Western’s new line of pusher plows — the PILE DRIVER with TRACE EDGE technology — was introduced this summer.
(Western Products photo)
An industry leader in snow and ice control products, and well known among snow and ice professionals in the western and midwestern parts of the United States, Milwaukee, Wis.-based Western Products has had a busy few years despite the pandemic, labor shortages, supply chain issues and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.
"We continue to talk with snow and ice contractors and understand what they need to be successful. As labor becomes harder and harder to find, contractors are looking to get more snow moved and ice melted with less people. This means using larger vehicles like wheel loaders, skid steers and tractors with high-capacity plows," said Andrew McArdle, vice president of marketing.
A whole new line of pusher plows — the Western PILE DRIVER with TRACE EDGE technology — was introduced this summer. This terrain-response advanced cutting edge is made up of independent, 2-ft. sections that follow the plowable surface for a clean scrape. It is available in 8-, 10- and 12-ft. widths this winter with 14- and 16-ft. widths available in 2023.
The TRACE EDGE works in conjunction with the oscillating skis that feature a reversible, bolt-on shoe for easy serviceability. The new line of pushers will be made in a new facility at Western Product's Milwaukee campus, where the company continues to manufacture its snow and ice equipment, in addition to its manufacturing facilities in Rockland, Maine, and Madison Heights, Mich.
"It's all about understanding your accounts, your labor and your equipment. Using the ‘right tool for the job' is important to maximize efficiency," said McArdle. "Snow and ice equipment technology has evolved over the years — whether that is the introduction of winged plows and v-plows to increase productivity over traditional straight blade plows, liquid brine spray systems to reduce the use of salt and increase contractor profitability or the use of non-truck equipment like UTVs, skid steers, tractors and loaders, when paired with pusher plows to create flexibility and increase productivity in their fleet. All our products are designed for maximum efficiency and productivity. Depending on the property type and tasks at hand, you can assemble your perfect mix of products and vehicles to do more with less."
Founded in 1943 as Western Welding and Manufacturing, the company was purchased in 1950 by Doug Seaman and rebranded as Western Products. Seaman then formed Douglas Dynamics in 1977 and that became the parent company.
From custom welding jobs for large manufacturers, Western Product's focus turned to manufacturing snow and ice removal equipment. Today, the company is recognized for its quality products, including plows, hopper spreaders and tailgate spreaders for trucks and non-truck vehicles and decades of world-class service and expertise.
For Western, 2021 was great for business overall.
"Our dealer partners continue to see high demand despite limited vehicle supplies. By staying close to our partners and building ‘every product, every day', we were able to ensure we were building the right products to answer the demand of our dealers and snow and ice contractors," said McArdle. "Our business treats our suppliers and logistic partners as an extension of our employees, and therefore we were able to get what we needed to continue building and shipping products. Our global sourcing and supply chain team is the best in the industry. They have done an amazing job ensuring we have the right suppliers and materials to keep our manufacturing facilities up and running."
The company also announced a new president to its commercial snow and ice control division in September 2021 — Mark Van Genderen. He joined Douglas Dynamic in 2020 as vice president of business development and draws on more than 21 years of leadership at Harley-Davidson Motor Company, delivering impactful results focusing on product development, global sales and marketing, and channel strategy execution. Having developed and led large business segments, his expertise lies in cross-functional commercial strategy development, brand expansion and sales growth.
Add to that, this year, Douglas Dynamics was once again recognized as a Top Workplace for the 13th consecutive year by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Boasting a staff of 1,800 worldwide, it is one of only nine other companies that have been recognized annually as a Top Workplace since the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel started the program 13 years ago. The company was ranked 15th in the medium-sized workplace category. And it's not only the employee culture that has earned it these well-deserved accolades, but also the social cause work that the company undertakes in the community.
For Veteran's Day, Western Products auctions a custom, one-of-a-kind military plow with all the proceeds benefitting Camp Hometown Heroes, an area nonprofit which hosts free week-long overnight summer camps for children and siblings of fallen U.S. service members. Last year saw two parties battling back and forth for the custom plow on auction.
"We were able to settle on a bid that both parties accepted, allowing us to donate more than $20,000 to Camp Hometown Heroes. This was our largest donation to date," said McArdle. "This year, we will be auctioning off an 8-ft. Western Piledriver. The auction will end on Veteran's Day in November, so watch our Facebook page for all the details."
You also can head to the new Western website that launched earlier this year, featuring enhanced navigation and an improved layout, implementing the latest digital best practices, and ensuring a strong foundation for future brand growth. Some of the features include better upload times and ADA compliance; a restructured homepage leading straight to the most sought-after products and information; and a simplified photo and video gallery.
McArdle added, "Looking beyond 2022, we are focused on providing products and services that aim to make snow and ice contractors more efficient and combats the high salt usage that pervades the industry. We continue to look at new ways to allow snow and ice contractors to move more snow and melt more ice with less labor. Be on the lookout for exciting announcements next year." CEG
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