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Sustained Growth for Pelsue in Lamar

Frames for Trailers

Frames for Trailers

The Pelsue Assembly Plant in Lamar is the smaller counterpart of the original headquarters established in Brad Pelsue’s garage in Englewood in 1963. The 15 acre Lamar operation, managed by Mike Bryant on the southern edge of town on Highway 287, has seen a significant growth rate since it re-opened two years ago.  “We started with four employees and me, and we’re now up to 20 employees and I’ve just visited the Lamar Workforce Center to let them know we’re hiring eight additional workers,” Bryant explained.

New Expansion at Rear of Plant

New Expansion at Rear of Plant

Pelsue, which manufactures and assembles a mobile, self-contained fiber-optics work trailer, is housed in what years ago, was the former Gunsmithing Academy across from Spreading Antlers Golf Course. It opened and closed once and re-opened two years ago and has added to its employee staff and production output since that point. Bryant said the company uses manufacturing materials from local businesses, “We have the shell, the outer body of the trailer made by Axel Thurner’s operation, C.F. Maier and Altek makes the harnesses for our electrical wiring.”

Welding Cage

Welding Cage

The mobile trailers are a self-contained workshop specifically designed to repair optic wiring out in the field, in all kinds of weather. “They are powered by self-contained generators that run on gas, diesel, natural gas or can plug into an outside power source.  This runs the lights, repair shop and the heater or air conditioner depending on their location or the season,” Bryant said.  He added that the trailers are built to hold from one to three persons with the smaller ones usually put in use in  congested areas such as downtown in a city.  “We also manufacture the frames you see bordering manholes, plus the covers as well as ventilation systems that pipe in hot or chilled fresh air to the underground workers.  And we produce wooden scaffolding that insulates workers from electricity when they work in water.”

Finished and Ready to Ship

Finished and Ready to Ship

ATT&T is their major customer and future property acquisitions such as Dish TV or orders from Century Link and Frontier Telephone have helped accelerate the trailer demand. “We usually produce five trailers a week and an order is picked up from our loading dock and is on its way,” Bryant said.  The proximity to north or southbound routes is an advantage for the company.  Future expansion calls for a larger and separate welding shop which will be moved to the work area facing the highway.  Another product line is mobile broadcast antennae’s. Bryant said these can be used to replace towers that are downed due to weather such as tornados or hurricanes.  “They’re mobile and will be wheeled in to an area with downed communication systems and in 20 minutes, they can be operational for a quarter mile radius.”

Most of the Pelsue employees receive on the job training, but a background in carpentry, power tools, wrenches or some basic electric experience is a plus. Bryant said his background at Neoplan USA helped with production line work which is similar to how Pelsue constructs their trailers.  “Some people just deal with fenders or framework or installing cabinetry inside, but everyone is basically cross-trained.  We have 12 employees in bodywork and the rest for the frame shop.  Frames go faster, so one section can help the other get the job done.”

Bryant added, “We have a very good company that looks out for its employees. We also build a highly rated product.  Our warranty claims are under 1%, so we are producing a quality piece of machinery.”

By Russ Baldwin

 

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