Bill Taylor knew he could make a better crusher. Growing up in the scrap metal business, he watched his father build machines. It was a natural progression for him to follow suit. Today, he and his five employees are glad he did. That first invention was the start of a business.
"The first machine, the RD 10, put us on the map," he admitted. "It opened up recycling to the smaller, independent businessman and maybe retirees who wanted to make a little money. It was also useful in rural areas where there wasn't recycling, where cans were going into the trash."
The RD 10 is a portable machine that crushes aluminum cans into cubes for sale as scrap. It was also just the beginning of Taylor Machinery Corporation's offerings.
Bigger & Better
The company, located in Lancaster, Ky., introduced the RD 16, a larger version of the aluminum-can densifier for auto recyclers and scrap metal dealers. "It's probably our most popular machine to date," Taylor confessed.
The RD 45, a crushed-car hauler, is also popular with customers. The four-sided trailer opens hydraulically like a pack of cigarettes, according to Taylor.
"It's a pretty revolutionary trailer and it received two patents," he said. "It cuts loading time to 10 minutes. Some of our competitors might take an hour and a half for the same load."
Taylor explained that five years ago a federal law mandated containment systems keep materials off the road.
"Some of our competitors use screen netting but that still requires drivers to get up on top and sweep up loose material, which can be a safety hazard," he said. "Because we're able to close the trailer, the loose material stays inside. It's clean and safe."
For the most part, Taylor sells the machines in the United States, although he has sold to Australia, Canada and Mexico because of the company's Internet presence. Equipment has a one-year warranty.
"We're proud of the fact customers rarely have to use the warranty," Taylor acknowledged. "It's not very often we have a problem within that year. If they do have a problem, we make it our number one priority. We also supply replacement parts when necessary."
Taylor receives all initial inquiries via telephone. "The conversation really changes when they find out I'm not only a manufacturer, but a scrap metal dealer and I have been for many years," he stated. "We can talk shop, we can talk markets, we can talk problems. Conversations wind up being as much as an hour for a first inquiry."
It is one aspect of his job that he enjoys. "I'm able to meet people from different parts of the country. Sometimes a name will come up that we'll both know. It's a nice connection."
On The Horizon
When he's not helping customers, Taylor confessed to sitting around with a notebook drawing sketches of potential inventions. He's also open to customer ideas as well as criticism.
One item on the drawing board for release in the near future is a machine that shears aluminum wheels with the rubber still attached.
"You can throw a tire in this machine, and it will chop it up into small pieces," he explained. "Plus you'll get a nice clean piece of aluminum. The tire can go into a landfill via the regular garbage. We've built a prototype. We're a couple of months away from introducing it.
"Our plan is to introduce new products as long as we have the ability to manufacture the machines," Taylor emphasized. "We're growing relatively slowly to ensure we will not have any recalls."
Owner: Bill Taylor
Location: Lancaster, Ky.
Years In Business: 7