As we walked by we knew we needed to talk to him as our next truck would have DEF and we knew nothing about this scary change in trucking. We watched as people gave this booth a wide berth as they did not want to acknowledge this upcoming change.
Miguel was excited to have someone to talk to. We were the lucky ones as he had plenty of time to explain how the DEF would work on our next Freightliner and the approximate costs. The more Miguel talked, the more we wanted to learn from him as he was fascinating. He is from Belgium, has a wonderful accent, and a zest for life and trucking. When the truck show ended for the day, Henry Albert dr
iove him over to the truck parking lot to see our truck and talk more about trucking in the United States.
We stayed in touch over the years and came to consider him a very good friend. When we had questions on our truck, or when ordering a new truck, we consulted Miguel to get his thoughts on the gearing and set up. He has spent hours making drawings on napkins and talking to us about his thoughts. He has taught Bob a lot about torque and performance curves to getting the most out of our truck and driving it for the way it is geared.
Miguel moved to Mexico to work in the Daimler Saltillo Plant and quickly learned another language. He speaks six languages fluently. Did I mention he is brilliant? Miguel has two engineering degrees; Dutch BEng Automotive Engineering and British MSc Automotive Engineering.
Once we had our New Cascadia ordered and knew the truck was going to be built in Mexico I sent Miguel a message asking him to let us know when the truck was going to come off of the assembly line.
The Daimler Saltillo Plant in Mexico is large and very modern. There are approximately 3,400 employees and it was opened in 2009. The plant builds over 50,000 trucks a year, also builds cabs for the Daimler Santiago Plant in Mexico, is very environmentally friendly, and covers about 740 acres. Last year the Saltillo plant built a record 55,952 trucks and 67,808 cabs.
In the last 4 years the Saltillo plant won the prestigious President´s Cup, a recognition within Daimler Trucks North America for the plant building the best quality, 3 times and also the Premio Nacional de Calidad, a recognition by the Mexican government for plants building great quality. Here is a great video about the Daimler Saltillo Mexico Plant that I enjoyed watching.
Miguel not only got a picture of our truck, he got a picture with the people involved in manufacturing our New Cascadia. There is pride in workmanship and there will be pride in ownership. Thank You to all that had their picture taken with the Caffcadia 3 and we hope someday to get to see the plant and meet all of you in person!
1) Francisco Cham, Manager Final Chassis
2) Greg Wootton, Manager Quality Assurance
3) Alejandro Murillo, Operator Offline
4) Luis Rubalcaba, Operator Offline
5) Edgar Valdes, Operator Offline
6) Isaura Peña, Manager Offline
7) Miguel Nieto, Operator Offline
8) Eduardo Gonzalez, Assistant Manager Offline
9) Hugo Espinosa, Assistant Manager Materials
10) Eulalio Fahara, Assistant Manager Manufacturing Engineering
11) Miguel Soetaert, Director of Logistics, alias Belgian Bandit (Miguel´s trucking handle)
Picture from the back of the truck before freight box and sleeper is added: