Synergy and Strategy
Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, TWG is comprised of six distinct companies that manufacture industry-specific winches, hoists, gear drives, swing drives, auger drives, slewing ring bearings, hydraulic pump and electronic monitoring solutions for energy, infrastructure and recovery markets worldwide. Collectively, these companies serve global leaders in the mobile crane, oil field, towing, government, heavy hauling, utility, construction, forestry, mining, refuse, and aerial work platform markets.
TWG is a part of Dover Corporation, a multi-billion dollar global producer of innovative equipment, specialty systems and value-added services for the industrial products, fluid management, engineered systems and electronic technology markets. Dover is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DOV.
What began as a single enterprise in 1929, Tulsa Winch, Inc. (TWI) was founded by a truck salvage operator who utilized the gear sets from the rear axles of Model T trucks for his initial winch designs. TWI became a division of Vickers Hydraulics from 1946 until 1986 when Ron Hoffman and a few key managers teamed with an outside investor to buy the company. This new management team positioned TWI for aggressive growth and market share gains through continuous product improvement and exceptional customer service.
In 1995, the owners believed that Tulsa Winch was ready for additional growth through product sales to major OEM customers, but this new strategy would require increased investment in equipment, facilities, and workforce. TWI showed strong profitability, enjoyed a great growth record, and was fully capable of continuing these trends as a privately held company.
The owners made a conscious effort to explore the possibilities of selling TWI to a larger entity that could support their planned growth opportunities. They developed a list of potentially compatible suitors and approached each with a profile of TWI. They didn’t approach any competitors or financial buyers, but instead sought buyers that had a history of long-term ownership of their acquisitions.
Dover quickly rose to the top of the list, not because of the monetary offer but because it wanted the company to remain intact with its employees and responsive culture. Essentially, TWI wanted to be a part of encouraging and facilitating its vision of internal growth, product development, and complementary acquisitions. TWI joined Dover Resources in December 1996.
But TWI quickly outgrew its leased facility. Demonstrating its long-term commitment to the company, Dover approved construction of a new 82,000 square foot plant located in Jenks, Oklahoma. This state-of-the-art facility, coupled with a world-class factory approach, strengthened TWI’s ability to serve the dynamic demands of its customer base.
Over the years, Dover made a series of strategic acquisitions that complemented TWI and would later elevate the now Tulsa Winch Group (TWG) to become a global player in the manufacture of winch, hoists, gear drives, gearing products and electronic load information systems.
DP Manufacturing (DP Winch) was acquired in November 1999 and added breadth to the Tulsa Winch planetary product offerings. The former owner of DP Manufacturing had been exploring his retirement options but wanted his business to end up in the hands of a company that would continue to nurture the growth of the business in the best interests of DP’s customers and employees. He was aware of the support that Dover had demonstrated to TWI and believed that TWG’s acquisition of DP Manufacturing offered the best ongoing stability for his company. After a brief transition period, he was able to retire satisfied that his company was in capable hands.
DP Manufacturing brought to TWG the government winch market, broadened distribution, and expanded product offerings for the towing and utility markets. Tulsa Winch, Inc. and DP Manufacturing are an ideal fit in that they share a similar culture, a dedication to customer service, and a focused commitment to product development. The company’s manufacturing and fabrication capabilities were integrated into Tulsa Winch’s new manufacturing facility constructed in 2008.
The Greer Company, located in Santa Ana, California, was acquired by TWG in April 2000. Greer is a leader in the design and manufacture of load and system monitoring products sold under the Microguard® trademark to customers in the mobile crane industry. Greer’s indicators warn crane operators of an impending overload and can be configured by OEM customers to disable functions that might contribute to an unsafe condition. Greer’s customer base is essentially made up of the same OEM mobile crane customers served by Tulsa Winch.
This strategic acquisition broadened the product offerings of TWG and brought electronic expertise to the group. It also set the stage for TWG to integrate electronic sensing technology with its gearing products that lift, pull and rotate. Greer was formerly owned by Morgan Crucible Company plc of England. Through Dover, TWG offered Morgan Crucible the opportunity to divest a division that no longer fit their core competency to a corporate entity with the financial stability to properly grow the business. The synergy between TWG and Greer would facilitate the growth of both companies.
TWG next acquired Pullmaster Winch Corporation, a Canadian company and leading manufacturer of planetary hydraulic winches. This complementary add-on brought leadership in several market niches not served by TWI, such as commercial fishing, logging, and marine dredging. The previous owner of this privately held business faced many of the same issues most owners face in preparing for retirement. The courting process between Dover and Pullmaster took place over several years but Dover was finally selected as the best choice to continue to build upon the strong legacy of Pullmaster.
In March 2008, TWG acquired LANTEC Winch & Gear, its second Canadian-based company. As a leading manufacturer of hydraulic winches, hoists and gear reducers for the oil and gas, infrastructure and marine markets, LANTEC further broadened TWG’s collective range of winch products and expanded its market presence.
TWG acquired Tulsa-based Gear Products, Inc. in October 2010—a move that offers a tremendous opportunity to strengthen TWG’s presence in markets it currently serves, enter new markets with adjacent products made only by Gear, and integrate the company’s leading-edge electronics into Gear’s products. Gear is a leading manufacturer of mechanical power transmission components for original equipment manufacturers serving the utility, construction, forestry, marine and mining markets.
With the synergies offered by six diverse and strong brands, and a keen focus on integrating its core products with advanced data-capture technology, TWG is poised for broader international expansion across its markets. The company operates four manufacturing facilities in North America, the newest of which is part of TWG’s expanded headquarters in Tulsa. The expansion consolidates the production of TWI, DP Winch and Greer products. With zero redundancy in its operations and a product offering that touches virtually every major industry in the world, TWG is positioned for remarkable growth and prosperity in the decades to follow. As the company’s tagline boldly announces, TWG is truly Power to Move the World.
To learn more about TWG and our portfolio of products, contact us or phone 918.298.8300.
Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, TWG is comprised of six companies that specialize in industry specific winches and supporting electronic systems. They include DP Winch, Gear Products, Greer Company, LANTEC, Pullmaster, and Tulsa Winch. TWG is part of the Dover Corporation, an NYSE-traded, multi-billion dollar corporation that manufactures a diverse range of products and components for commercial and industrial use.