Join Us for a Walk in Our Steel-Toed Shoes: Part 2
At PALFINGER, we love our employees and realize that everyone on our team brings something unique and excellent to the table. As a thank you and a testimony to that, we would like to introduce you to some of our great people in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This location is our SECOND stop and focuses on the manufacturing and assembly of bucket trucks. Over the next few months, we will be taking you on a tour of our locations, diving into some history and, most importantly, introducing you to the people who make us ONE PALFINGER. The assembly team is a vital cog in the process from sale to delivery, and each member works daily to ensure you are delivered a great product. Later, we will introduce you to some great individuals who are part of the PALFINGER team.
They say that time flies when you're having fun, but for Bob, it's "time flies when you're building equipment that you're proud of!"
Bob's journey with PALFINGER began in 1980 when he joined Utility Equipment Company (UEC), which later became Equipment Technology, Inc. (ETI). He recalls, "I was looking for a new job after I had been laid off when I saw an ad for a welder/fabricator."
Bob has witnessed how the company has grown, moving from a small brick building to a more extensive shop to a multi-building property. This year, in particular, is a significant milestone as he celebrates his 42nd anniversary in September, which he considers his proudest moment at PALFINGER!
Bob's passion for his job and pride in working at PALFINGER is very evident. His career has evolved from installing other manufacturers' equipment to installing our aerial platforms and bodies. He has genuinely enjoyed many aspects of being an aerial welder, one of which is building the small parts that go on the end of the boom. During his tenure at PALFINGER,he has performed various roles from installer, to crew chief, to welder.
He proudly says, "When I'm driving along and see a vehicle with our name on it, I know someone is working to restore power, change streetlights, install cable, hang signs, etc. because we built a safe and dependable product."
While he has a lot of fun memories at work, Bob's favorites are the company events held at the zoo or parks and, most importantly, seeing his co-workers in a different setting. He also enjoys the lunches sponsored by the Sales Department and the opportunity to meet customers who visit for a tour.
Outside of work, Bob and his dear wife, Nancy, have been professional clown entertainers for 33 years performing in stage shows and birthday parties, parades, and other events. During last year's Family Day, he was happy to share this side of himself with fellow employees and their families.
With his wealth of knowledge and experience with the company, Bob imparts this wisdom, "Take pride in what you do whether it is installing, painting, manufacturing, or making ready for delivery. Take ownership in our product as if it's going to be parked in your own driveway."
Dustin has been part of PALFINGER (then Equipment Technologies, LLC.) since day one — after graduating college, he started as the only accountant for the bucket truck division. However, his role has long since grown, and not only did he lead IT for a couple of decades and install the internet for the facility, but he has transitioned back into the Finance side of the business as the Director of Finance for the past four years and was recently promoted to PQM Product Manager for NAM’s rollout of SAP S4.
Despite his formal role, Dustin has always been known as the "data guy." With this understanding of the processes from top to bottom, he can help teams with reporting, answering questions and most importantly, helping people solve problems. One of his proudest moments during his tenure involved helping solve a problem. He created the Computer On Wheels (COWS) for their location, which are large touchscreens on rolling pedestals that allow shop employees to access order schedules, BOMs, and drawings. Dustin mentioned, "My passion has always been to get usable information to those doing the real work." With the diverse variety of people at PALFINGER, he is always learning about new cultures from his coworkers. "I've long said that 'Manufacturing is the ultimate team sport,' and our team brings a vast variety of perspectives and skills to overcome any challenge," he mentioned.
Dustin has a passion for music outside of work, and his wife said that most people would be surprised by his diverse musical tastes. So far this year, he has been to two concerts ranging from hard rock, a band called Red, to the living legend Bob Dylan.
On a parting note, he had this advice for new employees, "Always keep learning and 'keep doing what you got there' which he learned from American football great Barry Sanders."
Jeffery was brought into PALFINGER by his friends, Glenn Smith and Kenny Tubbs, back in 2002! This year marks a very proud moment for him with his 20th anniversary. He started with sales in Ohio and Indiana and has since helped expand the business into Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania as a regional sales manager, with his major customer being Comcast. Additionally, he has also helped open the business up to contractors. He is passionate not only about helping the company open new major accounts but, more importantly, by helping the customer find the right product to fit their needs.
People have always been important to him, and one of his favorite things about working for PALFINGER is the people that Jeffery gets to work with. Whether in the shop, at a customer or at an expo, he enjoys making human connections and having fun with his team.
Most may not know that Jeffery was previously a Vice President of a major retail company! With his wealth of knowledge, he has this advice for new employees, "Ask questions, find someone that knows what they are doing and work with them. Listen. Communicate. Ask Questions."
Oklahoma City: A Dependable Strength
Since the acquisition in 2010, profits have grown. In the initial years following the acquisition, revenue growth increased, accounting for 32% of consolidated revenue (contributing to the areas outside of Europe), and 27% growth was associated with acquisitions made in 2011. Revenue has grown from USD 262 million to USD 1884.2 billion during this time. This rebranding presents an exciting future – with the completed integration of ETI securing a footing in the aerial lift industry for many years to come.
The PALFINGER bucket truck product line will focus on releasing new offerings and models to push the industry forward. The Work-Ready Truck program, which offers a significant advantage by concentrating on superior lead times vs. current market availability, will help lead these efforts. Additionally, offering a quick ship program that provides work-ready units with modifications to the standard offering increases our reach. Through a very focused catalog of products designed to maximize operator efficiency while at the same time maintaining the highest level of efficiency, we will deliver a superior, innovative product and service to our customers.
“We have known ETI for a long time and are excited that the company is becoming part of the PALFINGER Group. ETI allows us to realize our strategy of becoming a truly local player in one of our strategic core business segments. It was just an opportunity that we think by combining forces, that we have more to gain in the future on a combined platform than we do singularly.” said Herbert Ortner, former PALFINGER CEO.