Problem Solved — Towing and Recovery Equipment Manufacturer Grows Business and Increases Throughput with GFS Paint Booths

GFS Large Equipment spray booth

Miller Industries is the world’s largest manufacturer of towing and recovery equipment, with three manufacturing facilities in the United States and two in Europe (England and France). In 1990, Miller Industries acquired several existing towing manufacturing companies — including well-known brands like Century®, Holmes®, Chevron®, Vulcan®, Boniface® and Jige® — giving Miller more than 100 years of combined history and experience.

With this long-standing history and reputation in the industry, Miller produces a wide range of towing equipment including light and heavy-duty tow trucks, car carriers up to 30 feet in length, car haulers and various types of recovery equipment. Once the towing equipment is ready to leave the factory, Miller Industries sells their products through the industry’s largest distribution network.

One of the key aspects that sets Miller Industries apart from competition is the level of completeness seen in their products. Many towing equipment manufacturers sell their products without a finish coat, but Miller fills a niche in the market by selling their towing equipment fully painted and ready for use. This way, the responsibility of painting the equipment doesn’t fall on the distributors or customers, who often don’t have sufficient painting environments to accommodate the size of the vehicles.

Miller Industries has invested heavily in its facilities. Their Ooltewah, Tennessee facility spans more than 350,000 square feet and has seven Global Finishing Solutions® (GFS) Large Equipment Paint Booths, including two crossdraft airflow booths and two 100-foot-long downdraft booths, along with a large Wash Booth and several Paint Mix Rooms. Miller’s other facilities in Greeneville, Tennessee and Hermitage, Pennsylvania also have GFS booths and equipment, ranging from 15-years-old to as new as three weeks.

When it comes time to purchase new paint booths and finishing equipment, Miller Industries has exclusively purchased GFS equipment since 2004. According to Kipp Felice, vice president of marketing and business solutions at Miller Industries, the company’s decision to continue to purchase GFS products is due to the consistent quality they have experienced with the GFS equipment as well as the relationship and excellent support they receive from their GFS distributor, Matt Steinmann of Corrosion Specialties.

In a normal week, Miller Industries paints thousands of individual parts and is able to complete approximately 170 fully finished recovery units in their North American manufacturing facilities. Jamison Linden, vice president of operations at Miller Industries, says, “GFS’ equipment has provided Miller with the opportunity to grow and improve our throughput.” Since Miller Industries is able to offer a wide variety of finishes, including heavy-duty coatings, epoxy, clear coat and pearl coats, they appeal to a wider range of customers who may not have the capability to paint the vehicles or are looking for more specific, flashier paint finishes.

Looking forward, the company plans to add more than 150,000 square feet of combined space to its U.S. plants. The Greeneville location is currently in the process of being renovated and expanded, with two new crossdraft Large Equipment Booths and four Paint Mix Rooms on order from GFS.

Miller Industries – Chattanooga, TN; Photos by Alan Maxcy

Miller Industries – Hermitage, PA; Photos by Dennis Mong

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