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Custom Fabrication Leads To New Business Creation
When Kenny Hochstetler does a custom metal fabrication job for someone, he never knows where it may lead. A kayak user had an idea for a collapsible frame to hold 2 kayaks behind his vehicle. Hochstetler built one, then another, and a business took off.
  “We started making 10 at a time, then 25, and then 50,” says Hochstetler, D.A. Hochstetler & Sons. “Now he orders 100 a month, and www.vertiyak.com is a full-time business for him and his wife.”
  Hochstetler does custom machining of steel, aluminum, brass, and plastics. The company is equipped for all types of machine work and fabrication. While they can work from prototypes or photos, Hochstetler prefers blueprints.
  What began as a one-off fabrication has turned into repeat business for Hochstetler. A customer came in with a video of a skid steer-mounted grader he had rented.
  “He wanted to buy one, but couldn’t find one anywhere,” says Hochstetler. “We made one for him, and we ended up making 5 more and selling those. The next year we did 20, then 100. This year we sold 180 in the first 5 months.”
  Hochstetler does his own design work and has come up with a new best seller, a 130-lb. mini-grader for ATV’s and zero-turn mowers. One customer uses it with a horse to level his driveway.
  The mini-grader is 4 ft. wide with 2 leveling blades. The side rails are 6 in. high with a runner made from AR235 hardened steel. The cutting bars are made from the same hardened steel and bolted in place.
  “They can be adjusted up or down,” says Hochstetler. “The lower they are, the more they dig into the roadway. When they do wear down, just turn them over for a new edge.”
  The expanded metal top keeps gravel from flying off the roadway. It’s also a handy place to stack concrete blocks or sand bags if additional weight is needed.
  “We made 20 of them, and they were sold before they were finished,” says Hochstetler. “Now we are making another 50.”
  The only downside to the increasing demand for products made at the shop is less time for custom fabrication. “At the moment, we aren’t actively looking for custom work,” says Hochstetler. “We warn new customers that they may have to wait.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, D.A. Hochstetler & Sons, 4165 S. 500 W., Topeka, Ind. 46571 (ph 574 642-1144).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #4