In 1980, Roland Oman decided to do things completely his way by founding Utah Track & Welding in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Entrepreneurs frequently aren't adept at playing by the rules — especially someone else's. But that's what makes them independent: they believe they can do something better and most important, they set about doing it.
Roland Oman's father, James Oman founded 8th West Welding, Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1950. The company sold undercarriage parts and cutting edges for mining and construction equipment; it also rebuilt idlers, rollers and tracks. James Oman's largest customer was the Kennicott Copper Mine (now Rio Tinto Kennicott), the largest open pit copper mine in the world.
Roland began doing various machining work at 8th West in the early 1970s. In 1975, when his father sold 8th West to Industrial Parts Depot, Roland began selling undercarriage parts for the company. What he learned from the sales end of the business was invaluable and he soon began thinking of ways to help his customers with solutions that not only made them successful, but also himself.
Roland, however, possessed with an independent spirit, sometimes offered solutions to his customers that were not always in line with ones that his employer, Industrial Parts, thought were best.
In 1980, he decided to do things completely his way by founding Utah Track & Welding in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“My vision from the onset was to connect seller to buyer, but more importantly, to fill the customer's needs in a cost effective manner,” said Oman. “I saw parting out used equipment as an important way to do that.”
Today, used parts are a major component of his business and Oman can draw these parts from an average of more than 1,000 machines that reside on his 12-acre property in Salt Lake City.
The machines often come from contractors buying new equipment. Utah Track & Welding can usually offer more for an old piece of equipment than the customer would typically receive by trading it in at a dealership. Also, a dealer may take a piece on trade that they don't want on their lot, which they then sell directly to Utah Track & Welding.
The Next Generation
Utah Track & Welding is today a third-generation family company.
Sam joined Utah Track & Welding shortly after graduating from Brigham Young University in 2004, with a degree in business management and is the company's vice president.
Sam enjoys the business and helping his customers improve their bottom line.
“I enjoy meeting all of the different people in this business and helping them stay profitable by offering cost-effective solutions to their maintenance needs on their equipment,” he said.
Sam also recognizes the recycling aspect of the business.
“When people think of a salvage yard, they often think about a lot of iron lying around,” he said. “Recycling used parts is certainly better for the environment than scrapping them,” he said.
With access to aftermarket parts as well, the Omans can offer more options to their customers by stocking undercarriage parts for all major manufacturers of earthmoving equipment.
“We are a low cost alternative to the dealer,” said Sam.
In addition to new and used parts, the company has a growing service department. There are four field trucks on the road, doing welding, repairing tracks and more.
The company does slightly more than half of its parts business in Utah. It also does significant business in Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada and Colorado as well as throughout the United States.
Utah Track & Welding now has 26 employees. Roland credits those quality employees with the growth of the business, along with taking care of customers.
In total, Utah Track & Welding offers undercarriage parts; ground engaging tools; used parts; attachments; full-service repair shop; field service; track repair; hydraulic cylinder repair; and equipment sales and rentals.
For more information, visit http://www.utahtrackandwelding.com/.
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