Today our new ST 20 CK was going to roll off the assembly line. Earlier this week, I called and asked if I could get a tour today. Normally, they don't allows tours during the days when the line is in production, especially on the last day of the month, but they said it would be okay. Actually, they was Mica Hicks, who I believe is the sales representative for ST. Awesome guy and he gave us a very cool tour. And, we were able to see our new trailer as it hit the scales on it's way out the door. Since we had never seen this model / floor plan in person, it was exciting to actually be able to stand inside and check it out.
Things I learned and found impressive.
1. Mica, great representative. Very knowledgeable. Worked on the line prior to his new position, so he knew tons about the manufacturing process. I can't say enough about him.
2. They get 15-16 trailers out the door every day. Most are started and completed the same day. Pretty amazing.
3. The guys working on the line were literally running around their stations. You would think this would cause problems with quality. But, that's not the impression that I got. If they mess up something with their respective jobs and QC finds it later down the assembly line, the guy who screwed up is pulled to go fix the problem. They do get an incentive pay based on production, as is the case for all manufacturing jobs that I'm aware of, so if you mess up, and you slow down the line, everyone on the line pays for the delay. From my perspective, this is an extremely powerful way to make sure that everyone does their job. They self-police their own work.
4. They check quality at several places on the line. Joe (I think his name was) is in charge of all QC. He was actually in and out of several trailers as they came off the line making sure everything was right. He also spent some time with me, which I didn't expect.
5. They use Dexter axles now.
6. They weld aluminum frames, no screws any longer. They have had no issues since the change. The welding is faster and creates the same quality product.
I was really impressed with the plant and the people working there. I'll try to post some pictures that I took.
Our new Trailer on the scale, 4202 lbs.
I'll post some more in another post / reply.