KNOXVILLE — After 20 years of innovation and growth, Weiler, Inc. continues to manufacture quality equipment for the paving and mining industries.

Since March 1 of 2000, Pat Weiler’s modest 40,000 square-foot facility has expanded to more than 400,000 square feet of manufacturing space. The facility is fully equipped with machining tools, welding, powder and wet paint assembly, allowing the company to control quality and delivery for the majority of their products.

In the beginning, the company started manufacturing motor graders for Fiat and New Holland in May 2000. By November that year, an additional 160 motor graders were ordered. The company eventually purchased the intellectual property (IP) for the grader, currently marketed as the NorAm 65E.

More innovations were on the horizon, including patented design improvements for concrete mixers; the BG730 road widener and BG650 windrow elevator from Caterpillar; design, engineering and manufacturing of the first E1250; the P385, a commercial-size paver; the Power Box 1648 Plus and 1448 Plus pavers from Gehl; and the D560 and D460, Caterpillar’s top hammer rock drill.

After progressive expansion throughout the years, the company now has significant market reach with Caterpillar, both on a national and international level.

“We’re really proud of the relationship we have with Caterpillar and the respect Weiler has earned with our dealers and with our customers,” says Weiler’s Counsel and Engineering Manager Megan Green. “We’ve expanded six different times in our current location, and we started out with just a handful of employees. Now we have 475 employees, so we’re proud of the impact that has on Knoxville and the surrounding communities as well.”

In September 2019, the company acquired Caterpillar’s forestry division.

“It brought a whole other product line and set of customers,” says Green. “It’s been an exciting addition and a new challenge for us.”

To celebrate 20 years, the Weiler Foundation will be giving back to the community. In August, the company will announce the 20 recipients of $1,000 donations during a community open house.

“The foundation has given out a lot of different charitable contributions, but we’ve never solicited applications before,” says Green. “We really wanted to do that to support organizations in Marion County. The community and the county have been very supportive of us, so we wanted to give a little something back.”

Green says a big focus of the company is keeping talent here in the community.

“We participate in internship and apprenticeship programs through our local high schools, and we’re proud to have that skilled labor and engineering,” says Green. “We want to be able to employ those wide and diverse skill sets within Marion County to show people there’s a lot of opportunity here.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Green says the company continues to innovate.

“We are really passionate about new products,” says Green. “Our first focus is always supporting our existing customers and our existing product, but we’re always looking at what the next thing is, what the next improvement is, and products we don’t make now that our customers are asking for. That’s always what’s on the horizon for us … we’ve still got engineers always working on new products. I foresee continued growth and new, exciting products.”

Emily Hawk can be reached at 641-672-2581 or by email at ehawk@oskyherald.com.

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