Watch Now

Borderlands: Milwaukee Tool builds $86 million Mexican factory; husband and wife truckers killed in a crash near El Paso

A Wisconsion-based tool manufacturer recently announced it was opening a factory in Mexico. Image: FreightWaves

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Milwaukee Tool builds $86 million factory in Torreón, Mexico; husband and wife truckers killed in a crash near El Paso; $1.6 million in cocaine found in carrot shipment; Texas college expands CDL program to attract more trucking students.

Milwaukee Tool to build $86 million factory in Coahuila, Mexico

The Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation recently announced it will build a new $86 million factory in the Mexican city of Torreón, bringing 2,600 jobs when it starts operations in April 2020.

Officials with the Wisconsin-based power tool company visited 15 other cities in Mexico before deciding on Torreón, according to Mexico Industry

“I’m very happy that [Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation] chose Torreón,” said Miguel Ángel Riquelme, governor of the state of Coahuila during a press conference on August 28. “Here they will find stable labor relations, safety and qualified workers. We’re going to make sure they stay here.”

Torreón is located in the state of Coahuila, around 193 miles east from the city of Monterrey, Mexico. 

The new Milwaukee Tool factory is already under construction in Torreón. Image: Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation

The Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation was founded in 1924 in Brookfield, Wisconsin. It manufactures power tools for professional and do-it-yourself use. The company produces more than 500 different tools and 3,500 accessories. 

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation was acquired by Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries in 2005. Company officials decided on Mexico after an investment tour made by the Mexican government to attract new employers from China.

Husband and wife truck driving team killed in crash near El Paso

A husband and wife truck driving team were killed in a deadly crash in Texas on September 27.

Texas Department of Public Safety officers said 62-year-old Deborah Regan, and her husband Terry Huey, 64, were traveling along I-10 eastbound around 90 miles southeast of El Paso, according to the El Paso Times.

Regan was driving the tractor-trailer while Huey was asleep in the cabin, according to officials.

Regan was approaching the Sierra Blanca border checkpoint in West Texas when she rear-ended a 2018 Freightliner tractor-trailer towing two Hyundai pup trailers, according to law enforcement. 

The collision caused Regan’s truck to catch fire. Regan and Huey, both from Springtown, Texas, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials said Regan failed to properly control the speed of the vehicle she was driving.

Regan and Huey were employees of Dallas-based Estes Express Lines. Company officials told KVIA-TV news that Regan and Huey had driven for the company for 20 years.

Gurcharan Singh, 52, and Fidadelfo Cebreros Juarez, 56, who were in the Freightliner, were taken to a Culberson County hospital with various injuries.

The Sierra Blanca checkpoint is operated by U.S. Border Patrol. It is located around 16 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Cocaine valued at $1.6 million found in carrot shipment at Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently seized cocaine valued at $1.6 million in a load of carrots that was entering through a U.S.-Mexico border crossing in South Texas.

The commercial shipment was at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge on September 26 and referred to a secondary inspection at the port’s cargo facility, according to a CBP news release. The tractor-trailer of fresh carrots from Mexico was searched using a non-intrusive imaging system.

Officers found 60 packages of cocaine weighing almost 212 pounds, and seized the drugs and the tractor-trailer. The case remains under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, according to a release.

“I commend our officers assigned to the cargo facility for their continued resolve in keeping dangerous drugs from crossing our border,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas.

Colleges partner up to provide more CDL training in San Antonio area

Officials from Del Mar College and Coastal Bend College (CBC) recently signed a transportation training agreement as a partnering initiative to meet the need for commercial truck drivers in South Texas.

The new agreement between Del Mar and Coastal Bend will offer truck driver training at CBC’s Pleasanton, Texas, campus, 36 miles south of San Antonio.

“Our collaboration will help fill the gap in the shortage of drivers in South Texas while providing our residents with a very good wage and standard of living,” said Joseph A. Hayen, director of CBC Continuing Education, according to the Pleasanton Express

John Rojas, director of the DMC Transportation Training Services program, added, “Coastal Bend College’s Pleasanton location will assist the initiative with filling many commercial drivers positions locally and in the San Antonio and Eagle Ford Shale areas.”

Rojas said that Del Mar College’s program currently works with more than 60 Texas companies needing drivers as well as with several national carriers, which gives program graduates who complete their certification access to potential employers.

“This partnership is a great opportunity for both colleges to assist our South Texas communities by offering valuable training to fill a growing demand for professional truck drivers,” Rojas said in a release.

Del Mar College and Coastal Bend College – Pleasanton campus, have partnered to address a need for professional truck drivers in South Texas. Image: DMC College Relations

Officials said from 100 to 150 students will receive CDL training at the Pleasanton campus location once the program begins later this year. 

The four-week program, which equates to 200 clock hours – includes classroom, over-the-road and simulation training.

Students will drive tractor-trailer rigs, along with instruction about the rules of the road by faculty with real-world experience.



    Expanding the curriculum to attract more students for the trucking industry? All the while , over 800 small trucking companies have filed bankruptcy and the major trucking companies have announced ,” they will be laying off 10% to 25% of their work force because they are losing money. I predicted this was going to happen back in March of this year. Last year , there was an abundance of freight and not enough trucks, so rates were up. Then all these companies went out on a limb. They bought/leased lots of new equipment. They offered HUGE sign on bonuses. And they filled the seats with lots of new drivers. Now we have thousands of drivers but not enough freight and the rates dropped, dramatically. Why? The amount of freight did not change. The number of drivers increased so much that the shippers could save money by giving the loads at a reduced rate to desperate trucking outfits. So sorry about your luck but all these companies should have only hired a fraction of drivers and only increased the sign on bonuses , no more than 25%. Those of us that own our equipment have been patiently waiting for all the newbies to quit and go back to whatever job they had before they decided to be truckers.

    1. Tlm

      I don’t understand why they still say there’s a driver shortage. Many have already been laid off. I guess they mean shortage of new drivers who will work for peanuts. My husband has decided to leave trucking after 17 years. I’m glad he did

  2. Kris Giles

    Milwaukee Tools is now owned by a Hong Kong company. That is another issue that should be addressed and made illegal.

    In the case of the trucker couple killed in a wreck, does anyone there have a map ?? 90 miles south of El Paso would be deep into Mexico. Juarez, the most Cartel ridden dump is just a few miles South of El Chapo err Paso. For future reference, I-10 runs East and West.

Comments are closed.

Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]