Tremcar breathes new life into tanker maker
TORONTO -- Eighty-eight year-old Toronto tank trailer manufacturer Hutchinson Industries reopened for business this sunny August morning after a two-week shutdown, during which the proprietors not only retrofitted their trailer-assembly process, they also inked the fine print on a brand new lease on the company’s life.
The ledger-saving deal came in the form of a friendly takeover by Montreal-based Tremcar. And if it hadn’t been for Tremcar’s investment, Hutchinson -- which 20 years ago claimed almost 70 percent of the oil-tanker trailer market -- might have gone into receivership.
But after Tremcar principal Jacques Tremblay visited the plant in April and decided to reinvigorate the company, the future became much brighter.
Hutchinson currently turns out about 160 tanker trailers per year, with a staff of 40. The new owners say they will eventually double that capacity.
Tremcar has about 300 employees and produces tanker trailers in three different plants, four including the new Toronto facility. The majority of Tremcar’s tankers go into service in the liquid food and chemical businesses.
Tremblay, a former Quebec Liberal Member of Parliament, says that the Toronto-produced trailers will be aimed primarily at the Western Canadian oil patch. He also said the reengineered facility will be staffing up in the coming months in order to increase production levels.
The Hutchinson family business began as a modest automotive body and repair shop in 1918 and now, Hutchinson tanker trailers can be found across the continent.
The current administration will stay on to manage the Toronto plant.
Jacques Tremblay’s son Daniel is now the president of Tremcar.