Kenco Manufacturing in Atoka, OK, started out like many small businesses. It had only three employees and manufactured a modest number of products, including roll-over protection structures (ROPS), track guards and utility brush canopies. The original owner was satisfied to build just enough product to keep the company in business.
But, as Terry and Barbara Callicoat would come to know, what the owner really wanted was to sell the company and get out of the business.
The Callicoats had just sold their trucking company and were approached to purchase Kenco. After conducting extensive research on the company, its products and the industry, the Callicoats found that the company had far greater potential than the owner wanted to take advantage of.
They also discovered that Kenco’s manufacturing capabilities could offer a much wider range of products to the construction industry on a worldwide basis. With this, the Callicoats decided to purchase the company in 1982.
As time passed the company began to grow and in 1984 it moved its manufacturing facility to its current 6-acre, 31,000-sq.-ft. location in Atoka. According to Terry, president of Kenco, the company’s philosophy for growth has been teamwork.
“In the beginning, we all had to wear multiple hats to keep everything running smoothly, produce our products and get them out the door,” stated Terry. “As time moved on, our product line remained in constant demand and we were able to add more employees as necessary, but we still work as a team.”
Today, Kenco employs 25 people and has further expansion plans on the drawing board.
Terry said that the company owes a great deal of its success to all its employees, particularly senior engineer, David Gregory.
“David has been with us for over 20 years and his talents have enabled us to forge new areas in the industry,” he said.
After hiring Gregory as its design engineer, the growth pattern truly expanded and has moved forward on a measured, yet consistent basis.
“One of our newest items is a cab enclosure kit for the 953C, 963C and 973C Caterpillar track loader, which is easy to install and has received great reviews,” said Gregory. “Also, we were out of the ripper market for several years, but due to demand, we have renewed our efforts in that field. We build several models at this time and are developing additional ripper lines to satisfy the market.”
According to Barbara, the company has witnessed many changes in the heavy equipment attachment industry over the past 30 years and has endeavored to stay abreast of this fast changing market.
“In a perfect world, it would be wonderful if we could manufacture all the attachment and replacement products for the industry, but that is simply not reality, so we will continue to build what we are good at with the very best quality level attainable and that will ensure not only our success, but that of our customers,” she said.
Presently, Kenco Manufacturing produces a large array of replacement parts for equipment in the construction industry, including ROPS, track guards, engine enclosures, hood sweeps, root and rock rakes, cab screen packages, enclosed soft cabs and motorgrader and dozer rippers.
The company also specializes in jobs for the military, including specific paint schemes for different military theaters of action throughout the world. Its cabs can be customized to include heat, air, sound suppression and stereo systems. CEG Staff