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Mike Ray Interstate PowerSystems


ABOUT YOU... Hometown: Billings, Montana

Education: Northern Montana College in Havre, Montana

Spouse: Cathy Children: Danielle, Charity and Jeremy

What was your first car? 1948 Ford Pickup Favorite color: Red

Favorite book: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand Favorite ice cream flavor:Maple Nut

I always...start my day by letting my “best friend” know how much she means to me.

I’ve never...understood short-sighted, misinformed Environmentalist agendas.

BlackBerry, Android or iPhone? Android

What is the last thing you Googled? A Business Profile

Which super power would you prefer to have? Telekinesis

What’s the last movie you saw in theaters? War Horse

What is the farthest you’ve been from home? Verdun, France Favorite vacation spot: Tucson, Arizona

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Prime Rib

YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE... Current Title: Branch Manager, Interstate PowerSystems in Billings, Montana

Why did you go into trucking? My career path in diesel technology lead


me to the company I started with as an apprentice mechanic in 1974. I’ve had the good fortune to remain and grow with that same organization, Interstate PowerSystems, for the past 38 years. The services our company provides, along with the core products lines we represent (Detroit Diesel, Allison Transmission and Carrier Transport Refrigeration) all have “legacy” ties to the trucking industry.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? It was a simple statement really: Listen with your ears, not your mouth.

What is your business philosophy? Any of our valued friends and customers familiar with our company will recognize our motto “Pride-in-Service.” It is ultimately the business philosophy that every employee in our organization lives by.

What is the biggest challenge currently facing the trucking industry? Where should I start? Operating a profitable trucking business in this age of unprecedented regulatory pressures and high operational costs while balancing and matching fleet equipment needs in such a volatile economy is a tough challenge, isn’t it?

What are the greatest benefits of membership in the Motor Carriers of Montana? I think being part of an organization that truly promotes the values of the industry. The image of the trucking industry has improved greatly over the years and I believe that Motor Carriers of Montana plays a significant role as an organization of providing a consistent message to the public and to our Legislators.

YOUR COMPANY... When was it started? Interstate PowerSystems was established in 1957.

How many employees? As a total company, our employee base just recently passed the 1,000-mark. Our Billings facility continues to grow and is currently staffed with 98 professional, dedicated employees.

What are the challenges facing your

business today? In general, the challenges we must deal with are much the same as those faced by the trucking industry, i.e. regulatory pressure, operational expenses, etc. in an evolving economy. We provide a very diverse base of technically advanced products, so I’d say our largest challenge is keeping pace with the tooling and training certification requirements of all of our manufacturers.

Where do you see growth coming from in the future? As with most companies in the area, we’ve experienced growth as a direct result of the energy industries expansive operations in the Region. It certainly appears that the current levels of activity will continue to increase, creating infrastructural needs that should provide growth opportunities for all segments of the trucking industry.

What is the most important service

your company provides to fill a need in trucking? Consistent, quality service is the most important service we can offer to the trucking industry. Our customers are assured of this commitment thru our affiliation as a “WheelTime” service provider. It is our responsibility to provide an initial diagnosis within two hours of arrival, give a time estimate for the repairs, complete the repair in the fastest time possible, on schedule and at the cost estimate given and notify the customer with-in 30 minutes of our last labor punch. Most importantly to get the repair right the first time. RW

ROADWISE | ISSUE 1, 2012 |

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