Several businesses within the Marmon Highway Technologies (MHT) group of companies are returning to normal after suffering damage from the April 27 tornadoes that tore through the Birmingham, AL, area.
According to MHT, Fontaine Trailer Co.’s manufacturing facility in Haleyville lost power and sustained significant structural damage to its north side and roof. Production lines were shut down for several days, but are now up and running.
The facility sustained structural damage, including the loss of its roof. Manufacturing equipment inside remains in good condition, company officials said, and the finished trailers onsite were not damaged. The north wall and roof have been temporarily repaired with permanent repairs to be completed in about a month.
“It’s unbelievable what people can do when they pull together,” said John Craig, president, Fontaine Trailer Co. “The plant looks really good now. We’re running two shifts to catch up on production. Some customers may see a slight delay in order delivery short-term, but we’re working hard to meet our delivery commitments and our customers’ needs.”
In addition, the headquarters and manufacturing campus of Webb Wheel Aftermarket, Webb Wheel OEM, Webb Wheel Severe Duty and TSE Brakes in Cullman, AL, also lost power, but new backup generators have been brought online.
At the Brake and Wheel Ends Group campus in Cullman, a tornado passed closely by, but other than a loss of power, it suffered no damage. Power could be out until next week, though. Generators are supplying power to the building and the Webb Wheel Aftermarket plant.
“We may have a couple of small hiccups over a few days, but we should be able to maintain our service levels for our customers,” said J.T. Weis, president, MHT Brake and Wheel Ends Group.
Fontaine Fifth Wheel in Trussville, Fontaine Trailer’s Springville and Jasper manufacturing facilities, and the MHT headquarters in Birmingham were untouched by the storms.
No employees died, but many lost relatives and close friends to the storms. One TSE Brakes employee suffered the loss of two young sons. Many employees’ homes also suffered damage.
“I’m deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life, as well as the unprecedented property damage these storms have caused,” said Kelly Dier, MHT president. “My heart goes out to everyone across the South who was affected by the storms. On a personal level, I’m thankful that, by and large, the MHT family is safe. A number of our employees have sustained personal property damage, and we’re working directly to assist these team members.”