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Grow with Us: The People of Felling, Bob Vangstad, Painter

Felling Trailers has been proudly manufacturing trailers for over 45 years, join us as we take a look back and see how much our company, along with our employees, have grown. Many of you may already know the story of how Felling Trailers started as a small fabrication shop in downtown Sauk Centre in 1974. Continuing to add to this story, we invite you to read our “Grow with Us Series – 10.” Here you will meet the people of Felling; we will share a bit about the people that have played a part in what our company is today and where we will be tomorrow. Some of the people you will meet have been with us for many years, some decades, and then others are just starting their careers with us. To continue our series, we would like you to meet Bob Vangstad, Painter for Felling Trailers, Inc., Sauk Centre.

Bob VangstadBob Vangstad, Painter at Felling Trailers
Paint/Blast Team

Name: Bob Vangstad
Status: 20 years
Title: Painter

Having “Yardman Bob” on our Team

Bob joined the Felling Trailers team in the spring of 2000 as an outside material handler. In this position, Bob was responsible for transporting the raw steel, components, and subassembly materials, from outdoor storage areas via forklift to the production floor. As a material handler, he became known on the radio (walkie talkie) as “Yardman Bob”, when his team members were in need of materials. Before his time with Felling, Bob had worked for 30 years for Osakis Silo Co, a silo building/repair, ready mix, and cement block manufacturing company. During his time there, Bob worked in many areas; a block & stave machine operator, mixed cement for blocks and staves, along with being a forklift operator. When Bob learned of the open position with Felling, he felt it would be the right fit for him.

Transitioning to an Inside Shop Position

Bob was one of Felling’s outside material handlers for 11 years before he decided it was time for a change. He transitioned to an inside position in the shop as a machine operator for a little over two years. As a machine operator, he was responsible for operating a variety of machines, like the saw and drill, to fabricate metal parts needed for the construction of a trailer. An operator must work to prioritize the workload for their machine(s), read blueprints, quality check parts produced along with monitoring the operation and maintenance of the machines.

A Steady Hand and Eye for Detail

In late 2013 Bob made one last move joining the Paint & Blast team. One of his main roles on this team is to stripe and decal the painted trailers and do paint touch-ups as needed. A steady hand and an eye for detail are needed when applying conspicuity tape, pinstriping, safety, and Felling branded decals. Depending on the trailer model and its features and options, it can have an upward of 40 decals to be applied along with the striping and conspicuity tape. Along with his striping duties, Bob also maintains a clean and safe work area, each afternoon he operates the company’s ECH2O M20 Sweeper/Scrubber throughout the production area.

Tripling Team Members in Twenty Years

When asked why Bob chose Felling to be where he worked, he said, “It’s a good place to work, it’s stable. The last company I worked for went broke. I needed a job quick and had lots of forklift experience, Felling was hiring, and it’s been a good place to be,” said Bob. Since Bob joined the Felling Trailers team over 20 years ago, he has seen and been a part of much of the company’s growth. “Felling has added on a lot since I first came here and hired a lot more people,” said Bob. In the last twenty years, the company has grown from a single location with less than 100 team members to two locations and nearly 300 team members. We are glad to have Bob as part of our team, thank you, Bob!

Are you interested in becoming part of the Felling Team? Learn more about a career at Felling Trailers and grow with us!

This is the tenth feature in our “Grow with Us” series.  Read the other stories about Chad Steinhofer, Lead Welder, Benji Hudalla, Final Inspector, Nathan Uphus, Sales, Jeremy Kuperus, Robot Operator & Senior Welder, Dillon Huntington, Finishing/Assembly Team Supervisor, Sheri Leonard, Human Resource & Safety Coordinator, Brian Lawver, Weld Supervisor, Greg Waletzko, Quality Assurance Manager at Felling Trailers, and Kristie Moritz, Scheduling Coordinator.

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