Volume 3 | Issue 4 | Year 2000

Lorie Russo explains how at one Indiana plant, making waste-handling equipment is an art.

It’s not the most romantic of manufacturing fields. But waste management is something necessary and to do it well, you need the backing of solid business strength and creative know-how.A company headquartered in Indiana has both of these. Begun as a blacksmith shop in 1945, Galbreath traditionally has produced waste-handling equipment with a two-fold purpose: to serve customers’ requirements with the highest level of quality; and to make a positive impact on the environment. Those on the manufacturing side of the business also have raised their expertise to the level of art. As part of their 50-year tradition, welders proudly sign their work by welding initials onto the interior sidewalls of every container. What else testify to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of each piece of equipment?

“Our business is all about customer service,” says Rob Howe, vice president of administration. “We’re known as a high-quality manufacturer but there’s a lot of competition in this industry.” Thanks to Galbreath’s large capacity, the company can handle the many requirements of large-scale conglomerates while penetrating regional markets.

No Challenge Unmet

“In the past three years we’ve taken each product and developed more cost-efficient ways of manufacturing,” explains Howe, adding that Galbreath’s customers are at the top of the ladder in the waste management industry. “A lot of consolidation on that side of the business presents a challenge to us.”

But at Galbreath, now the No. 1 provider of roll-off hoists to those waste companies, no challenge goes unmet. “Roll-off hoists are at the core of our product line,” Howe adds. Galbreath, he explains, sells mostly through a distributor network; 65 percent of its containers and hoppers are sold directly to the end user. The company’s combined 448,000 square feet of manufacturing space is divided among three locations: 225,000 in two plants both located at the corporate headquarters in Winamac, Ind.; 126,000 square feet in Mansfield, Texas; and 97,000 square feet in Ider, Ala. Howe says the company finished last year with $65 million in sales. “This year, we’re projecting a modest increase to $67 million,” he says.

Product Samples

Galbreath’s multimillion dollars in annual sales results from engineering the best hoists, compactors, hoppers, containers and balers in the industry. Following is a sample of the company’s product line:

  • Roll-off hoists: These are manufactured with less weight without sacrificing strength to increase payload, using the finest materials and componentry for product longevity. Galbreath pioneered the three-way hydraulic filtering system that virtually eliminates contamination. Hoists are spring- loaded with front container safety locks and replaceable cast swivel cable ends. Three-point greaseable hinges with a free floating hinge pin add longer service life. No one offers more models and options for job specific applications. Lightweight design increases the payload up to 2,000 pounds.
  • Hook hoists: The RightHook™ series offers economy and versatility by performing multiple functions such as dumping, spreading, transporting, flushing, hauling, recycling and cleaning. Offered in single, tandem and multi-axle applications, Galbreath hook hoists use the most advanced hook lift technology available today — up to a 62-degree dump angle for clean discharge. Capacities range from 9,000 up to 60,000 pounds.
  • Compactors: Model PF stationary compactors meet the needs of compacting waste materials at most commercial and industrial applications. PakForce compactors incorporate advanced electronic circuitry to eliminate the use of pressure switches and limit switches, which minimizes maintenance while controlling compactor operations. Standard features include a 2.09-cubic-yard NSWMA rating, a two-year minimum warranty, a 16-inch deep ram penetration, maximum packing forces of 63,000 pounds and a 75-second cycle time. The GP series is known for durability and reliable operation, and the front-load model PM6FS Pack Man is ideal for fast-food restaurants, nursing homes and other smaller-volume locations requiring secure, leak-resistant waste handling.
  • Self-dumping hoppers: These are designed for fork-lift handling of materials, and are used for plant housekeeping, in-process material handling, sorting and storing operations, and scrap collection. Hoppers have a 3/16-inch (7-gauge) body with angle reinforcement formed steel base. Galbreath also offers heavy-duty self-dumping hoppers and manual dock carts.
  • Balers: More than just a piece of equipment, Galbreath’s balers are backed by the company’s 50-year tradition of manufacturing excellence and responsive customer service. “We sell a total package of quality and service support,” Howe explains. “The entire line of vertical balers is backed by a nationwide network of dealers.”
  • Containers: Galbreath manufactures a complete line of roll-off containers in all sizes and capacities. Constructed of heavy-gauge steel, Galbreath containers are designed with an understructure that features a solid-steel nose cone, gusseted cross members and grease fittings on all working parts for durability. Galbreath containers are engineered to fit most major brands of roll-off hoist systems.

Diversity for the Future

One of the ways in which Galbreath plans to continue its extensive customer service approach is by diversifying its distributor and marketing approach to reach a broader customer base.

“We need to expand and get more plants throughout the country,” Howe adds. “Once we get outside a specific region, it’s hard to be competitive because of the cost of transporting freight.”

Rest assured, however, that Galbreath will continue its 50-year tradition of designing and manufacturing the best equipment for the waste management industry. “We have a pretty full and broad offering of products,” adds Howe. “There’s only a handful of manufacturers in the country offering as broad a product range.”