This company is on top of the truck-body industry, yet is always looking for ways to improve. Bill Walsh has the story.
Morgan Corporation began operations in 1952, in a small welding shop in Morgantown, Pa. Elton E. Mountz started the company, then known as Mountz Welding, in a small building once used for the manufacture of Conestoga wagons during the 1800s. A true visionary, Mountz turned a near-disaster into the spring-board for the tremendous success of his business. A snowfall collapsed the roof of his shop, and he replaced it with a plant twice its size. His increased base of operations, combined with the opening of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, inspired him to enter into the business of repairing and refurbishing trailers and truck equipment. Shortly thereafter, in 1960, the company became Morgan Trailer Manufacturing Co. and expanded further into the assembly, mounting and
finishing of van bodies.
Ten years later, Morgan was building its own van bodies, using an innovative design that was lighter and stronger. Morgan Corporation, as the company has been known since 1981, has been flourishing ever since, and is now the world’s largest manufacturer of truck bodies.
Despite all Morgan’s success, the company always looks for ways to improve the way it does business. Its unique “Teaming Process” draws upon the experience, skill, and creativity of employees to constantly improve products, create new ones, and increase efficiency. According to President and C.E.O. Peter Hunt, “During the past year, we have made many changes at Morgan so that we can respond better to our customers’ needs and applications.” He continues, “Organizational changes have been made in manufacturing, customer service, engineering, finance and human resources to reduce our costs and improve our quality and delivery. We have set goals in all these areas, and our people have responded fabulously.”
Truck and Van Bodies for Everyone’s Needs Morgan has a truck body for virtually any application and can custom-make one to a customers’ specification. In fact, 30 percent of the bodies are custom built.
Morgan has four product lines: Dry Freight Van Bodies, Refrigerated Van Bodies, Parcel Van Bodies and Platform Bodies. The Dry Freight product line features two designs – the traditional sheet and post and the fiberglass reinforced wood. Both designs are built on three-inch I-beam crossmembers with four-inch longrails, which allow lower overall height, an improved aerodynamic profile, better handling and greater stability. Both also offer maximum interior payload space. Roof to bumper, each Dry Freight Van Body is designed for superior strength and performance.
Aside from superior construction, Morgan’s Refrigerated Van body line features a unique thermal barrier, which minimizes heat loss while the door is open. A convenient side door option is available; Morgan also installs the refrigeration unit.
Cold-Star(tm) refrigerated trucks are designed to be lightweight, thus allowing for greater payloads, and are available in a wide variety of sizes and chassis types.
The line of Parcel Vans features Morgan’s trademark strength and reliability, as well as a chassis, depending upon the model, built by leaders in the automotive industry – Ford, GMC, and Chevrolet.
Morgan’s fourth line is the platform, which has recently been redesigned and features a heavy-duty steel frame that can accommodate wood or steel floor options. This multifunction truck body offers new galvanized steel or wood racks for a wide variety of applications.
Morgan uses only the best materials in the construction of its truck bodies. They are assembled, one at a time, to customers’ specific needs. Hunt says, “The trucking industry has had tremendous growth in the past year. Morgan has participated in this growth; and despite the 20 percent-plus increase in demand, we have improved delivery performance from 70 percent on-time early in 1998 to 90 percent on-time at the end of the year.
We are continuing to make changes in manufacturing processes to reduce lead-times and improve delivery accuracy by working closely with customers and chassis suppliers.”
Morgan’s dedication to its customers doesn’t end upon delivery of the truck; in fact, it’s just the beginning. Morgan’s support and service are available across the country. There is a consistent inventory of 50,000 replacement parts kept among Morgan’s nation- wide warehouses, service branches, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities. This significantly reduces downtime for maintenance and repairs.
New Products for the New Millennium
Among Morgan’s new products are the flatbed truck, with an ingenious rack system, and a line of insulated dry-freight trucks. While neither heated nor refrigerated, this line of truck bodies keeps cargo, such as flowers or produce, at a constant temperature.
Another innovative new product recently introduced by Morgan is the Poly-Tuff Corner Cap, a rounded cap put on the corners of the truck body. It improves the overall structural strength of the truck body, has superior aerodynamics and is easy to replace. Another advantage, aside from giving trucks a sleeker, less boxy look, is that the lights mounted on the cap can be replaced easily outside of the truck. Improvements in the company don’t stop at its product line. According to Hunt, “Last year we started on
the path to ISO 9000 certification and also started new programs to certify our suppliers’ quality and set goals for plant quality measures.”
Morgan Corporation is poised for even more success in the next millennium, with new programs being put in place to better serve their customers. Hunt ex-plains, “As we go forward, we will focus on the improvement of our aftermarket sales and service and expansion of the advanced handling systems group into new markets. We will aggressively add new offerings to our product line. We’ll also introduce a simpler, more customer-friendly order entry and quotation system, enabling us to quickly configure custom bodies and give quotations rapidly.”