We’ve all seen this company’s equipment in use in the industries such as telecommunications, utility and power transmission and distribution. We call them bucket trucks or cherry pickers. TIME Manufacturing Company calls them its life’s blood.
Serving companies like Verizon, Northeast Utilities and Qwest, these truck-mounted aerial lifts are produced by TIME Manufacturing Company of Waco, Texas. Located in the heart of Waco’s Industrial Park, TIME Manufacturing operates two facilities – one dedicated to the Versalift product line and the other focused on manufacturing Condor products – which total about 350,000 square feet.
“It’s easy to pick out our units from the pack. Our products already have brand recognition because when people see that red and black diamond, they know it’s a Versalift and they know it’s a quality product,” says Renee Sanders, Marketing Services Manager.
What people might not know, however, is that TIME Manufacturing Company is the manufacturer of not only the Versalift brand, but of the Condor brand as well. “It’s kind of like how GM is the manufacturer of Chevrolet and Buick” says Dean Haun, Vice President of Materials Management.
TIME Manufacturing’s equipment is used throughout the world in a wide range of applications, including electric power transmission and distribution, telecommunications, tree maintenance and tree care, contractors, sign companies, de-icing equipment and also by governmental agencies.
TIME Manufacturing offers a wide variety of products ranging in height from 29 feet to 210 feet. The Versalift product line offers more than 30 models, each designed for specific applications requiring height reaches of 29 to 100 feet and includes articulated overcenter and non-overcenter units as well as telescopic and telescopic/articulated devices. The Versalift brand also includes a line of remote-controlled digger derricks used for pole-line construction. “These units dig holes and then can lift and set poles in the hole using the attached claw,” explains Haun. “The problem using these units in the past was that an operator had to be in the back of the truck to operate the controls and another worker had to be at the site of the hole to help guide the worker at the controls. Now, with our remote-controlled unit, it only requires one operator who can stand at the hole with these remote controllers on a shoulder harness. He can thereby operate everything by himself.”
The Condor line of products is used for applications requiring reaches of 100-plus feet and offers both insulated and non-insulated models to correctly meet the user’s application needs. These insulated work platforms are designed with a fiberglass boom, allowing utility men to work on hot power lines. As a result, the Condor line is quickly becoming TIME Manufacturing’s fastest-growing business segment. “The European market is becoming hot for us right now because they used to have to shut down their power lines,” Haun says, “Now they can work on them hot, using our equipment.” Haun adds that China is a major purchaser of the Condor line because the country is in the process of bolstering its infrastructure. “Their economy is growing so fast and their infrastructure is lagging behind their growth,” he says. “So they are building all of that up and they need more advanced power lines to help build their infrastructure. They are buying a lot of our Condor units to help them in this endeavor.”
TIME Manufacturing has seen many ‘firsts’ since the development of the first Versalift unit in 1965. Once such first includes TIME’s “Electroguard” design. “We were the first company in the industry to develop the Electroguard design, which consists of a fiberglass-protected end on the boom lift,” Haun says. “We even had the design patented. Now others in the industry have followed in our footsteps and have implemented the same-type design.”
Another first is TIME Manufacturing’s Condor CTA-104-I insulated, articulated and telescoping unit. “It’s first in its class. Just imagine an insulated unit reaching over 100 feet that is also mounted on a commercial chassis. The primary benefit here is that should there be an issue with the chassis, the customer has more selection of available service facilities.” Prior to TIME Manufacturing’s CTA-104-I, aerial work platforms were designed and mounted on custom chassis, which limited the user’s variety of service facilities.
Pragmatic about the aerial lift industry itself, Haun acknowledges that the leading difference between various product manufacturers is mostly a matter of customer preference. He is quick to note, however, that TIME Manufacturing takes a different approach in its manufacturing process. “We take every possible step to ensure that we are manufacturing the highest-quality product that our customers need. One thing that sets us apart is that we paint each of our piece parts individually before assembling our units. What this means for customers is that they are receiving a stronger paint bond on each of the parts, which helps prevent rusting and serves to strengthen the overall assembled unit,” Haun says.
The global goal
Using a global network of distributors suits TIME Manufacturing well, agree Haun and Sanders. “Unlike many in the industry, we work directly through distributorships across the world. Having this kind of arrangement frees us so we can focus more on manufacturing high-quality, innovative products,” Sanders says. Haun adds that the company operates service centers throughout the world. “This puts the service centers in areas local to where the customer needs them to be,” he says.
All the lifts are manufactured at TIME Manufacturing’s Texas facility and are then shipped to the customer’s local distributor. These distributors arrange to have the lifts mounted on the customer’s choice of chassis. “Customization is key to helping meet the needs of the customer. If the customer wants the lift mounted on a Ford, GM, snow track or otherwise we’ll mount it on their selected chassis so long as it meets the recommended specifications for the application.”
For overseas orders, lifts are also exported to distributorships. “Once received, the unit is then mounted on the selected chassis. With the variety of chassis available overseas, it’s not uncommon to see our units mounted on chassis such as Mercedes or Volvo, whichever truck chassis is most popular in any given destination country,” Haun says.
With its export segment growing rapidly, TIME Manufacturing now operates an export office in Denmark. “That office began with only one salesman traveling throughout Europe and has now expanded to 17 employees, from which we cover the entire Eastern Hemisphere,” says Haun.
TIME Manufacturing operates 34 U.S. distributorships and 21 export distributorships. Distributor personnel are factory-trained to the high standards of TIME Manufacturing Company and are certified for both the Versalift and Condor brands.
Committed to its customers, TIME Manu-facturing decided to stay the course and continue its growth internally, rather than through acquisition. “One of our competitors went out of business last year; we turned down the opportunity to buy them out because we felt we could continue to grow our own business internally through the strength of our well-recognized brands,” Haun says.
The positive culmination of this decision resulted in TIME Manufacturing’s recent release of several new products. One such product is the new Versalift VST-6000, the only articulated, telescoping unit on the market with a horizontal reach of 60 feet. “Mounted on a commercial chassis, the major benefit is that it offers customers more versatility in allowing them to be able to have more side reach than any other unit currently on the market,” says Haun.
A leader in the industry that continually provides cutting-edge, innovative products, TIME Manufacturing will continue to build on its leadership reputation, says Haun, “by listening to our customers and gaining insight into their ever-changing
needs, then developing new innovations so these customers can be more efficient in their work” – a process proven effective over TIME.