Goodfellow Crushers Corporation
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: James Tompkins
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Utah-based Goodfellow Crushers Corporation (GCC) is a builder of custom crushing equipment and plants. GCC has lived through many incarnations and is now owned and operated by a man who is gunning after the title, “the most interesting man in the world.” That Dos Equis guy had better watch his back.
Lynn Goodfellow officially started GCC in 1960 to service Southern California. “I didn’t even graduate from high school,” says Goodfellow. “I just started fixing up construction equipment for people. I’m a mechanic and a welder.”
GCC’s early days entailed a team that offered heavy equipment rentals and trucking. The company experienced steady gradual growth until 1974 when Goodfellow moved to Kanab, Utah, to raise a family. At that time Goodfellow scaled down the business, but says he never closed down.
GCC moved in 1988 to Boulder City, Nev., for a little elbowroom. The company has since expanded with additional locations in Lindon, Utah, as well as San Bernardino, Calif. Goodfellow’s son, Kurt, co-owns the family business. The father-son duo share executive responsibilities, although Goodfellow insists, “My boy runs the company now. I’m semi-retired.”
How to Become an Engineer
Goodfellow was flying a company-owned Cessna 180 over Wyoming in 1985 – that’s right, he’s a pilot, too – when, according to the FAA’s report of the incident, the aircraft nosed over during an attempted landing on a narrow road. The plane flipped over and traveled 76 feet through a field of boulders before coming to rest. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but Goodfellow and his passengers were seriously injured.
“The insurance company paid a fortune to have me fixed up,” Goodfellow relays. “My face caved in the dash of the airplane 4.5 inches, so a lot of facial reconstructive surgery was required. I had to have my spine rebuilt, too.”
Goodfellow was sent to the University of Utah where doctors attempted hypnosis to try and reveal the cause of the accident. “They had me take all sorts of tests,” he recalls. “Most of them I scored about average or just below. The last test I took was an engineering test.” The doctor who had administered Goodfellow’s tests had been at the institution for over 30 years. When he looked over the results, he asked Goodfellow if he had graduated from MIT.
“I said, ‘What the heck is MIT?'” says Goodfellow. No one had come close to Goodfellow’s score on the engineering test since it was created. “I guess that’s how I became an engineer,” he laughs.
He isn’t about to lose it, either; Goodfellow keeps his mind sharp at work by developing new products in his free time. The lifelong tinkerer has built a high-speed diesel-powered, streamline racer dubbed “the Mormon Missile.” The Missile boasts one of the fastest diesel engines in the world and Goodfellow has taken the car up to 333 miles per hour on Utah’s salt flats. In the late summer 2008, Goodfellow was racing his streamliner when the coolant caught fire.
“I got cooked in that car,” says Goodfellow. Once again he was rushed to the hospital, this time with third-degree burns on his head and hands; he had eight of his fingers removed. A little fire couldn’t stop the Mormon daredevil, though, and Goodfellow continues to improve his car and race it to this day.
Innovative Solutions for Specialized Industries
With Goodfellow leading the way, GCC has faced every storm head on. GCC specializes in custom-built crushing equipment, though the market has dropped off for crushers in the construction industry. According to Goodfellow, though, the company has a steady flow of orders rolling in from mining operations all over North America.
“There’s been a big push for this kind of equipment over the past few years,” he explains. “It’s really put us over the top.” To note, GCC has contracts with operations in Virginia City, Nev., and Durango, Mexico.
The business shares the success with GCC’s partner the Astec Group, which includes KPI and JCI, which are major manufacturers of heavy equipment. “We’re the biggest dealer in the world of their products,” Goodfellow says.
Goodfellow compares his business in size and volume to a Caterpillar dealership. The difference between GC and the standard dealership, however, is that Goodfellow and the GCC team operates primarily through purchasing components, and then assembling custom machines for clients.
“If you go to KPI, you’ll only get what KPI builds,” Goodfellow explains. “We buy their components, screens, jaws, feeders, whatever, and we custom-build our product.” He goes on to explain that GCC also owns the largest fleet of KPI track-crushers in the world.
As far as Goodfellow is aware, GCC is the only turnkey custom-crusher manufacturer in the world, where everything is performed in-house. “We have our own cranes and nine-axle trailers,” he elaborates. “We’ve got an electrical division; we manufacture our own conveyors and our own crusher plants.” The company builds the plants start to finish and services its massive products once commissioned, which is an impressive feat.
The keys to Goodfellow’s success both in business and personal life seem to be diversity and drive. The businessman started with nothing but his hands and his brain, and built a successful business that regularly cranks out innovative, efficient products. Goodfellow has weathered obstacles ranging from a lack of education to near-death, but still comes back for more. Goodfellow is passing on these core values to the next generation at Goodfellow Crushers Corporation to ensure nothing short of unstoppable.
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