Beall Corp expands tank repair capabilities during recession
Feb 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
ECONOMIC downturns are “Opportunity Times,” according to James Beall, president of Beall Corporation. The Portland, Oregon, company made very good use of the most recent downturn in its cargo tank repair and service operations.
Over the past year, Beall Corp expanded service capabilities in the Portland shop to include cryogenic tanks. The company opened a new 32,000-sq-ft facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, and expanded the shop in Sunnyside, Washington. An 8,000-sq-ft addition to the shop in Kent, Washington, was just completed in February 2010.
“Having been around for 105 years, Beall Corp has experienced many business cycles and has always taken advantage of down business cycles to grow,” Beall says. “Real estate, businesses, and high-quality employees become available in tough times. If you are able to seize those opportunities when they present themselves, you can put more distance between yourself and the competition.
“We are very optimistic about 2010. By upgrading and diversifying our service capabilities, we believe we can appeal to a broader customer base. A very small portion of the federal stimulus funding allocated to construction projects made it down to the contractor level in 2009. We expect more stimulus-related activity in 2010. In addition, carriers hurt by lower shipment volume in this downturn delayed maintenance and conserved cash. Pent up demand for repair work is just starting to surface.”
Wayne F Kimmet, vice-president of operations for Beall's parts & service division, adds that the company invested more than $3 million in the repair shop expansions and upgrades that reinforce the drive to be the leader in trailers, parts, and service. In addition to expanding the size and scope of its tank repair shops, Beall added manpower.
“The improvements we made enable Beall to provide our customers with faster service turnaround times,” Kimmet says. “More facilities across the country make it more convenient for our national fleet customers to get to a Beall facility. Larger parts inventories lead to better availability.
“Our tank manufacturing culture extends to our repair facilities, and our mechanics are craftsmen experienced in fabrication and all phases of tank repair and testing. Our rigorous weld certification, ongoing safety, and compliance training overseen by two compliance engineers ensures that the job is done correctly. Our staff of 20 engineers lends support to all of the Beall facilities.
“We love the tough projects. Our standard on every job is that weld quality, fit, and finish will measure up to the high standards of a brand new Beall trailer rolling off the factory floor.”
More service bays
The recent facility expansions increase Beall's repair capability to 172 service bays with 171 mechanics and welders. All shops are National Board Inspection Code-certified “R stamp” facilities offering cargo tank testing, repair and modifications, fabrication work, and major wreck rebuilds for all trailer types. Beall facilities stock more than $20 million in heavy-duty truck and trailer parts, and the company is a member of the VIPAR Heavy Duty Network.
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