Industry Spotlight

February 2019
Interview with Barry Holden of Mack Dealer Watts Truck Center
Watts Truck Center
INTERVIEW BY:
  • Mark Harter
PHOTOS COURTESY OF:
  • Barry Holden / Watts Truck Center

Mark: Hello Barry, thanks for talking with us! Would you mind telling our readers a little about yourself and Watts Truck Center?

Barry: Well Mark, Watt’s Truck Center, in New Alexandria, PA, has been an authorized Mack Truck Dealer since 1948! We specialize in Mack and Volvo Trucks but we also service all makes, models and years! The company was started by B.J. Watt and has been owned and operated by family members ever since. It is currently owned by Jim Jr., Jerry and Amy Watt who are sons and daughter of one of B.J. Watt’s three sons, Jim Watt. Jim Jr. and Jerry each have kids working at the dealership as well!

I have been with the company since 1993. I started as a parts department helper and worked my way up to Parts Manager. I also designed and manage the dealership website, forum, social media and online store.

Mark: What kind of products and services does Watts Truck Center offer?

Barry: Our parts inventory covers Mack Trucks from the first B-Model in 1953 to the latest truck to roll off the line! We also stock parts for Volvo Trucks as well as many other brands including UD Nissan Diesel. Our full service shop works on just about any make and model as well as trailers, equipment and RV’s. It’s not uncommon to see a 1960 B-Model in the shop right next to a 2019 Anthem! We also sell new and used trucks and just recently, launched a leasing and rentals division.

Mack Anthem parked outside of Watts Truck Center
Mack Granite parked outside of Watts Truck Center

Mark: What do you feel sets Watts apart from other Mack dealers?

Barry: I think what sets Watt’s Truck Center apart from the competition is our customer service. We will go out of our way to make sure a part is delivered to a customer on time or try to get a truck in the shop as quickly as possible! We put the customer first and try to do whatever we can to keep them on the road. Our staff trains constantly to become the experts that customers want to deal with.

Mark: A unique thing about Watts, you guys specialize in older Mack Trucks! Do you carry new parts? Used parts? Do you restore trucks for customers??

Barry: Yes, one of our many claims to fame is our antique and classic Mack restoration parts business. We are known all over the world as the place to call for old Mack parts! Many of the old parts that we supply are New Old Stock (NOS), but we also actively reproduce some items such as emblems, hub caps, mirror arms and mud flaps. I wouldn’t say that we have everything for these old trucks and there really is no way to do so, but we try to keep as much as possible in stock in order to give the customer a one stop shopping experience.

Mack B-Model parked outside of Watts Truck Center
Mack R-Model parked outside of Watts Truck Center

Mark: What are some of the most common items owners of older Mack Trucks contact you for?

Barry: Some of the most common items that we sell for older trucks are replacement emblems, weather stripping and mud flaps! We have an online store that makes it easy for customers to search for the common items that they need for restorations and they can even order 24/7 from the website. We also cater to those that prefer to do business person to person, so call in orders are always welcomed as well. Due to the nature of truck parts not being all the same, sometimes we need a customer to supply their VIN number so we can look up specific items not listed on our store page.

Mark: Does Watts own any vintage Macks for show/display?

Barry: We do have an old Mack A-Model in unrestored condition and we are hoping to start restoration work on a B-Model that we have stored away!

Mark: Watts embraces fans and owners of Mack Trucks, and you guys have a large discussion forum, BigMackTrucks.com. Can you tell us about this website? Who runs it? How did it get started?

Barry: Yes, we operate an online support forum for antique, classic and modern Mack Trucks that has over 20,000 members worldwide! I started the forum many years ago as a small page on MSN Groups, but it quickly out grew the MSN platform so we upgraded to the forum as we know it today. The forum includes a variety of sub forums as well as a huge photo album and member garages. I oversee the forum as the Admin but we do have several members that act as moderators to help keep things flowing smoothly. The forum actually doesn’t require a lot of time or maintenance as it is mostly peer to peer support. My staff and I do participate, but it is amazing how many knowledgeable Mack people are out there and are willing to help their fellow Mack Truck fans!

Macks on display at the Watts Truck Show
Watts Truck Center Service Garage

Mark: Does Watts sponsor or have any involvement in any truck shows?

Barry: We do host a show that takes place every year in mid-August near our dealership in New Alexandria, PA. This upcoming year (2019) will be our 12th Annual show! We also travel to the large truck shows in Macungie, PA and Lititz, PA each year. We set up a huge tent and sell old truck parts at the shows.

Mark: How can Mack owners contact Watts if they need a part or help with their truck?

Barry: There are a number of ways that customers can get a hold of us. Phone: 1 (888) 304-6225 or 1 (724) 668-2201. Email: [email protected], Facebook: www.facebook.com/WattsTruckCenter.

Dealership hours are 6am – 11pm daily and 6am – Noon on Saturdays.

Our website is always open at: www.WattsTruckCenter.com.

EDITOR'S NOTE:
  • Special thanks to Barry for taking time to speak with us! If you are a Mack Truck owner/enthusiast, need parts for your vintage Mack or looking to buy a new Mack, we suggest contacting Watts today!

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