When Keith Foster set out to develop the Walking Floor unloader, he had one goal: Design the lightest, simplest, most trouble-free self-unloading system yet devised. Fifty years later, KEITH Manufacturing Co. continues to help customers around the world make their work more efficient and profitable with its patented Walking Floor trailer unloading system.
While other versions of moving floor technology existed, it was Foster who focused on creating a 100 per cent hydraulic drive unit powerful enough to unload a semi-trailer. In 1973, KEITH Manufacturing Co. introduced the first commercially viable moving floor unloading system under the Walking Floor brand name.
Although Foster passed away in 2006, the company remains family-owned, led by the second and third generations of Fosters. Lindsay Foster-Drago, who serves as president of KEITH Manufacturing Co., explains why developing a dependable system was so important to her grandfather. “Keith grew up in the state of Oklahoma and, as a farm boy, knew the importance of having reliable equipment. You can’t make money if your equipment isn’t running. And many times being down can end your business,” she said.
He took this notion to heart when designing the original Walking Floor system and the company continues his philosophy when engineering its products. “We work hard to keep the total cost of ownership the lowest in the industry.”
This includes building a drive system with interchangeable components so customers need less parts inventory and offering a two-year warranty on hydraulic valves. The overall design also lends itself to longevity, such as a poppet switching valve lower friction, less wear and a higher tolerance of dirt and foreign material.
The company designs, manufactures and assembles at its world headquarters in Madras, Oregon. Manufacturing most components onsite means superior quality control.
“With a majority of our haulers’ business being repeat and cross generational, it’s an incredible responsibility and privilege to be trusted by our global customers,” said Foster-Drago. “One of Keith’s favourite sayings and mine is, ‘you can’t afford not to buy our equipment’.”
As KEITH Manufacturing Co. marks 50 years of the Walking Floor system, Foster-Drago says the company always looks to the future. “Our focus is on continuing to innovate and make our product even better tomorrow than it is today.”
Visit keithwalkingfloor.com or contact Zyggy Reinoga of KEITH Walking Floor Australia on 0404 041 833.