By Eric Peterson | May 16, 2018
Fort Morgan, Colorado
Trailers and truck beds
Fort Morgan, Colorado
Industry: Industrial & Equipment
Products: Trailers and truck beds
Curtis Busby started Temco at an old truck stop in Fort Morgan. He later sponsored John's Hansen Racing team in the IMCA modified circuit. That relationship had provided an introduction, and the Hansens later saw buying Temco as a good opportunity.
"Curtis ran it for a little over 30 years and he was ready to retire," says Brandy. "My husband and I bought it from him in 2016."
"We liked the customer base," adds John. "It's good old boys, farmers and ranchers, and construction."
John's background in engineering and manufacturing for the oil and gas industry and Brandy's experience in sales for OtterBox have proven a good fit for Temco.
For the first year of their ownership, the Hansens didn't rock the boat. "The best advice we got was, 'Don't change anything the first year,'" says Brandy. "We've kind of stuck to that." That meant they initially stuck to Busby's standard catalog of heavy-duty truck beds and car, livestock, hydraulic dump, and other trailers.
After learning the ropes, the Hansens made some moves. "The second year, we've been branching out," says John. The biggest was entering the OEM market, supplying a pair of manufacturers with trailers for mobile generators and lighting towers, largely for end users in the drilling business. That has spurred the company to more than double its staff to meet demand. Sales grew by 85 percent from 2016 to 2017, and Brandy projects another 50 to 60 percent uptick for 2018.
It wasn't the original plan. "We thought we'd get rid of trailers and focus on truck beds," says John. "God had different plans for us."
Beyond the OEM work, Temco's differentiator is its ability to customize. "Because we build everything in-house, we can make a lot of minor shifts," says Brandy. For a landscaping customer, that meant adding shovel holders and other features to a standard truck bed.
Customers are largely regional. "We don't go east too much," says John. "We have some good dealers in Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico."
Hansen Racing continues to circle the track. John still races, but "not as often because we're so busy," he laughs. And Temco's still a sponsor, but since the Hansens bought the company, "It really doesn't count."
Challenges: "Right now, fluctuating steel prices are hard to keep up with," says John. "In the past four weeks [as of early April 2018], I've seen some items up 27 percent." In response, he adds, "We've been scrambling to update our pricing."
Opportunities: "The biggest opportunity we have is in-house operational efficiency," says Brandy. John's manufacturing background led him to realize Temco could improve by way of modern processes.
Premium truck beds are another opportunity. John's concepts were pushed to the back burner when the trailer business blew up, but that's changing. "John has some innovative ideas for truck beds," says Brandy. "We just haven't had time to R&D and prototype them."
Needs: People. "We might bring on another five [employees in 2018]," says Brandy. The goal is to find hard workers who are "willing to learn."
Space is another issue, she adds. "We're out of physical buildings. We might end up going to a double shift."
"It's kind of chopped up," says John. "We have four different buildings right now that average 5,000 square feet. Temco also has a 3,200-square-foot building coming online this year, but the Hansens anticipate the need for a long-term solution soon. "We wouldn't move," he says. "It would be new buildings." Within the need is an opportunity to build with operational efficiency in mind, he adds.