Sixty Years of Machines, Part VI
Part VI: Roller Gantries Enhanced
As housing boomed in the mid-1980s, truss plants needed better equipment. Among those was Heart Truss and Engineering in Michigan. Heart was also benefitting from booming auto plants nearby. Their production head, Bob LePoire, pondered how to keep up....
Sixty Years of Machines, Part IV
Part IV: Early Roller Gantries
The roller gantry dominates today’s truss production, but it hasn’t always done so, despite the fact that it hasn’t changed much over sixty years. The reason for its relatively slow ascendency is found in its origins and in its adaptations over...
Sixty Years of Machines, Part II
Part II: A Pressing Issue
Why reflect on the oft-derided C-Clamp as it fades into truss industry oblivion? Because it holds the world record for truss production, unmatched yet, even by robots. And although it debuted half a century ago, its design has never been equaled. And remarkably, this...
Celebrating 50 Years of Truss Design Innovation
Part VII: A Computer for Every Designer
In 1980, for the first time, I witnessed the PC doing trusses. Then, over the next 10 years, I watched that machine take over every designer’s desktop. Getting to that end, though, wasn’t easy. Unprecedented technological change roiled our...
Rest In Peace, Kenny Cloyd
I was usually the voice on the other side of the phone or computer during my 13 years with WTCA/SBCA, but Ken Cloyd was a person I had the pleasure to meet face-to-face. And believe me, you don’t forget meeting Kenny.
Even though it’s been nearly two years since we’ve had an...
Tom Manenti, Outgoing Chairman of MiTek Industries, Inc.
I know not a steadier and more upright leader than Thomas J. Manenti, who elevated his company from good to great over his 40-year tenure. His characteristic humility and aplomb enabled him to navigate most of his career among strong egos. Tom is the consummate people person who transformed...
Can you feel it? The end of the year is approaching fast. It’s funny how time doesn’t fly at a constant speed, but rather it seems to quicken or slow depending on how much is happening. Now that it’s November, it will keep moving fast until New Years.
Time to Say...
The Last Word:
Not the Last Word on Dick Marriott, Retiring President of MiTek Industries, Inc.
You will search in vain, through the pantheon of sales leaders in the truss industry, for an equal to Richard H. Marriott. You will find contenders, like Charlie Harnden or Dave Chambers, though they left us too soon. You will find a handful of other 40 year veterans, like Dick, but none who...
Las Vegas: OQM 2017
Well, I just returned from the SBCA Open Quarterly Meeting in Las Vegas. It was almost historical. This was the first time that I can remember the OQM being in Las Vegas. It seems a place that has a way of drawing greater attendance for any event and this was true for the OQM.
A great time...
Vivian Hollinshed, R.I.P.
Not one of the fathers of our industry did more design work than Vivian Hollinshed. Over his 55 active years, on the small drafting board behind his desk, this magnificent man named Vivian crafted countless fine homes and innovative commercial buildings. All the while pioneering trusses in a...