BY JEFF CLARK
PHOTOS BY DEBBIE MILLIERN
Waters Truck and Tractor/Waters International Trucks celebrated 75 years of business Monday with a reception at its location at 96 E Plymouth Road, which was built by Ray Waters Jr. in 1953. The company was founded in 1938 by Ray Waters Sr. who started an International dealer and started trucks and farm equipment. More than seven decades later, Waters’ grandson, Mike, the company’s current CEO, said customer care has been of the secrets to the company’s success and longevity.
“We attribute our success to our ability to take care of our customers throughout the life of their vehicle,” Mike Waters said Tuesday. “We can handle any issue that may arise through various departments including frame shops, body shops, wrecker services, vehicle leasing, roadside service vehicles, and tire shops. We make every effort to maximize a customer’s uptime. If we can make them run more efficiently then we are successful. Waters takes pride in knowing and understanding our market and our customer’s needs. You can’t effectively service your customers if you aren’t intimately familiar with their pains and their successes.”
Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin, who attended the celebration said the company’s success is a tribute to family and hard work.
“I think it’s a tribute to family and their employees,” Gavin said. “They’ve also been good employers. They’ve been a good business for the city. I know the Waters family personally and they are good people.”
During the celebration, Navistar presented a Customer Service Award for its 75 years of service.
Waters currently has six locations across Mississippi including two locations in Columbus as well as Hattiesburg, Meridian, Kosciusko, and Natchez.
The company is split into two names, Waters Truck and Tractor and Waters International Trucks. Each company has several divisions including International Trucks, IC Buses, logging equipment, trailers, outdoor products, continental mixers, wreckers, used trucks, rolling parts stores, frame shop, body shop, tire shop, roadside service vehicles and parts and service.
Mike Waters said his son, Michael, will one day take the helm of the company, making him the fourth generation Waters to run the business.