Chassis issues hampering Douglas Dynamics results

Supplier issues expected to continue in fourth quarter

snow plow
Douglas Dynamics makes vehicle attachments such as plows.

Milwaukee-based Douglas Dynamics Inc. reported an increase in sales and profit during the third quarter, but the maker of work truck attachments and equipment continued to be hurt by chassis supplier issues.

snow plow
Douglas Dynamics makes vehicle attachments such as plows.

The company reported net income of $9.3 million for the quarter, a 27.7 percent increase over last year. Earnings also improved from 32 to 40 cents per diluted share.

Those bottom line results came as revenue increased just 1.4 percent to $125.3 million.

Douglas Dynamics has been experiencing a shortage of chassis for its municipal products. Those problems continued in the third quarter and were compounded by a separate chassis availability issue as work trucks were diverted to other areas of the country following natural disasters.

“While both challenges are temporary, they will continue to impact our results in the near-term,” said James Janik, Douglas Dynamics chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Janik said despite two straight years of bellow average snowfall the company’s commercial snow and ice control products performed well during the 2017 pre-season period.

“There were several factors driving this performance, including the ongoing stability in the economy, continued strength in light truck sales, positive dealer sentiment, plus the positive response to our new product launches,” Janik said.

The pre-season performance helped hold the revenue decline in the work truck attachments segment to 2.4 percent with revenue of $98 million.

The work truck solutions segment reported revenue of $32.2 million, a 19 percent increase over last year. The increase was the result of having a full quarter with the segment following the acquisition of Dejana Truck and Utility last year.

“The allocation of work trucks we were expecting was significantly reduced starting in September,” Janik said. “Our OEM partners are diverting trucks to areas of the country that have been impacted by the multiple natural disasters in recent months. We understand and support these short-term changes and our team has adapted well to the situation.”

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.