In 1959 Bill Strong started his own construction company, The Strong Company, Inc., to pump light-weight concrete on roofs for insulation and fireproofing. This was done by mixing the cement and lightweight aggregate in a mixor on the ground, pouring that mixture into a wheel barrow device called a Georgia Buggy, placing the buggy on a conveyor belt going from the ground to the rooftop, and then dumped on the roof to be finished. This was very labor intensive. Mr. Bill thought, “We could blend cement and aggregate together and pump it up to the roof by using hoses. He built a mixor, bought a pump, and mounted them on a semi-trailer. He then had a portable batch plant. He was constantly tweaking his equipment. He had several professional people working with him and was advised to patent his mixer, which he did. Over the course of years, Mr. Bill had numerous patents for parts and equipment he built. He also did various other types of concrete jobs. One of those jobs was pouring concrete retention ponds for the new International Paper plant built in Pine Bluff. He poured roof decks from Little Rock to northern Louisiana.
In 1964 he received an award from W. R. Grace Company for pouring 5,000,000 square feet of roof decking material. In the early 60’s W R Grace approached Mr. Bill to build equipment for other applicators in the United States. He was still tweaking his machine until he could put it on a smaller trailer which could be pulled by a pickup truck. He made several of these machines which was called the “DeckMate”. He thought he would only do a few but discovered there was a demand for the equipment and the parts. In 1964 he started Strong Manufacturing Co., Inc. At that time, the plant was located in the buildings of the old airport known as Toney Field. This airport was used to train pilots in WW I and II. He eventually bought the 3 acres next door and built our current plant in 1967.
Strong Manufacturing developed a good reputation for building mixing and pumping equipment. Strong Mfg. has been approached over the years by various material suppliers to develop equipment to pump their products. In 1974, Owen Corning Fiberglas developed a material to be sprayed on dry stacked blocks (not using mortar between the rows) and asked Strong to develop a machine to spray this cementitious product. Mike Kline worked with their sales people demonstrating how to spray the material using our equipment traveling all over the US.
Also during the 1970s, Strong Mfg. was approached about building equipment to mix and pump floor underlayment product. Today Strong Manufacturing has several machines according to size to mix and pump product. Strong also worked on developing equipment to pump airplane arrestor systems after several airplanes went off the runways during take-offs and landings.
During all this time Strong Manufacturing was also building equipment to spray fireproofing. Strong got involved with a group from England. They had an applicator who needed specialty application equipment suitable to the harsh environment of the North Sea for spray applying fireproofing material on the oil platforms in the North Sea. Strong shipped our equipment to them for that job. Strong built numerous machines for the European market.
Strong Manufacturing also built vermiculite furnaces to be used in other exfoliating plants located in Canada, Mexico, and other parts of the United States.
Mr. Bill was always fascinated in building as many of the parts as he could in order to provide a better product and to better meet demand. He decided to turn his own rotors instead of purchasing them. Over the years Strong developed a very modern machine shop with all CNC equipment. Strong has a large inventory of parts, most available to ship the same day as ordered.
The big year for Mike and Annette Kline was 1995. Mr. Bill agreed to let them purchase Strong Manufacturing. Mike was the Plant Manager at that time. The recession hit Strong Mfg. very hard. Strong Manufacturing's business is tied to commercial construction and that took nose-dive in 2006. To help keep work flowing through the shop Strong started a new company, Pull Scraper Parts Warehouse to manufacture replacement parts. This company has grown and ships parts nationally.
Mike and Annette are the second generation of Strong Mfg. Kris Kline, Strong Manufacturing General Manger, is now the third generation employee. Kris helps with sales of new equipment, technical support, job-site training as well as maintaining quality products for our customer needs. We here at Strong Manufacturing look forward to another 50 years of being the nations leading supplier of concrete mixing and pumping equipment.
After all...Only the Strong Survive.