Wausau Tile and IMT, a cemented partnership
Every time you stop by your neighborhood Target store and stroll past the big, red concrete balls that grace the entrance, you’re seeing a Wausau Tile product.
When you drop your crumpled Big Mac® wrapper in the textured concrete trash can outside of your local McDonald's®, you’re probably using a Wausau Tile product.
And when you sit on a concrete bench, or at an outdoor table, or walk across the terrazzo floor of your community school — you’re more than likely using a Wausau Tile product.
“It’s really amazing how much stuff we have out there on the street,” said Todd Treu, division manager for Wausau Transit and the traffic manager for Wausau Tile.
The story of Wausau Tile
When Edward Creske founded Wausau Tile in 1953, he established a relationship with the newly-burgeoning McDonald’s fast food chain, cementing Wausau Tile’s presence in every American’s life. Since then, the manufacturer of architectural concrete, terrazzo and metal products has created two separate divisions: Tectura Designs, which focuses on customized architectural products like pavers and custom precast concrete, and Wausau Made, which primarily provides site furnishings – such as concrete and metal waste containers, planters, benches, and outdoor tables familiar to McDonald’s customers across the U.S.
“Our primary brands service both established and new construction commercial accounts with architectural precast concrete, paving products, terrazzo products and site furnishings,” said Treu. “We produce products every place you go, really.”
To establish that kind of pervasive presence, you have to have a way to get your product —in this case, heavy concrete site-furnishings and pavers — onto the customer’s site. To this end, in 1984, Wausau Transit was created as a company house carrier to service Wausau Tile’s specialized delivery needs. Those specialized delivery needs include being able to transport and unload products that customers may not be able to handle themselves. “We often sell waste containers to truck stops and gas stations,” said Treu. “Imagine if we pulled up to the truck stop with a semi and half a dozen 800-pound waste containers. The workers at the stations would look at us and say, ‘Ok, what am I supposed to do with that? I can’t lift it.’”
That’s when Wausau Transit’s specific delivery capabilities, manifested in the form of articulating cranes, steps in.
Wausau and IMT: a delivery solution
Since 2010, Wausau Transit has equipped five of their 12 transport trucks with articulating cranes from Iowa Mold Tooling Co. Inc. “We have two series of IMT knuckleboom cranes in our fleet: four IMT 12/86 cranes and one IMT 14/98 crane,” said Treu. “They allow us to self-unload at customer’s locations and deliver our product without damage.”
Treu says that without truck-mounted cranes, the company’s only other delivery alternative would be to ship the products out through a common carrier. “That creates an opportunity for a lot more damage, because the products have to be unloaded and reloaded at multiple points as they move across the country,” he said. “It’s a lot cleaner if we can put the product on our own truck and take it right to the customer and set it to the ground for them using our cranes.”
With a 20-foot horizontal reach and lift capacities from 84,625 ft-lbs to more than 97,000 ft-lbs between the two crane series, the IMT articulating cranes are capable of seamlessly maneuvering the Tectura Design and Wausau Made products onto a customer’s site. The cranes offer superior lift-to-weight ratio and hexagonal booms for extended reach and maximum control – which comes in handy when you’re moving massive concrete site-furnishings.
So, the next time you admire a concrete planter full of flowers on the sidewalk, drop by your local McDonald's or walk into a Target store, take a look around, then thank Wausau Tile for providing the concrete products that decorate and serve our daily lives — and the IMT cranes that help put them there.
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