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Old 03-30-2012, 08:26 AM   #1
mikenannie
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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.




Picture 1



Picture 2


Picture 3


I'll post some more in another post / reply.




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Old 03-30-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
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More pics. Smaller hopefully.
Picture 4


Picture 5



Picture 6 5/8 flooring



Picture 7 - they put the cabinets in the units before installing the walls.


Picture 8 - 5th Wheel


Picture 9 - front of the TT before the cap



Picture 10 Added insulation


Picture 11, 12 - roofs


















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Old 03-30-2012, 08:47 AM   #3
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Pictures 13, 14, 15







Picture 16 - Roof of our 20 CK








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Old 03-30-2012, 10:37 AM   #4
MrMike25BH
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very cool
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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Hmm, I'm very surprised to see pics. As I know it the guys working there do not normally lie their picture taken.



We have been at the factory and they have been the best every time. Like you we were there in the middle of the week and they made an exception since we were in the area and from out of town. We very much enjoyed our visit.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:02 AM   #6
Chz hed campers
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Thanks for sharing, Very interesting. Great pic's.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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That was very neat,,,,
Makes me excited to find out when ours will arrive......








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Old 03-30-2012, 01:09 PM   #8
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Very cool, our 31BH is supposed to get final inspection on April 3. Can't wait! Info helpful and pics are great!
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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So you quick photo essay gets me thinking,
It would be nice, maybe ON THE WEBSITE to have similar photo layout of a unit being assembled.
Done with professional photos, (yours were great by the way for telling your story) and with workers in the shots that agree to be photographed.
It was so neat to see the inner workings and assembly of a unit.
Just the photos alone show a lot of quality in the production.
It also makes it seem that they are not made on one big, pump them out assembly line.

Just a thought.




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Old 03-30-2012, 10:59 PM   #10
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The photos were taken rather quickly as I was also asking questions and trying to listen to Mica. The workers likely had no idea they were photographed, but I had permission from Mica to take some pics during the tour. Had the production line not been running, we would have had access to more areas. We are planning to attend the factory rally in July and I hope to shot some more pics at that time. I'm a photography enthusiast so taking pictures is one of my favorite pastimes. Glad you all enjoyed the pics. I would haved liked to have more time for better compositions but the pics were my secondary reason for visit.

Mike




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