Garlock Equipment Company
- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Garlock Equipment Company (GEC) has been serving the roofing construction industry since 1959 when Russell Garlock, founder of GEC, retired from his job as a contractor to start his own roofing equipment business. Over the last 54 years, the GEC team has diversified to offer a range of evolving products and services. Garlock’s team utilizes decades of experience in commercial roofing to develop a broad range of construction and safety equipment.
“We have three companies, all of which are under our parent company, Plymouth Industries,” says Randy Rollins, current president and CEO of GEC. “In addition to GEC, there is Garlock Safety Systems [GSS] and Cimline Pavement Maintenance Group [CPMG].”
Rollins goes on to note that GEC specializes in reroofing tools, handling equipment and other contributing components to roofing projects, while GSS deals mostly with safety equipment for a range of construction applications. Rounding out the parent company’s services, CPMG manufactures and markets machinery for pavement projects and upkeep. Together, the three branches of Plymouth Industries serve contractors in multiple industries.
GEC and its sister companies operate primarily out of Plymouth, Minn., and together, the Plymouth Industries group employs 140 people. The collective team’s expertise has caught the attention of clients all over the country, who have come to rely on Plymouth Industries for quality brands, innovative machinery and safety equipment.
“About 90 percent of our business is in North America,” Rollins explains. “Four years ago, we started our international division. Most of our customers are in the U.S. and Canada, but we are developing our global business.”
Market changes and fluctuating expenses have had an impact on the business, but Rollins and his team aim to streamline while diversifying. “Our biggest cost is in materials for fabrication of our products, as well as labor,” he explains. “We do sub out some work, but a majority is performed from within the company. The challenge lately has been market evolution. The company has to keep changing in order to stay competitive. We are always looking for the best way to rebrand and renew ourselves.”
Rollins has taken on a strong leadership role since he started working with GEC. “It was one of those things where you are in the right place at the right time,” he explains. “I was recruited because of my previous experience in the industrial equipment industry.” Rollins is proud to note that 2013 will mark his five-year mark with the business.
New Avenues in Business
GEC is continually rolling out new products and services to offer clients. “The biggest thing for us right now is increasing our line of safety products,” Rollins elaborates. “We are currently developing a full line of fall protection equipment. We have carved out a niche in roofing safety, but we want to extend further into the construction industry.”
Rollins is confident in GEC’s ability to diversify. “We have also been developing a new line of melter-applicators,” he explains. “The applicator attaches to a trailer and is used on highway and road rehabilitation products. It heats up the sealant to apply to cracks and damage on the road, and is a growing piece of our road maintenance equipment offering through CPMG.”
Another growing avenue is the team’s reach into green building. “With safety equipment, we are reaching out to solar panel installers,” Rollins explains. “That’s our next goal, coinciding with our ongoing augmentation of safety equipment. The alternative energy route is promising, and six months from now we hope to establish ourselves in that arena.”
The green energy industry is rapidly expanding, and because so many homes and businesses are now choosing to supplement energy use with solar technology, the utilization of safety fall protection equipment during technology installs is a developing market waiting to be filled. Much of the equipment used for roofers serves a similar purpose to the needs of solar installers, and the GEC and GSS teams are well prepared to fill the demand.
Despite a changing economic climate, GEC is diversified enough to distribute business between several markets and industries. Rollins and his team have seen the potential to apply technology already used to new purposes, expanding GEC’s footprint in the marketplace. An example of this is the use of the melter applicators technology, where GEC has developed a series of waterproofing machines for rooftop waterproofing.
With an efficient, experienced product development team, GEC works with customers to build equipment that best suits the productivity needs of workers while complying with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. The team’s ability to evolve with the market has ensured longevity for the company, and attracted repeat business all over the world.
At GEC, safety and productivity are a priority. These two components are critical in building successful products that carry-over to application, saving customers time and money while offering a safe work environment. Garlock Equipment Company and its sister businesses are focused on end-use, guaranteeing durable, useable and safe products for customers in a range of industries.
For more information about Garlock Equipment Company, please visit: www.garlockequip.com, www.railguard.net and www.cpmg.info.
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