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Rugby Manufacturing undergoes expansion

By Staff | Sep 20, 2019

An aerial photograph of Rugby Manufacturing taken in 2000.

Rugby Manufacturing is in the midst of an expansion to its existing space.

Work began in July on a 45,000-square foot expansion. Construction is slated for completion in November, and projects related to the expansion are expected to be completed in 2020.

General Manager Jeff Duchscher said some drivers behind the expansion include installation and implementation of new equipment; improvements to workflow and consistent quality; and growth.

Duchscher said Rugby Manufacturing has been seeing growth every year for the last 10 years.

“About two to three years ago we got to the point where we’re just struggling to accomplish what we need to [within] the four walls that we currently have,” said Duchscher. “So we started looking at some different options, some different ideas.”

Rugby Manufacturing has been a part of the Rugby community since 1969. Started by the Socha family, the company was originally located on the south side of U.S. Highway 2. The company moved to the northeast corner of the community known as the Industrial Park several years later, and continues to operate in that location to this day.

The move to its current location provided Rugby Manufacturing more space and growth opportunities.

When the company started, it produced agriculture products for distribution in the Midwest. It transitioned to commercial products in the late ’70s and ’80s with a focus on dump truck beds and hoists. Eventually, Rugby Manufacturing expanded distribution of those products into the entire country and into Canada.

Since its inception, Rugby Manufacturing has become a household name in the truck equipment industry and North America’s leading designer and manufacturer of Class 3-5 dump truck bodies and hoists. Rugby also builds landscape bodies, platform bodies, and other related truck equipment and accessories.”

Duchscher said platform bodies has been one area in which Rugby Manufacturing has a lot of growth potential.

“That’s a product line we’ve put a lot of focus and emphasis on, and we’ve seen tremendous potential in that product the last two to three years,” said Duchscher. “And that’s a big driver behind our growth recently. One of the reasons we’re looking to continue to expand is that additional product line that we’re striving to be an industry leader in those as well.”

Duchscher said there are a lot of “great things and success” that area residents don’t see that happen at Rugby Manufacturing, “but our MW worth ethic help build product that stands apart from what our competitors are able to do, and that’s the pride our employees have and the community should have as well.”

“Manufacturing, more than most industries, is about the process, but even more about the teamwork of the people and it’s the people that make the company,” Duchscher said. “For me, it’s just exciting. We’ve built a great company, we’ve built a great brand. It’s continuing to grow because of what the people in this area have done.”

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