Sometimes in business things just click. You find a terrific customer that promotes your company or form a relationship with a vendor who gets your business. This is the case with the relationship between two amazing Knoxville companies: Lokar Performance Products and Rowe Transfer Inc., both based in Knoxville, TN. Lokar called upon Rowe Transfer as the logical solution to help move their entire machine shop and automotive part production operation in 2014 and continues to count on Rowe to deliver, place, and move new machines on an ongoing basis. Lokar’s Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Ford says that “Rowe is always fair, and I feel comfortable and confident in them to get the job done without mistakes. They’re also flexible. I have never heard that we have to wait for them to get a transport job done which is important when accepting delivery for a new machine. I don’t have to call anyone else for a quote because they are so fair.”
Rowe Transfer Inc.
Rowe Transfer is a 135-year-old company that leads the industry in professional crating, rigging, warehousing, and transportation service and solutions. At the core of Rowe Transfer’s business is transporting equipment and machinery that is big enough to need specialized equipment and specialized knowledge. Over one hundred years of business combined with a fleet of trucks and an in-house engineering department makes Rowe Transfer the best-equipped company to support moving industrial manufacturing equipment, or in the case of Lokar Performance Products…an entire manufacturing operation.
Lokar Performance Products
From humble beginnings in a garage in California to a massive 52,000 sq.ft. facility and employing 57 people, Lokar has evolved into a premier brand in muscle car parts and other universal parts for hot rods, race cars, and dragsters such as transmissions, shifters, and cables. Lokar is a family owned company started in 1988, and family ownership still holds true to this day; literally, everyone in the family works at Lokar in various functions. The family fell in love with the beautiful scenery and friendly residents of East Tennessee, and so Lokar relocated to Tennessee in December of 1992 to take advantage of the lower taxes and lower cost of living, as well as, be closer to the main bulk of its biggest clients. The organization has continued to grow and expand, adding new CNC equipment often, expanding its product line, and even sponsoring a drag racing team: Lokar Motorsports.
The Lokar operation is quite impressive. Walking into the lobby and office building of Lokar is a muscle car lover’s dream. The space is quite modern with shiny hot rods and muscle cars spanning various decades filling the lobby. The entire Lokar facility has a total of 3 buildings, including a 12,000 sq. ft. ultra-modern office and shop, a 10,000 sq. ft. research and development building, and a 30,000 sq. ft. production and machine shop.
Lokar’s Big Move
In an extremely complicated move in 2014, Rowe transported Lokar’s entire 20,000 sq. ft. facility to their new 6 acres, 52,000sq. ft. Facility, just of Hardin Valley Rd, on Quality Lane, formally a piece of property owned by 84 Lumber.
Because nearly half of all their business relies on their machine shop, Lokar couldn’t afford a lengthy, drawn-out move. From start to finish, it took Rowe just a couple of weeks to move the entire business, including 16 massive machines in all. That’s over 32 tons of equipment moved in a short amount of time, without any injuries or damage to the equipment. Rowe also helped with the logistics involved with the massive undertaking in order to stage the move in such a way that minimized machine downtime.
The Lokar move to their new location was within Knoxville, but still no small feat: these mills, lathes, and other CNC equipment have shipping weights that exceed 3,000 lbs. Rowe Transfer moved, not only the equipment, but moved their entire office including pallet racks, work benches, shelves, furniture, and all their manufactured goods. Per the usual, Rowe took care of all loading, unloading, and placement.
When stepping onto the manufacturing floor at Lokar, as machine operators busily bustle around the space, the first thing you notice is how insanely clean the building is. Before the move, Lokar had spent a small fortune on finishing and painting the floors, and the team was impressed that Rowe used over 175 Masonite boards to cover the floors to prevent any damage or markings. It’s these small, yet subtle touches that really drive home Rowe’s commitment to quality service.
Mr. Ford said his favorite part of the move was Rowe’s willingness to make minute adjustments to the placement of the massive machines without a single complaint.
Ongoing Transfer Support
As Lokar Performance Products has continued its steady growth, Rowe has returned to move CNC equipment to add additional space for more Haas mill and lathe machines, even taking down the massive air intakes bolted to the ceiling and moving them a few feet to their new location. Additionally, they continue to call on Rowe when buying new machines to have them delivered and placed on their manufacturing floor. Rowe offers a high degree of flexibility, which is important to the company as the release date for a new CNC machine typically has a one-week window for when it is ready to be picked up.
Hotrod and Muscle Car Parts
A true United States manufacturer, all Lokar parts are made in the USA. Lokar Performance Products’ mission is to be the world’s premier brand in muscle car parts and has a global network of distributors including Jeggs, Keystone Automotive, and many local, independent shops across the US. Click HERE to find a Lokar Performance Product distributor near you or feel free to contact us at 865-824-9767 or toll-free at 1-877-469-7440.
Industrial and Manufacturing Moves
Rain or shine, Rowe can help you with your next move. Rowe Transfer is uniquely qualified to conquer large, industrial manufacturing moves. If your manufacturing operation is relocating, contact us to find out how easy it can be to move your entire business. Give us a call at 865-523-0421 or toll-free at 1-888-377-ROWE (7693) or contact us HERE.