Truck rack plant to open new operation in Albany

Posted August 8, 2018 at 1:16 pm

Although there are a few minor details yet to be worked out before the deal would be considered completely finalized, all indications are that Albany will be the new home for a manufacturing plant that produces a product known as “Rack-it Truck Racks.”

That development was announced Monday morning by the president of the manufacturing company currently located in Shingle Springs, California.

Van Thompson, president of the company that will locate here in the building formerly occupied by Thoroughbred Houseboats on Fairgrounds Road, told the Clinton County News Monday morning at the site, that he hopes to see his newest plant open and fully operational by at least the first of 2019.

“Truck racks are our main product – we build a rack that fits on top of utility trucks,” Thompson said during a brief interview.

The company is locating here after working with several individuals to secure the new manufacturing firm, including Matt Dalton, who has already sold a large quantity of equipment to Thompson, Keith Dalton, and local real estate agent Seth Parrish, who is handling the sale of the property to Thompson’s company.

Thompson said that initially, he expects to begin the start-up of the manufacturing operation with 10-12 employees, but notes that he expects to be able to grow the staff considerable as the plant gets under operation.

He said that currently at the California plant, about 65 people are employed.

Thompson added that he will continue to keep the California plant open.

“We have an existing customer base throughout the east coast, and it makes more sense to make the product closer to those customers without having to ship everthing from California.

While the company also makes several other items at its California location, the product known as a “Rack-It Truck Rack” is its main production item.

The truck rack system is made in several different configurations and with a host of custom options that are available to fit each customer’s needs.

Thompson was at the location formerly owned by Thoroughbread Houseboats with several other company officials Monday, including Vice-President Gary Kanks, Travis Thompson, Keith and Matt Dalton and Parrish.

Also on hand Monday were Shawn Travers and his wife Rose. Shawn will be the manager of the local operation in the beginning stages of getting the facility ready for production and when the company eventually gets up and running manufacturing the truck racks.

Thompson said there was still considerable infrastructure work to be done at the plant before the manufacturing work could begin, noting that extensive welding and crane installation would be completed to fit his manuracturing process.

Thompson said the truck racks his company makes are used for a wide variety of applications, from construction workers who need to carry ladders and tools, to recreation enthusiasts who travel with canoes, kayaks and camping equipment.

According to the company’s web site, the firm has been manufacturing Rack-it units since 1986.

Thompson and the other members of his Rack-it team were expected to meet with members of the IDA for a question and answer workshop session Tuesday.