Vac-Tron Equipment Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation
Jul 11, 2014
Vac-Tron Equipment LLC, the country’s largest producer of industrial vacuum equipment, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014.
Okahumpka, Fla.-based Vac-Tron first took shape in October 1994 when Don Buckner founded American Manufacturing and Machine Inc., out of his garage with his son, Donnie Jr. Forged from their desire to “make something better,” the “virtual manufacturing” company relied on subcontractors to build and sell pumper and septic-tank trucks across the United States. While in this role, Buckner saw a need for innovation in the trenchless industry, which was, at the time, marked by disastrous underground utility strikes. Soon, Buckner developed a revolutionary, well-made industrial vacuum system that could safely locate underground utilities — without the risk of a strike — and Vac-Tron was born.
By 2000, the company’s sales had skyrocketed, leading to its recognition on the Inc. 500 as the 13th fastest-growing American company by Inc. Magazine. In the same year, Buckner was named Florida’s Entrepreneur of the Year and one of three finalists of the National Entrepreneur of the Year Award for construction/real estate by Ernst and Young (in conjunction with NASDAQ, CNN and USA Today).
Today, Vac-Tron manufactures more than 30 industrial vacuum products with more than 50 wet and dry applications; its products are distributed globally through a network of 120 dealer outlets. Buckner and Vac-Tron’s team of 40-plus employees, which includes his son as head of manufacturing, continue to lead the industry in assessing and developing new products and patents.
Vac-Tron Equipment LLC, offers a full line of industrial vacuums, potholing, daylighting, hydro-excavation, and air excavation equipment. Vac-Tron can also be used for directional drilling slurry removal, industrial clean-up, waste clean-up, lift-station clean-up,manhole clean-out, culvert clean-out, lateral and storm drain clean-out, oil spill clean-up and other natural disaster clean-up applications, power pole installation, and sign setting. Vac-Tron’s industrial vacuum systems come in trailer-mounted or skid-mounted models. The company’s industrial hydro excavators also come in gas, diesel, and super diesel models for use by public and private sectors.
In June 2014, Buckner accepted Manufacturing Leadership Awards in two categories from Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council: “Product Leadership” for Vac-Tron’s work on the 2010 BP oil spill cleanup, and “Individual Project – Growth, Innovation, Leadership” in recognition of Buckner’s commitment to furthering the manufacturing industry. Buckner has also been nominated for the Association of Equipment Manufacturer’s Hall of Fame.
Despite the company’s long-held success, Buckner said he still pinches himself. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d be where we are today,” he said, while adding, “I’m very proud of our team and the work they’ve put in over the years.”
Buckner said Vac-Tron’s uncompromising dedication to quality and to U.S.-based vendors and suppliers has also contributed to its success. “We’ve never taken shortcuts to cheapen our product,” he said. “In everything we do, we strive for longevity and value; it’s a business model that’s worked well for us — and it’s one we’ll carry into the next 20 years.”
The company’s 20th anniversary celebrations are being planned for the fall. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/Vactron20years or call (888) VAC-TRON.