A. Stucki has helped rail companies deliver freight for over a hundred years. See how this reconditioner and manufacturer is expanding beyond their rail capabilities in the 21st century.
Even as we move into more technologically evolved ways of doing business and transporting goods in the United States, one mode of transportation has provided the backbone for growth and expansion of the U.S. population and economy for well over a century.
The U.S. freight rail network is a $60 billion industry, moving more freight than any other system worldwide and providing over 221,000 jobs. But freight rail’s success and efficiency balances on the support of businesses like A. Stucki Company, a leading manufacturer of railcar dynamic control products since 1911.
Stucki began by reconditioning and manufacturing a few components on freight cars. Today, the company offers a much-expanded line of products and reconditioning services, in part due to several acquisitions—notably American Industries, Alco Spring Industries Inc., and Seco Machine—that have broadened its capabilities.
Driving Beyond Rail
Just like rail supported the growth of a nation, it also provided the foundation for Stucki to pursue business opportunities in different marketplaces in the modern era, such as mining and other industrial settings.
“As a 100-plus year-old company, Stucki is well respected in rail,” said Daniel J. Mihalcak, Vice President of Industrial/Commerical. “By creating our commercial industrial group, we are showing a whole new group of people what we can do for customers outside the rail industry.”
All of Stucki’s previous acquisitions were focused in the rail industry. Now, with its attention partially geared toward other industrial segments, the company is looking further than it has in its long history.
“For example, Seco Machine started as a supplier for machine components, specifically bearings, for companies like Timken and Amsted Rail,” said Mihalcak. “But these machines, when programmable, don’t just have to make bearings for freight car axles. There’s a lot of opportunity to create or recondition products for the mining industry and others.”
Mihalcak and the rest of the leaders at A. Stucki Company have been pursuing the industrial market for about a year now, and have been able to make a lot of headway thanks to its structure of manufacturer's representatives across the country.
“In the past we used direct sellers, but we needed a lot of them and spent a lot of money on this model. Today, each manufacturer’s rep has a list of our products and connections in several industries, not just rail,” he shared.
It’s no surprise that a company committed to excellence in reconditioning would also bring the focus of continuous improvement into its organization.
“From the product perspective, we’re always looking to make both our reconditioned products and newly manufactured products better, whether that be stronger, safer, or lighter,” shared Mihalcak.
“From a people perspective, Stucki is dedicated to educating our valued employees while bringing in new, young talent, and providing opportunities from the ground floor up.”
The Stucki difference—and what has allowed the company to grow like it has first in rail and now in other industries—is its people. Mihalcak admitted that a few years ago, the company was less focused on fit and more focused on potential employees’ skills. Today, fit plays a much bigger part in determining who’s right for the job.
“You can’t teach experience,” he said. “You can give your people the tools to create their experience, but you have to choose people who are interested in building that foundation with you.”
Stucki Company continues to pursue opportunities in the rail industry, but its ventures outside of its established market are creating exciting times for the company.
Through acquisitions, some organic growth, and its culture of reliability and flexibility, Stucki will no doubt see new success outside the rail industry.
A. Stucki Company is a leader in the manufacture and supply of railroad components including constant contact side bearings, resilient friction shoes, hydraulic stabilizers, draft gears, and brake beams. Through its subsidiaries, the company also provides freight and locomotive component repair and reconditioning services; hot wound coiled spring manufacturing; high-quality iron castings; precision CNC turning and milling; and custom molded urethane products. The company was founded in 1911, and has been privately owned ever since.
A. Stucki Company HQ
360 Wright Brothers Drive
Moon Township, PA 15108
email [email protected]