere Construction and Forestry stores serving northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Meanwhile, Truck Country, the nation’s largest Freightliner dealership group, with locations in six Midwestern states, is the McCoy Group’s oldest current business, with a history tracing back 60-plus years.
With overlap in their customer bases and products that complement each other, the companies have found creative ways to collaborate in their efforts to market their products.
It is not uncommon to attend regional trade shows to see the companies positioned near one another, or at an open house event, with representatives of the other company also in attendance, visiting with potential customers and cross promoting each other’s products and services.
One such example occurred the past two Septembers, when MCF and Truck Country teamed up to have adjoining booth spaces to have a huge presence at the Great Lakes Logging & Heavy Equipment Expo.
In addition to showcasing their specific products and services, the sister companies were able to promote how the equipment can work together.
During last year’s show, MCF and Truck Country pulled out all of the stops, each featuring the latest in equipment, giveaways and entertainment. Highlighting the Expo was a customer appreciation event the companies jointly hosted at a local casino, featuring a dinner and a concert by the rock-and-roll tribute band, Hairball.
The collaborative effort at the Expo was something the companies planned to continue this year prior to the event being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, look for future partnership efforts at future shows.
Through their collaboration, McCoy Construction & Forestry and Truck Country were able to raise money to benefit the Great Lake Timber Professional Association’s Log-A-Load for Kids program. Overall, the companies raised nearly $9,000 for the benefit.
These cross-promoting efforts have proven to be fruitful. In north-central Wisconsin, MCF’s Merrill location has found success in showcasing equipment at Truck Country’s Minocqua location.
“The presence we have with machines and signage at Truck Country spurs conversations with customers, and we have sold a couple of machines that have been staged up in Minocqua,” MCF-Merrill General Manager Chad Benz said. “Overall, the goal was to spark the conversations with customers up there, and that is confirmed with what we are receiving with that set up.”
The partnership between the businesses makes strategical sense, one McCoy Group official said.
“With overlap in their customer bases and the complementary nature of their products, it makes sense for MCF and Truck Country to team up, and share their common business solutions,” said Jenny Hornsby, director of marketing for the McCoy Group.
The pairing of the companies’ strong brands, highlighted by industry leaders John Deere and Freightliner Trucks, prove to be a formidable force.
“Logging customers have a unique, two-for-one opportunity, with the partnership between McCoy Construction & Forestry and Truck Country,” Jimmy Mylchreest, cut-to-length forestry specialist for MCF’s Escanaba, Mich. location, added. “While MCF and Truck Country sales representatives have a primary focus on their individual products, they are familiar enough with their sister company’s offerings in order to recommend equipment that work well together.”
When the McCoy Group welcomed MCF to it portfolio of businesses, the division joined an organization with a deep history in the transportation industry.
The McCoy Group grew from humble beginnings. Founder, Bob McCoy, started his own business venture while also working as a cheesemaker in Shullsburg, Wis., when he borrowed a milk truck from his employer at the cheese factory.
After prematurely ending his cheesemaking career after sustaining a pair of back injuries, Bob turned to trucking fulltime, which included making weekly runs to and from New York City to deliver eggs and flour.
In 1954, Bob, along with business partners Bill Morissey and Ray Hanna, purchased a small trucking company in Darlington. The men called their business Mc-Mor-Han Truck Company.
Mc-Mor-Han was in the business of transporting agricultural-related commodities, which included livestock, feed and fertilizer. (Mc-Mor-Han would later cease operations in 1990.)
With Morissey leaving the partnership, Bob and Hanna added on to their business holdings in 1958 by starting GMC Truck Sales, a General Motors franchise selling light- and medium-duty trucks.
The partners expanded their business across state lines in 1972 when General Motors contacted the men about taking over a light-duty truck franchise in Dubuque, Iowa.
With the company growing and Bob’s sons, Jack, Mike and Bob Jr. joining the businesses in the 1970s, the company underwent a corporate restructuring in 1981 when it was placed under the umbrella of holding company, the McCoy Group, Inc.
The McCoy Group is led by the third generation of McCoy family members, as three of Bob’s grandsons head the company.
“A constant over the past six decades has been the McCoy Group’s customer-driven
philosophy,” said Jeff Herkert, MCF president, at the time of the acquisition.