Reliability, dealer support, driver comfort and safety equal success

Poor quality is the bane of many businesses, especially when it comes to operating equipment. Cheap equipment is rarely a bargain when repairs and downtime begin to devour profitability. Investing in quality equipment ultimately saves money due to its lower total cost of ownership and increased productivity.

John Passero of Thorold, Ontario, has seen this firsthand in his own business. He started the Silverline Group, Inc. in 1992 with a single 1988 Mack® DM 6905 tandem dump truck his family already owned. Later, he purchased an additional 1991 RB tandem dump and a 1992 RB triaxle dump for the five-man construction company.

“We have a great team dedicated to being successful,” Passero says of his now nearly 140 employees. He largely credits his Mack truck fleet with helping them achieve that success.

“The dedication put into Mack trucks allows us to provide quality work to our customers,” he says. As a result, Silverline has remained loyal to both Mack and its dealer since the purchase of those first RB models.

“Mack trucks offer a reliability that cannot be beaten, and Vision Truck Group has always made us a priority," Passero says. "We have bought over 100 trucks from the same salesperson."

Silverline's Vision Truck Group salesperson, Sean Whelan, has traveled the road of growth with Passero and his company for more than 30 years. He assisted the fleet’s expansion with delivery of 40 trucks during the 1990s. As Passero and his team transitioned to homebuilding in 2000, Whelan was Silverline’s go-to person for providing the necessary additions to the fleet.

"They have been a tremendous customer over the years," Whelan says of Silverline, whose fleet currently consists of 25 Mack trucks, with five more scheduled for delivery this year. Passero says Silverline will end the year with 27 Granite® models operating in various configurations, including triaxles, tractors, slingers, hook lifts, boom trucks and a water truck.

“The Granite trucks are versatile and can meet all applications we need,” Passero says.

Another reason the Mack Granite has anchored itself as an essential tool of Silverline's success is its appeal to drivers. While these trucks provide a sleek appearance, the design enhances comfort, making the driver's job more enjoyable and manageable.

"Mack has really spent time creating a comfortable ride for drivers," says Kevin Webb, a driver with Silverline. "The dash is angled perfectly around the driver, the mirror placement allows for great visibility and the quality leather seating is very comfortable."

As a business owner, Passero appreciates the reliability of the Mack trucks. He says that the trucks experience minimal downtime outside of regularly scheduled maintenance, despite the demanding use they experience in the construction industry. Mack reliability allows Silverline to spend money on other expenses and improvements instead of costly truck repairs.

When the rare breakdown does occur, Silverline appreciates a dealership that is committed to getting the truck back in the field.

“We really don’t have breakdowns, but Vision is there by the next day at the latest to get us up and running,” Passero says.

The reliability of Macks also gives them excellent resale value, Passero says. In 2012, Silverline chose to sell some of their older Macks in order to replace them with newer Mack models.

"Those trucks had 35,000 hours, and we hadn't even had to rebuild the engines," Passero says.

As trucks begin to age, Silverline only turns Macks over to upgrade with newer Granite models. Although their older Macks still run well, Passero says, increases in fuel efficiency and improvements in technology make late-year Mack models extremely appealing.

"Silverline is starting to move to the mDRIVE® with their last four or five truck purchases," Whelan says. "It provides approximately 10% [MJ1] in fuel savings. We see it from the worst driver to their best driver by switching from the manual transmission. No clutch use in traffic makes life much easier for the driver.”

GuardDog® Connect is another advancement on the newer Mack models that helps Passero run his business better. The core of Mack’s Uptime Solutions, GuardDog Connect has a comprehensive three-part approach to keeping you on the road. The system identifies problems including fault codes, diagnostic needs and maintenance milestones; creates alerts for Mack’s OneCall customer care center, service providers and your decision maker; and services by scheduling parts and repair, tracking maintenance and repair information and relaying information to all parties, providing driver peace of mind.

In honor of Silverline’s longstanding and profitable partnership with Mack, Passero, his sons and Whelan will travel to Mack’s Lehigh Valley Operations in Pennsylvania to witness the construction of their 101st and 102nd Mack trucks before they are delivered later this year.

“We have been loyal to Mack only,” Passero says. “We stick with them since they never steer us wrong.”

And as for that original DM Mack, it remains a company icon. "We still have it in our yard and are planning to restore it completely," Passero says.

Bulldog® Magazine

Subscribe to Bulldog® Magazine

Be the first to know all the news about Mack Trucks and our products, plus other exciting activities.

Subscribe to bulldog