Driving Into The Future

Posted by Lindsey VanDenBoom

Mike VanDenBoom Takes the Wheel at Signature Truck Systems

Mike VanDenBoom has taken the wheel at Signature Truck Systems as its new president, and will drive the company into its global market future. He’s just the second president since the company was founded in 1999. VanDenBoom assumed the company’s presidency after founder Joe Volk stepped down in April 2015, when Signature was sold to Terravest Capital, Inc.

This is an important time for Signature Truck Systems. The Michigan-based company has earned an impressive record for performance and accomplishment in a global niche market. Being a small company doesn’t mean thinking small. Going global is part of a 21st century business, and Signature Truck has gone global. Signature Truck Systems manufactures propane distribution trucks, including bobtails, cranes, cylinder and service trucks, as well as servicing trucks and selling parts.

The company’s name Signature is based on its mission statement, which is “Commitment to Quality, Backed by a Signature.” Each vehicle built by the company displays a decal with the signatures of the lead technician and the member of the management team responsible for the final vehicle inspection and approval. You can’t get any more personal in making and delivering products. Customers not only know who inspected and approved their vehicle, they know who built it.

“That’s our complete commitment to quality,” VanDenBoom says. “And our customers know us for this  commitment. It’s what drives us every day. Our staff of experienced professionals are dedicated to providing unparalleled quality at competitive prices.”

Starting out as a small business with just a handful of workers, Signature has now grown to 65+ employees, and are planning to increase that number in the near future. The company provides products and services throughout the U.S., parts of Canada and Bermuda, from its two Michigan facility locations in Clio and Houghton Lake.

The company operates four transport trailers that deliver trucks to customers anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. The company will also make deliveries to any global destination. Just announced, Signature expanded their footprint in the Northeast and East Coast regions of the United States. Brian Reynolds, an industry veteran, joined the team and will assume business development responsibilities as Sales Manager of the Eastern Region.

The company’s two Michigan facilities provide a deep and broad range of production and services for the propane industry.

1. Clio facility and expansion

At the Clio plant of over 15,000 sq. ft., workers build new propane trucks and refurbish old ones. There are 10 bays to build bobtails and transports of any length. They also build and service crane, cylinder, and service trucks used in the propane industry. Repair services include “R”-Stamp vessel repairs as well as performing DOT and annual “V” and “K” inspections and five year pressure testing (hydro-tests) along with internal inspections for MC330/331 vessels.

A new 9,920 square foot production building is being constructed at the Clio plant. It will include a state of the art 80-foot paint booth. The new Clio production shop will assemble new propane transports, refurbish existing propane transports, and complete repairs and hydro testing on transports as well. Completion is scheduled for this spring, 2016.

2. Houghton Lake facility

This facility provides large assembly, service, and fabrication in building crane and cylinder trucks for the propane service industry. The Houghton Lake facility includes a fabrication shop where aluminum and steel components for bobtails, crane trucks, and cylinder trucks are produced. The fab shop operates two shifts to keep up with demand. A third paint booth is located there. The company can prep and paint as many as 8 trucks per day.

Parts departments at both facilities are stocked with a full range of parts for bobtails, cranes, and LPG transports. In keeping with it  awareness of and seizing global market opportunities, Signature also has a subsidiary company Propar across the border in Quebec. Propar provides transport tanks, large capacity LPG storage vessels, and bobtail tanks for resale through Signature Truck Systems. Propane dispenser tanks are also available.

Signature Truck Systems, which operates in a specialty manufacturing niche market, demonstrates how small companies can succeed in a tough competitive global economy that’s here to stay.

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