The Ford Transit has replaced the F350 as a more popular chassis for smaller Stellar® Tire Service Trucks. The move to the Transit chassis was one based almost completely on weight. Any truck over 10,000 pounds of gross vehicle weight (GVW) used commercially is considered a commercial truck, resulting in drivers being subject to DOT regulations regarding driver log books and hours of service restrictions, as well as other compliance requirements. If a business is able, it is simpler to stay under 10,000 pounds GVW. Since customers are challenged to keep under 10,000 pounds with the Ford 350 due to the starting chassis weight, they are now choosing the Transit as a lighter weight alternative. To assist our customers in the challenge to stay light weight, Stellar Industries has designed a body specifically for the Transit chassis, and the successful result is the development of the Stellar® 1004 Service Truck. The 1004 has been designed to fit the Ram ProMaster as well.
Listening to customers and delivering a quality solution at an acceptable price is a key ingredient to success at Stellar. It takes a team of people with the correct attitude and skills to execute, along with solid organizational team, to make a project like this work! Our People. Our Products. That’s what makes us “Stellar”.
In late May, Stellar Industries, Inc. – Kanawha welcomed a 6K Fiber Laser into the plant. Since then, employees have been watching the installation of the new laser with great interest and anticipation.
The installation of this new laser will be a big step forward in helping Stellar Industries get parts manufactured, assembled, and out the door to the end user in a quicker, more efficient, way.
“We currently buy over 400 parts from other suppliers,” Sara Lang, Purchasing Agent, said. “We are at the mercy of our supplier’s production schedules, and that can limit the availability of some parts and our overall flexibility. The new laser puts us back in the driver’s seat. This is a huge plus for Stellar. That’s what we’re most excited about.”
“To give you an idea how much efficiency we’ll gain, consider this: a CO2 laser will cut 16 gauge flat at the rate of 343 inches per minute,” Dan Beyer, Welding and Fabrication Supervisor, said. “This fiber laser will cut 1,378 inches per minute and can cut up to 1-1/8” thick steel. That’s significant.”
The new laser will be operational mid-June, with the automation portion coming on line in July. Everyone at Stellar is looking forward to reducing the number of parts we outsource and being able to produce our cranes, bodies and demountable products in a more efficient manner so we can get them out to the end user.
Like our Facebook page for more updates and to see more photos when the laser gets put into service! www.facebook.com/StellarIndustries
Flipping channels the other night, my husband tunes into that History Channel show with those two guys from Iowa that travel the country to buy junk. For some reason he finds this show entertaining. I find it annoying. Please don’t take offense, this is just my opinion. I know many people like and enjoy this show and I do recognize the value in some of the items these guys come across. I usually skim past the show as it just really isn’t of much interest to me. Knock, knock, knock. Enter compromise. The television remains on the channel and he continues to watch so I pick up my book and read a few pages. I glanced up and saw a guy on the show talking about chopping down the roofline of an old rusted out car. What really caught my attention was that he was wearing a t-shirt that had a definition style to it – definition – like a dictionary (yes, I know I’m dating myself!). But that shirt was pretty unique!
Someone who makes something you can’t.
I thought “Hey – that’s us – that’s Stellar!” We’ve got fabricators, welders, assemblers, material handlers, painters and more! We have this great big team of employees that all have a hand in making something that not just anyone can. They use their hands to make something that our customers find value in. And I do have to say it’s a pretty great feeling when you are out away from home and see that Stellar Industries, Inc. logo on a work truck, crane or a piece of equipment that you actually know who helped build it. Knock, knock, knock. Enter hometown pride.
So maybe I did glean a benefit from watching the antiquing show…. I get it now. The stuff Mike and Frank are finding during their episodes is what has led us to where and who we are today. It’s our history. That piece of history was made by someone, someone who used their hands, spent their time and effort and put a lot of sweat into creating or fabricating “something” much like our team members do here.
We are resourceful. We are dedicated. We are owners.
And – we are looking for people to join us!
P.s. We will train!
Check out our current openings:
January 1, 2016 will be a big day in the history of Stellar Industries, Inc. On that day, we will officially christen the former Kiefer Manufacturing facility in Kanawha as Stellar Industries – Kanawha. Not only will we be adding a great factory to produce our Stellar-branded products, but we will be welcoming a large number of former Kiefer employees to join the Stellar Industries, Inc. team.
Stellar Industries, Inc. finalized our purchase of the assets of the former Kiefer Built, LLC in March of 2011. Over the nearly five years of Stellar ownership, many changes were implemented at the Kiefer facilities in both Kanawha and in Sneedville, TN. Unfortunately, the substantial investments in new production equipment, designs, and people could not save the legendary Kiefer line of trailers. In the last year, it became evident that success in the design and building of cranes, hooklifts, and service bodies does not automatically translate into success in the trailer industry. The decision was made to close the Sneedville facility and exit the horse and livestock trailer business.
But that is not the end of this story. In Sneedville, Kiefer is an important employer. With the help of the Hancock County Mayor, Thomas Harrison, and a successful local businessman, David Greene, a proposal was made to Stellar to purchase the assets of the discontinued horse and livestock trailer lines and assume the factory in Sneedville. We will close on the sale of these assets to the Greene family on 12/31/2015.
Kiefer Built was founded by an entrepreneur, Arden Kiefer, in the early 1970s. Under Arden’s daily presence and stewardship, his company grew quickly and flourished. His untimely death in the 1990s lead to the company changing ownership numerous times over the next 20 years. With the purchase of the horse and livestock lines by the Greene family, ownership is getting back into the hands of a true entrepreneur that will be able to devote full attention to rebuilding the storied Kiefer trailer name. All of us at Stellar Industries, Inc. wish our former co-workers in Sneedville and the Greene family many successes as they take control of the Kiefer line of trailers.
Another successful Crane Sales School is in the books! We had a great turnout of individuals representing a few of our distributors and are excited to see what they took away with them. Each Crane Sales School, we have a full day of classroom work and on the second day, we branch off the final day with a plant tour to close out the school. It’s a great opportunity for our distribution to see how we manufacture such a stellar product.
We’d like to thank our distribution that attended and looking forward to the next!