Changing with Times, TruCut Celebrates 50 Years

SEBRING, Ohio – Over three generations and 50 years, the Gano family and TruCut Inc. have weathered the changes of the manufacturing industry through changing both their product and business model.

Started by the late Richard Gano in 1968, the company celebrated its golden anniversary at its headquarters and main manufacturing plant in Sebring July 21.

The road to TruCut’s work today as a manufacturer of heating, air conditioning and ventilation, or HVAC, parts wasn’t a straightforward one. Initially, the company was a made dies and tooling and, in the 1970s, aftermarket auto parts for Walmart and Kmart.

The tool and die work began to slip in the ‘80s and ‘90s, President and CEO Dave Gano said.

“The demand for highly intensive labor products like tooling, dies and specialty machines was going away due to outsourcing to foreign manufacturers,” he said. “Their products didn’t have the quality of ours but were much cheaper. We were aware that big changes were coming throughout the 1990s and we had an opportunity to change.”

Later, in the 1990s, representatives from long-time customer Carrier Corp. informed Gano that the company was closing a plant in California.

“They asked us if we were interested in taking over the manufacture of heat exchangers for them,” said Gano. “This would be the beginning of our new business model, we redirected all of our activities into out-of-production service parts. By early 2000, we were done designing and building special machinery and stamping dies.”

With an emphasis on HVAC parts, TruCut’s top customers, Gano says, include Carrier, Trane and Rheem Heating Cooling and Water Heating.

The main plant in Sebring is 85,000 square feet and manufactures heating systems while the company’s Salem plant is 50,000 square feet and specializes in cooling products. It also operates a 20,000-square-foot distribution center in Alliance.

“We are supplied by Atlas Steel from Twinsburg, Valley Containers in Mineral Ridge, JIT packaging in Aurora and Cleveland Ohio Powder Coating [in Brook Park],” said Jacob Gano, vice president and chief operating officer.

Among more recent projects is a five-year U.S. military contract recently building 40-pound explosive charge containers.

“We just started building the tailfins for the Mark 84 bombs for the military,” said Dave Gano. “We also are about to start building units for Thermo King, a commercial truck refrigeration company.”

The company is growing, according to the father-and-son team, and will be hiring 12 to 15 new employees in the next six months. TruCut currently has 65 employees.

TruCut also works with local trade schools and high schools to recruit into younger people into a possible career with the company.

“We are using staffing agencies, direct hires and basically trying to find the best candidates like everyone else,” said Jacob Gano. “We are having success with job fairs, on-the-spot interviews, we offer a very aggressive benefits package. We are looking for laborers, machinists, welders, engineering technicians, and replacements for retiring people in accounting and purchasing.”

Pictured above: TruCut Inc. President and CEO Dave Gano and Vice President Jake Gano.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.