Mack Trucks helps J.L. Rothrock, Inc. thrive

Many successful American businesses start with an idea and passion for doing a job well. As that direction is passed down to successive generation of leaders, the ability to adapt while sticking to what works best is key to growth and success.

Richard Bondurant of Greensboro, North Carolina, learned this early in his career while working for J.L. Rothrock, Inc., a dry van and drayage transport company founded by Bondurant’s grandfather and his partner. The reins of the company eventually passed to Bondurant’s father, and now Richard serves as the company’s vice president. Along with his sister JoEllen McCormick, vice president of administration, he is the third generation of the family helming the company. Bondurant’s father Buzzy has been with Rothrock for more than 60 years.

From left to right: Justin Bondurant, Richard Bondurant, Buzzy Bondurant and JoEllen McCormick

Bondurant says Mack Trucks’ impact on the still-growing firm's footprint cannot be overstated. The company started operations 81 years ago with just two Mack® trucks. Bondurant says the reliability of their Mack trucks has been a primary factor in his family’s company’s growth.

“My father has always bought Mack trucks,” Bondurant says. “When I first came to work for the company, we would pull rail boxes off the rail, deliver them and bring them back using the R Model Macks. They were smaller and handled well.”

As the company grew and its needs changed, Bondurant began to look at other Mack models.

"I found I had a bunch of day cab trucks and was going to buy sleepers,” Bondurant says. “The Mack Anthem® was about to come out, so I went to Atlanta to test drive one. I witnessed the maneuverability and took a liking to it.”

That liking led to ownership, with Bondurant purchasing one of the first ever made. He realized the Mack Anthem would meet his needs and serve Rothrock well.

"That truck performed better as far as the pulling power was concerned, and my drivers liked being behind the wheel," Bondurant says. Today, Rothrock has a fleet of 25 Anthems.

Given the difficulty of securing and keeping drivers employed, Bondurant feels his Mack Anthem fleet helps his company overcome the challenges of a less-than-ideal market rate for driver compensation.

"We have drivers who come to work for us just because of our Mack fleet. They enjoy driving our trucks, so we focus on keeping them happy and rewarding them with Mack.”

Rothrock driver Gary Branson has accumulated over 1.5 million miles behind the wheel for the company and was recently assigned one of the new Model Year 2025 Anthem models.

“I love the pulling power of the Macks, and especially being able to see the Bulldog as I drive,” Branson says.

The Anthem's driver-friendly features give Bondurant confidence about his drivers navigating on congested highways. Predictive Cruise Control and superior braking systems give drivers more control. Collision mitigation and lane departure alerts help maintain safe operation, and the overall design enhances driver safety.

"When you're driving a truck down the road, you need to have everything at your fingertips," Bondurant says. “Mack has all the controls and gauges set up for ease of use and allows the driver to keep eyes on the road at all times."

Bondurant says Rothrock’s Mack fleet enjoys superior fuel economy, allowing the company to increase profitability. Each of the company’s Macks are equipped with a suite of support services, backed by support from its dealer TranSource, Inc. in Colfax, North Carolina.

Josh Sauls, the TranSource sales representative who services Rothrock, says each of Rothrock’s trucks is equipped with an auxiliary power unit. Some feature the traditional diesel-powered APU, while others have the Idle Free auxiliary power unit (APU) system, which reduces engine idling and assists in boosting the fuel efficiency that Rothrock depends upon. Rothrock's Mack trucks are also spec’d with the Mack HE+ package, which delivers up to 9.5 percent fuel efficiency improvements through engine, transmission and chassis design. Rothrock also utilizes Mack's Uptime Solutions and GuardDog Connect for quick service demands when needed and enhanced communication capabilities for repair management ease.

"Rothrock is a good friend and customer," Sauls says. “I have been working with Richard for four and a half years, and I truly feel we at TranSource are advocates for him and Rothrock."

Besides Mack’s reliability, Bondurant feels relationships are critical to Rothrock's success. With TranSource supporting the company from its start, Bondurant relies heavily on the dealership. "If I call, they answer. When I have a problem, though, I need my dealership to solve it, and Josh and TranSource always have."

Drawing on what has worked for his grandfather and father, Bondurant looks to a bright future in which he will continue to rely on Mack for Rothrock’s equipment needs.

"Both my father and our drivers have always liked the Mack trucks. I hope to increase my fleet to 100 Macks before I retire one day."

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