DEX Heavy Duty Parts: A Driving Force in Sustainable Business

by | Feb 5, 2024

DEX renovation technicians Alex Perez  and Tim Pegram at work refurbishing a truck engine at the company headquarters in Advance North Carolina.
DEX renovation technicians Alex Perez (left) and Tim Pegram (right) at work refurbishing a truck engine.

DEX Heavy Duty Parts (DEX), a subsidiary of the Volvo Group, is the country’s largest supplier of renovated, recycled, and surplus heavy-duty and all-makes truck parts for medium and heavy-duty trucks. The company has more than 3 million parts on hand across more than 30,000 different part types covering all makes and models at its headquarters in Advance.

But DEX is far more than a supplier of truck parts. Since relocating to Davie County in 2014, the company has emerged as a key player in sustainable business practices and is a significant contributor to both the community and the economy.

Beyond Truck Parts: A Commitment to Sustainability 

DEX renovates used heavy-duty truck parts, recycling components when they have reached the end of their useful life. Restored parts are sold through a Mack/Volvo dealership to fleets, body shops, or owner-operators. 

“We’re the only original equipment manufacturer in the heavy-duty industry that has a complete life cycle solution. That is done through DEX Heavy-Duty Parts here in Advance and our Oklahoma City facility,” shared Darin Redmon, director of operations at DEX, who shed light on the company’s comprehensive approach to sustainability. 

A renovated engine on display in the lobby at DEX’s headquarters in Advance, NC
A renovated engine on display at DEX’s headquarters in Advance.

He explained that DEX’s commitment to the environment runs throughout its operation. “Beyond the used parts we receive that can be classified as “recyclable” in our own product line, we recycle and reuse everything we can within our own operation. From the copper wiring from a tear-down to the oil that comes from draining engines to the plastic bottle from our lunch. DEX is a landfill-free operation.” 

EXTRANEOUS PARTS AND MATERIALS RECYCLING

Parts that don’t meet DEX’s standard or remain after a tear-down get sorted and recycled. In 2023 alone, the company recycled over 9.2 million pounds of material. 

FLUID RECYCLING

Used oil and other fluids that come from tear-downs are captured, treated, and recycled. Discarded oil is re-used to heat the warehouse.

WASTEWATER TREATMENT

The wastewater from parts cleaning is treated with DEX’s state-of-the-art treatment system – creating a closed-loop system with zero wastewater discharge.  It’s just one more way we stay green.

“For a small business, recycling sounds easy, but the reality of it is that recycling is a cost. But we made that part of our business model. We know it’s important not only to the company, but to our employees, the community, and our world. If we don’t make those changes and think longer term, the effects are dramatic.”

DEX works with local vendors to recycle its pallets, metals, and other alloys. “It’s not only about providing a sustainable solution for our company but utilizing other small businesses within the community as well. And that goes along with all of our operations. Everything from tools to the services that we use, we always try to work with other businesses in the community and the state to support our operations,” he continued. 

Engaged with the surrounding community, the company allows the local fire department to use its facility for training and holds a food drive for people and pets in December. 

“We try to go above and beyond, not just doing our part, but doing what we can to support local businesses and value the community and employees.”

An outdoor shot of the DEX building on its 38-acre facility in Advance.
DEX has more than 3 million parts on hand across more than 30,000 different part types covering all makes and models at its 38-acre facility in Advance.

Investing in Davie’s Workforce

DEX’s presence in Davie County began with a $2.6 million investment to renovate a 210,000-square-foot textile manufacturing plant at 2016 Cornatzer Road. The 38-acre property near Interstate 40 now serves as an epicenter of its operations. The company opened a second facility in Oklahoma City in 2019. 

Redmon reflected on the decision to establish DEX in Davie, highlighting its proximity to Interstates I-40, I-77, and I-85 and an educated local workforce. 

“In 2014, we spent about a year working to recondition and upfit the facility based on the specific needs we had. That, along with the workforce, is what attracted us to Davie County.” 

“The community support has been great. It’s easy to do business in Davie County because of the support and infrastructure and the people that are engaged to support the businesses in the area.”

“Overall, this is a good community and area. All of that ties into the ease of doing business, and when it’s easier to do business, it enables you to be more successful, to be able to grow, and to support your employees as well as the larger community.”

