TRACSA is founded in August 1974 dedicated to distributing a wide range of equipment and heavy machinery for construction, infrastructure, agriculture, mining, drilling, aggregate bank, landfills, seaports, logistics, and material handling of the industry in general. They currently have 25 branches in 9 states of Mexico, located in the center-west of the country, and have an annual turnover of US$500 million.
Héctor Gonzalez, the director of the rental store TRACSA gave Haulotte an interview. He tells us about himself, his company, his relationship with Haulotte, and his vision of the lifting equipment and MEWP market in Mexico, and how it has been affected by COVID19.
Could you please introduce your company?
We are dedicated to the rental of heavy machinery and light equipment. TRACSA’s strength is to offer different financing plans to encourage customers to buy.
How is the lifting equipment market in Mexico?
The lifting sector had a significant contraction. 2020 vs. 2019, the market fell more than 50%. In the first quarter of this year, there was another contraction of around 40% or 50% compared to 2020. This segment has been impacted, and we had to reduce from 1300 platforms to 1000 platforms to reduce the rental fleet and have more profitability. It has been one of the most affected business units due to the lack of foreign investment. I believe that we are in a moment of adjustment. The companies that do not have financial strength will have to close, but this has to continue, and the financially strong companies will remain.
What are the specificities of the Mexican market, and what are the uses of platforms in Mexico?
In Mexico, the MEWP market is not legally regularized. We have made progress in terms of safety. Now in some projects, the main contractors demand from the subcontractors elevating platforms with particular security and specific conditions for the equipment to guarantee the safety of the workers. However, I think there is still much work to be done. It should be formalized by a law requiring any job to use a platform in any activity at 2 meters. But it is not regularized yet, only some projects with contractors coming from abroad like that demand for security measures.
There are many platforms’ applications: Construction of warehouses, car assembly plants, construction of shopping centers, plazas, airports. They are also used in the agro-industrial sector and greenhouses. We have also rented and sold platforms for avocado production, the mining sector, and the petrochemical industry. The variety of products we have is essential to tackle each market and give the customer what he needs.
What is the most demanded machine, and what kind of clients do you usually work with?
Right now, the HA 15, which is 15m electric articulated boom lift, and the Compact 12, which is a scissor. These machines are the most versatile and fit the most common jobs in different market niches. Those two pieces of equipment are about 40% of my total fleet. The particularity of the rental store is that we have significantly diversified customers. We rent per day, week or month, and we have differentiated rates. We serve customers, national builders, painters, Etc. Thanks to this diversity, we do not depend on a single client to be able to function.
How has the 2020 health crisis affected your activities and the relationship with your suppliers?
The health crisis has affected us a lot. Indeed, interactions and face-to-face with the suppliers are essential. The visit of our suppliers and the accompaniment with the end-user is crucial. This is something that has limited us because we have to keep a healthy distance. Everything is concluded by Zoom now, and we rarely visit the clients in the projects. This changes the situation a lot. Before the pandemic, we visited the projects and be with the clients in the field. This gave us a solid relationship with the clients. With suppliers and manufacturers like Haulotte, being in the project
facilitate their work. Our current strategy to increase TRASCA’S activity and growth in the market is the E-commerce business. Our objective is to have a transactional page allowing business to be done online, plus all the communication channels and social networks. In the mining sector, we also want to invest in staff to grow those market niches. We had already planned to implement the digital part, but obviously, the pandemic accelerated it. For example, the home office topic was something we had already planned to implement. The pandemic accelerated it.
How would you describe your relationship with Haulotte?
Our relationship with Haulotte is based on trust and product quality. We have grown the alliance over the years because of the excellent relationship, and little by little, the customers are getting to know the products more and more. The brand is positioning itself more and more in the market. The first machine we bought from Haulotte was a HA15. Previously we didn’t have Haulotte machines, and we got in touch with the brand. In the end, instead of buying one machine, we bought a whole package of devices because they made us an outstanding offer. Relationships and good business are based on trust, and I believe that this has been the case in the Haulotte – TRACSA relationship. We have had excellent chemistry with the Haulotte director in Mexico, which has led to the brand’s growth with TRACSA and in the market, positioning the brand in the market and having a win-win relationship. When we talk about companies, it sounds frigid, but when we talk about a good relationship between two human beings and a good synergy is created for the business to grow, I think that is the great strength of TRACSA’s relationship with Haulotte.
Why did you start buying Haulotte machines?
We did it because we like to have different equipment options. The more possibilities there are of equipment, the more ways to take advantage of the economy of scale. We decided to trust Haulotte because we thought it was a European product, different, with another security system, separate from the American standards. Haulotte added value to our fleet because European equipment has safety systems that American equipment does not have. We did it intending to offer these systems to our customers.
How do you think the rental and lifting machinery market will evolve? What will be the future trends?
First, we have to get out of this bad patch. I believe we can have exponential growth by pushing the issue of regulation at the national level. We are talking about importing more machines than we are importing now, and the market needs will grow. I see a strong trend towards electrical products and equipment. I think this will revolutionize. In the medium term, I see a few combustion equipments working. I think the issue of electrical equipment will impact a lot and the versatility of these products also. Something to improve is the issue of battery life.