MAC Trailer Marks 1-Year Anniversary in Kent
State tax credit, development dollars made Kent move possible
A little more than one year ago the MAC Liquid Tank Trailer complex on Fairchild Avenue was just another vacant, former manufacturing facility in Northeast Ohio.
Today, the liquid trank trailer division and subsidiary of the Alliance, OH based firm MAC Trailer is humming along with the sights and sounds of welders, grinders and crane operators building trailers used mostly in the gas and oil drilling business.
MAC LTT moved in to the former Fontaine trailer site in the fall of 2011 thanks to $5.7 million in state development dollars and tax credits. The Kent location is one of three plants associated with MAC Trailer, which already has plants in Salem and Alliance Ohio.
Since moving in, the employees at MAC LTT have built 374 units. The first unit was finished in October 2011.
Jim Maiorana, MAC LTT's president and co-owner, said the company's busiest month so far came in March when 54 finished trailers rolled out the plant doors.
Maiorana said the trailers, including those visible to drivers from Fairchild Avenue, are made to order.
"Most of it's sold and paid for," he said.
The trailers sell for between $60,000 and $115,000. The road-side unit draped with a banner announcing the firm's one-year anniversary is one of the $115,000 trailers.
"Next year we should do 500 units," Maiorana said.
The firm started making three types of liquid trailers: a vacuum water tank trailer; a vacuum bob-tail trailer; and a frack-tank trailer.
Just this month MAC launched its newest unit — a stainless steel trailer designed specially for carrying chemicals that must be kept at a certain temperature during transport. All their previous models were made of aluminum.
And in two weeks MAC should launch its next new product: gasoline trailers.
Maiorana said the gasoline trailers are the same type that you see today delivering automotive fuel to gas stations.
This latest trailer doesn't mean MAC is moving away from fracking. Instead, the firm is trying to diversify its offerings.
"To weather the peaks and valleys," Maiorana said.
The fracking industry has slowed, he said, in part due to last year's warm winter, which dropped demand for natural gas.
"A lot of people are holding off until after the election," he said.
At one point, MAC employed 130 people. Now they're at 95 employees, but the firm is still shooting for 200 employees, which Maiorana said they should reach by the middle of 2014.
He said the firm only advertised for positions once.
"We've had no trouble hiring," Maiorana said.
Kent Economic Development Director Dan Smith said MAC represents the largest new manufacturer to make the city of Kent home since Land O' Lakes came to town in 1983.
Smith said city officials and other business owners have applauded MAC's efforts to hire local workers in the Kent and greater Portage County region.
"We are glad to see their investment in the Kent facility is achieving results," he said. "They are a great corporate citizen and have added greatly to our city's overall business climate. We wish them ongoing success."