Hutchens Industries, Inc., is a leading manufacturer of trailer suspensions, sub-frames and a wide variety of steel fabrications and castings. The company was established in 1950 by its founder, C. Ted Hutchens. It was an outgrowth of Mr. Hutchens’ prior experience as a manufacturer of Cargo Tanks for trucks and trailers. Hutchens operated at a number of Springfield sites and, in 1962, launched its first major expansion by opening its ‘Marshfield Steel’ plant in nearby Marshfield, Missouri. The company grew rapidly and, in 1969, built an additional manufacturing facility in Mansfield, Missouri. In 1974, a steel foundry operating in Springfield as Grand Foundries, Inc., was relocated to Mansfield where it became the Mans-Steel Foundry Division. In 1978, a steel processing plant was erected in Seymour, Missouri. Strategically located between Marshfield and Mansfield, its mission was to supply steel to both plants. While continuing and expanding its role as ‘steel processor’ for the entire company, Seymour grew to become the center for suspension component manufacture and finished product distribution, as well. The growth of Seymour resulted in the closing of the Marshfield operations in the late ’80s.
The past three years have certainly been rather trying and difficult times for the heavy-duty trucking industry, as well as the overall US economy – but rather than get caught in the negative aspects of this downturn, Hutchens drove through with steady focus and determination. The company invested in additional manufacturing capabilities through improved tooling, concentrated design techniques, expanded capacity, and production efficiencies. By targeting quality management programs, Hutchens was able to upgrade its certification to ISO 9000-2000. The company also initiated the steps towards implementing an ERP system and launching the program with Navision, a Microsoft subsidiary.
Hutchens remains a closely held, family owned concern. Jeffrey C. Hutchens is its president and CEO succeeding his father, Lewis G. Hutchens who died in 1985. Lewis Hutchens had likewise succeeded his father, the company’s founder, C. Ted Hutchens upon his death in 1968. The company’s products are shipped worldwide. Its customers include most of the trailer manufacturers, large and small, throughout North America, several other suspension builders and a broad range of firms using fabricated and cast steel products.