Truck Bodies and Equipment International Inc. has begun a multi-million-dollar expansion and continuous improvement project at its Lake Crystal, MN facility. The expansion will add 55,000 square feet to the manufacturing footprint.
Eldon and Helen Jones, the founders of Crysteel Manufacturing, opened the original Lake Crystal facility in 1970. In September 2020, TBEI completed the acquisition of the current production facility from the Jones Family trust, along with an adjacent facility, thereby planting its roots firmly in the area.
“We are proud to continue the Jones’ legacy of building high-quality Crysteel and J-Craft dump bodies in Lake Crystal,” Brett Hart, GM of TBEI Lake Crystal, said. “Minnesota is our home, and we are investing in our community at a time when America needs it most.”
The expansion project will provide increased capacity to meet growth expectations, while TBEI also undertakes several continuous improvement projects to expand quality production capabilities.
“We believe in a culture of continuous improvement,” Bob Fines, VP/GM of TBEI, said. “We are investing in our processes and capabilities at this time because we believe our customers expect and deserve the best products possible. This investment will allow us to provide ongoing top-tier quality for many, many years to come.”
The project includes a completely reorganized and upgraded paint department to meet increased demand, including a dedicated truck up-fit area. The upgraded paint department will feature equipment and processes necessary to meet the exacting specifications of TBEI’s customer base; from independent contractors requesting specific fleet colors, to the U.S. military’s Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC) requirement for paints used on military vehicles.
The expansion project is currently underway and is targeted to be completed by mid-2021.