SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Kalmar created the RT240 Rough Terrain Reach Stacker in 1999 to meet specific requirements for the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army decided to containerize their supplies and needed equipment that could work in areas where infrastructure had been destroyed or was non-existent. The answer to that challenge was the RT240, which easily handles twenty and forty foot containers in the harshest conditions. In 2000, Kalmar RT Center won the Army contract and began production of the RT240 in Sweden. Together the containerization of supplies and use of the RT240 for material handling has revolutionized the logistical operations of the U.S. Military, its allies and related government agencies worldwide.
“In Afghanistan, the RT240s were used to rapidly construct a barrier under hostile conditions which saved soldiers’ lives and facilitated the accomplishment of their mission”
In 2008, Kalmar RT Center made the decision move production to their facility in Cibolo, TX. Over the last 4 years Kalmar RT has reduced labor and material costs while increasing product availability and shortening lead times to its customer. Today, more than 70% of materials used to build the RT240 are sourced in North America. President and CEO Bryan K. Stephens gathered the employees of Kalmar on December 14, 2012 to recognize their achievement.
“I wanted to bring everyone together today to recognize the great accomplishment of the 500th RT240 manufactured here in Cibolo,” said Stephens. “You all made it possible. My favorite part of being CEO of this company is traveling and talking about the great people of this organization,” said Stephens.
Moving manufacturing to Cibolo required quite an investment in the company’s facility and human capital. The company invested $20 million in facility expansion, going from one building to five buildings in 2008. That same year, the number of employees increased from 45 to 85. Now Kalmar RT Center has 160 employees working for the company.
The RT240 has done more than just improve the logistics of the U.S. Military and its allies; it has also had a significant humanitarian impact. The RT240 was used to deliver food, water and medical supplies to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The use of the equipment has also aided in protecting soldiers. Stephens relayed an example of that to the employees of Kalmar.
“In Afghanistan, the RT240s were used to rapidly construct a barrier under hostile conditions which saved soldiers’ lives and facilitated the accomplishment of their mission,” said Stephens.
Three months ago in October, the company announced that same battle tested equipment is being offered commercially. The company already had its first commercial win, selling four RT240s to Toll Group for use on the Gorgon Project, a joint venture led by Chevron to develop Australia’s largest known natural gas resource. Toll Group will use the RT240 to add capacity and efficiency to the freight and materials handling operations at the dock and construction sites in the remote location. Kalmar RT Center’s expansion into the commercial market marks a new era for the company. Now both companies and governments around the globe will have the opportunity to use the RT240.