Trekker Group hosted Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, who represents the 25th District of Florida in the US House of Representatives, at their Miami based headquarters on May 9, 2017. He arranged the visit to learn more about the construction equipment industry and what policy issues affect it both positively and negatively from some of our company leaders, as well as two from Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) trade organization.
Attending the meeting with Representative Diaz-Balart were José Cestero, President and CEO of Trekker Group; Ronald Miller, Managing Director of Trekker Group; Brian McGuire, President and CEO of AED; and Bob Henderson, Executive Vice President of AED. The presence of AED executives provided a voice for dealerships across North America, confirming that Trekker Group is not alone in some of its challenges.
Cestero and Miller gave the group a brief tour of the Trekker dealership, noting the importance of reliable service to their customers and in turn, the value of having well-trained technicians to perform the service. Cestero explained the short supply and high demand for these types of skilled employees in South Florida. McGuire pointed out that a 2016 study by AED indicates that construction equipment dealers lose $2.4B annually due to the inability to hire quality technicians.
Miller gave the Congressman an overview of the applications of several machines, taking time to point out the high cost of each piece and the overall investment a company like Trekker Group has in physical assets. “Fair, comprehensive tax reform must get done,” said Miller. “Companies like ours need certainty and stability to continue operating. Tax policies such as like-kind exchanges, business interest deductibility, and LIFO accounting are great pro-business investment tools, not loopholes.”
Representative Diaz-Balart is on the House Committee on Appropriations and House Committee on Budget. AED gives him a 91% positive voting record during the 114th Congress concerning the industry’s top policy priorities. He reassured the group that he understands the value and economic impact of investing in infrastructure. He stated that it’s a top priority for Congress, and that it will have strong bi-partisan support.
From the Trekker team, many thanks to Representative Mario Diaz-Balart and Mr. McGuire and Mr. Henderson from AED for taking the time to talk with us. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing your perspectives and appreciated the opportunity to offer ours—and to show off our facility!
About Trekker Group
Based in Miami, FL, Trekker Group is a full-service heavy equipment dealership dedicated to the needs of construction, commercial, and residential customers at 16 locations throughout Florida and Puerto Rico, where they employ approximately 400 people. Trekker’s founding partners are part of the legacy of Puerto Rico Wire Group, established in 1955 by Jose Cestero Jimenez and Sara Yordan Fonalleras. From 1976 to 2011, the co-founder’s son Jose Cestero Yordan was CEO; as of 2011, the third generation of this family-owned business is at its helm, under the leadership of the co-founder’s grandson, Jose Cestero Ramirez.
Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) is the trade association representing independent factory-authorized companies involved in the distribution of construction, mining, forestry, energy, industrial, and power generation equipment in the US and Canada. AED’s US dealer members employ approximately 47,000 people at more than 3,800 facilities across the country. The estimated $27 billion that US AED members earn annually from equipment sales, rental, and product support generate $86 billion in direct, indirect, and induced economic activity nationwide.