Igniting Opportunities with IGNITE DAVIE 

DEX’s support for the Davie County community includes the education of its young people. The company is an IGNITE DAVIE College Promise Employer of Choice and is actively involved with  Davie County Schools (DCS) and Davidson-Davie Community College (DDCC). 

In addition to participating in career and manufacturing days with DCS, the company works with DDCC’s Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Program. DEX donates truck components, engines, and vehicles, which are used to train students in diagnostics and truck maintenance and repairs. They’ve also hosted several displays and trainings on general maintenance.

Shot of the DEX warehouse where a forklift and a disassembled truck chassis are in view along with truck parts being refurbished to be shipped across the country.
Trucks are disassembled, and the parts refurbished. The parts are shipped across the country.

“It’s important for us to invest in the upcoming potential and within the schools locally,” Redmon noted.

“This is not specific to DEX – we want to support the bigger industry. So we teach the basics that a technician would need going into this field. We want to think about what a technician needs in training and today’s industry to go into the area, to support the end customer.”

“The schools have a lot of budget constraints, so anything we can donate or support – it all goes back to the bigger picture of supporting the industry.”

Addressing the shortage of skilled technicians in the heavy-duty transportation industry, Redmon emphasized the need to think long-term. “We have to think 10, 15 years from now, and do our part to support that.”  

As companies compete for employees, supporting IGNITE DAVIE College Promise is the long-term answer they are looking for. “It benefits children with the opportunity to go to college, and it also helps to keep them in the area and community.”

“We not only want to support skilled trades and support the community, but we want to make sure we do our part as a business to have a pipeline of talent coming up in the industry. That’s one of the big drivers that drove us to be part of that program,” Redmon said, adding that while DEX hasn’t hired any IGNITE students yet, it welcomes the opportunity to do so in the future. 

A heavy duty metal shelf holds dozens of refurbished heavy-duty truck engines.
DEX has dozens of refurbished heavy-duty truck engines in stock.

A Commitment to their Employees

DEX is more than just a workplace; it’s a growth opportunity for employees and local talent alike. 

“I love seeing our employees grow and develop,” said Redmon, as he shared how fortunate DEX has been with their team. “We really value our employees. Our employees are great – we’ve got some very talented and skilled people.”

“We’re always developing our people and growing them in their careers. We work with them to develop their career path and help them achieve that – through training enhancement, education, and certifications.”

Lisa Shoaf, customer service supervisor, supports DEX customers.
Lisa Shoaf, customer service supervisor, supports DEX customers.

Their commitment to employee development has certainly paid dividends for the company and employees alike. 

“We typically don’t have very much turnover at all – most of our employees are coming up on their ten-year anniversary,” Redmon noted. “When people come here, they enjoy working with DEX and typically move up through the company.”

Redmon also shared his future plans for his team at DEX. 

“We’re trying to think of the bigger picture with our positions. We’re developing a pipeline for employees and their skill sets. In all of our positions within the operation, we’ve structured it to have an entry level role that eventually builds into a lead and management position. So it’s a pipeline of development for all of the positions within the company.”

The company provides diverse job opportunities, ranging from marketing and customer service to accounting and finance, with skilled trades like diesel technicians, body shop technicians, and dismantling technicians. They also have warehousing and logistics-oriented positions that control shipping, inbounding, and inventory management. 

“We’re growing, and we’re always looking for more people,” enthused Redmon.  

He shared that exciting new initiatives for 2024 will further fuel the company’s need for new employees. This year, DEX plans to expand its focus from wholesale to retail and public sales of its parts. 

“We look forward to having more people see our products and hopefully purchase more through that channel.”

The company is also launching new products, releasing new and additional renovated engines, and expanding and renovating its painting program. 

Building a Sustainable Future 

With a zero-waste facility and a strong commitment to the community, DEX Heavy Duty Truck Parts stands out not just as a supplier of truck parts but as a beacon of sustainable business practices and community involvement. Their holistic approach ensures that their impact extends far beyond the products they sell.

“One of our taglines when people ask, ‘What does DEX do, or what do you sell,’ we say ‘We sell DEX-periences.’ It doesn’t matter if it’s an end customer, an internal group, or an employee, that experience you provide is really what sets us apart.”

To learn more about career opportunities at DEX, visit their website.

Example of DEX industry-leading products, organization, and storage

This article was published with the permission of the author and the original publisher, the Davie County Blog.