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Grow with Us: The People of Felling - Benji Hudalla, Quality Control Final Inspector

As Felling celebrates 45 years of manufacturing trailers, we continue to 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 – 8.” 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 Benji Hudalla, one of the Quality Control Final Inspectors for Felling Trailers, Inc., Litchfield.

Benji HudallaBenji Hudalla Felling Trailers, Trailer Inspector, Minnesota Manufacturing Careers
Final Inspector at  Felling Trailers

Name: Benji Hudalla
Status: 21 years
Title: Final Inspector

From Technical College to Painting at Felling 

Benji joined the Felling Trailer’s Team in July of 1998, shortly after he graduated from South Central Technical College in North Mankato from the Auto Body Program. Felling Trailers was Benji’s first job after graduating from tech school. He started as a painter and held that position for a few years then moved into the role of lead painter for many years. “When I graduated from Auto Body School, I was more interested in the painting, and I thought Felling Trailers would be a good start for me. I learned a lot the first couple of years painting here, and when the lead painter spot opened, I felt I was ready for it,” said Benji.

Part of the Highly Skilled Paint Team at Felling

As part of the paint department team, Benji was responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the paint system and equipment along with the pre-paint preparation of trailers and parts before being painted. Felling trailers are touted as having one of the best paint jobs in the industry, thanks in part to our highly skilled Paint Team. The Paint Team preps trailers and parts by steel grit blasting them removing rust and contaminants, next they apply primer and paint. Once painted, the trailers/parts are moved to the Drying room where the paint cures and decals are applied.

Moving to Quality Control Final Inspector

In the spring of 2014, Benji was offered the opportunity to transfer to Felling’s Litchfield location to assist in training and implementation of the paint program to the facility. After getting the paint system and processes established, and team members trained, Benji was ready to move on to a new challenge. “After about 18 years in Paint, I felt I could use a change. I had learned about a spot that was coming available for a Paint QC (Quality Control Final Inspector). With my years in paint experience, I thought QC would be a good fit for me,” said Benji. As the QC Inspector for the Paint Team, Benji inspects each trailer to ensure that the proper amount of paint has been applied evenly and without error. Upon completion of his inspection, the trailers proceed on to the Finishing stage of production where they receive wiring, lights, decking, and so on. 

“After about 18 years in Paint, I felt I could use a change. I had learned about a spot that was coming available for a Paint QC (Quality Control Final Inspector). With my years in paint experience, I thought QC would be a good fit for me,”

– Benji Hudalla, Quality Control Final Inspectors at Felling Trailers, Inc., Litchfield

 
Helping Felling Grow into one of the Top Brands in Industry

Since Benji joined the Felling Trailers team 21 years ago, he has seen and been a part of much of the company’s growth. “I am amazed by how this company has grown. When I started, we did of all our sandblasting outside in a little pole shed and had a little paint booth. We used pressure pots and mixed our own material. Now we do our blasting in a large booth, we’ve added a large paint booth, and have our material electronically mixed,” Benji said. Technology, processes, and people like Benji have helped Felling become one of the top brands in the industry; we are glad to have Benji as part of our team, thank you, Benji!  

“I am amazed by how this company has grown. When I started, we did of all our sandblasting outside in a little pole shed and had a little paint booth. We used pressure pots and mixed our own material. Now we do our blasting in a large booth, we’ve added a large paint booth, and have our material electronically mixed,”

– Benji Hudalla, Quality Control Final Inspectors at Felling Trailers, Inc., Litchfield

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 eighth feature in our “Grow with Us” series.  Read the other stories about Nathan Uphus, Sales, Jeremy Kuperus, Robot Operator/Senior Welder, 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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