DUECO drives toward growth in 2015

N4 W22610 Bluemound Road, Waukesha
Industry: Bucket truck, digger derrick final-stage manufacturer
Employees: 350

A lot has happened at Waukesha-based DUECO Inc. this year.

The company, the oldest and largest final-stage manufacturer of Terex aerial buckets and digger derricks in the country, was selected as a recipient of the 2014 Wisconsin Governor’s Trailblazer Award for Women in Business.

Shortly after, DUECO expanded its Terex line of products to Wyoming and Montana, increasing its territory to 17 states.

In June, president Judie Taylor was named president and chief executive officer and her sister, Marikris Coryell, who served as executive vice president of operations, became chief operating officer.

A DUECO employee welds the floor of a truck body.

Now, the third generation-owned business, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary in January, is anticipating 2014 revenue of $100 million, according to Taylor and Coryell. They expect revenue to grow by 10 percent in 2015.

To support that growth, the company is currently hiring for multiple positions, including painters, mobile service technicians and a Midwest region service manager.

A completed truck body that needs to be primed.

DUECO employs 225 people in its 100,000-square-foot facility at N4 W22610 Bluemound Road and another 125 throughout its other five branch locations in its territory.

In addition to its manufacturing facility in Waukesha, DUECO operates one in Watertown, S.D., where Terex Utilities Inc., the manufacturer of the truck towers, has a plant. Each year, 350 trucks are made in the Waukesha location and another 150 in Watertown.

DUECO specializes in bucket trucks, like this one, and digger derricks.

DUECO specializes in two types of trucks: the bucket truck, which is an aerial platform used to move workers performing tasks at elevated heights, and the digger derrick, which digs holes, hoists and sets utility poles, and lifts other materials.

Both trucks are commonly used by the utility and telecommunications industries and municipalities and contractors. Tree care companies often use the bucket truck.

DUECO’S trucks, ranging in cost from $200,000 to $225,000, are each custom made to fit the customer’s specifications.

Customers first meet with a team of engineers and sales representatives from DUECO to undergo a collaborative design phase. Numerous factors are taken into consideration, including safety regulations and the work application of the vehicle: the height the bucket needs to reach, the depth of the hole that needs to be dug and the material through which the hole will be drilled.

After the design phase, DUECO orders from its supply chain groups the chassis, at times the truck body, and the tower that comes from Terex.

DUECO manufactures the steel or aluminum body for 65 percent of its customers. From receipt of the last component, it takes about a month to manufacture and up-fit a truck.

Most companies use DUECO’s trucks for 10 to 15 years, although they are built to last 20 to 25 years. Large customers buy from DUECO on an annual basis as they consistently cycle out their fleets, and smaller customers typically order one truck every couple of years.

In addition to selling the trucks, DUECO sells parts and performs repairs and inspections on multiple types of utility vehicles.

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