Winter Equipment and the American Dream
For Kent Winter, the founder of Winter Equipment, owning a company has always been about employing others. From the very beginning, everything Kent has done has been with the goal of never having to lay anyone off during the summer season. Through hard work, persistence, and commitment to employees and manufacturing in the United States, Winter Equipment has established itself as an exemplary company and leader in the snow removal industry.
For the majority of his life, Kent has been surrounded by steel and snow. He grew up in Utah and attended Utah State University. After graduating with a degree in Welding Engineering, Kent relocated to Cleveland, Ohio to work as a salesman for Lincoln Electric. He spent 13 years there, learning about the welding industry and working on steel fabrication. Kent began tinkering with the idea of starting his own company when a friend gave him a brochure on snowplow cutting blades.
In the beginning, Winter Equipment consisted of just Kent working out of his house. He was determined to create snowplow blades that would last longer than what was on the market. Presently, Kent's patented plow guard is the industry standard. The first four to five years of the business was all trial and error; Kent needed to get the idea right and decide on the best way to execute it. The first sale- for five products- was based on a model created with popsicle sticks and graph paper. After the initial order, Kent began selling to big snow truck companies and city departments of transportation. However, selling the model and actually delivering on the product were two different things. Kent's next move was to figure out where to make the blades--the orange paint stained floor of his home would no longer suffice. Within six years the initial sales, Winter Equipment was conceived, and the company has been growing ever since.
From day one, Winter Equipment has been committed to the ethos Made in America. From using steel fabricated in Ohio to manufacturing completely in the US, Winter Equipment has stuck with its original ideal. The company's commitment to Made in America extends beyond sourcing and manufacturing to employing as many local people as possible.
True to it's Made in America commitment, Winter Equipment Values community and strives to give back to society. To support its goal of maintaining continuity of employment, Winter Equipment never has layoffs. With the unpredictable nature of winter, the company does not want to risk losing its loyal, skilled employees. Instead, during mild winters employees will work full time for charities while still being paid by Winter Equipment. Employees feel rewarded when they contribute their time and expertise to the community and are proud to be part of a company that endorses service to others.
Snow Removal Industry
The snow removal industry is changing due to always changing weather patterns and technological advancements. Winter Equipment prides itself on staying ahead of the storm. States that previously did not have snow now confront the need to invest in and learn about snow removal practices. Winter Equipment engages with these new markets, training clients in the cutting edge applications of their state-of-the-art snow removal equipment. New technology paves the way for creating more efficient blade systems with longer lasting edges, thus reducing reliance on salt. With better edges, trucks can stay on the road for longer periods of time. Winter Equipment is proud to be a leader in the future of the snow removal industry. The company consistently innovates to bring new, cost-effective ideas to the forefront.
For Kent, establishing a dynamic and vital company founded on hard work, ingenuity, and integrity, where employees are valued as its greatest asset, has been the American dream come true.