by Michael Hamline, Editor / Published April 2018
Longevity is defined as long existence or service. In the April issue, Cleaner Times features two companies that have had and continue to have longevity in the pressure washing industry. The first of these companies is Cat Pumps, which is based in Minnesota and in 2018 is celebrating its golden anniversary. The second company is Ben’s Cleaner Sales in Washington state, which was established in 1945 and is only a couple of years shy of a diamond anniversary.
The article “Cat Pumps: 50 Years of an Enduring Mission” authored by Kathy Danforth starts on page 6. This pump manufacturing company was founded in January 1968 by William Bruggeman. “Our niche is high quality, long-lasting products,” says current president Steve Bruggeman, son of the company’s founder. Steve relates the fascinating story of how Cat Pumps got its start. “In 1966 my dad. . . [was] put on a project to design a longer-lasting pump. The pumps at that time . . . only lasted 100–200 hours and then were thrown away.” After developing a triplex piston pump with a uniflow design principle, William Bruggeman traveled all the way to Japan to find a manufacturer of these new pumps. Steve comments, “Instead of a 100–200-hour life, their prototypes lasted for longer than 2,000 hours. However, the cost was 50 percent more than other pumps at the time, so the company said it was too expensive for pressure washers and scrapped the project.” William partnered with this Japanese manufacturing firm, and the rest is history. It is a highly fascinating story.
On page 20, Terri Perrin introduces us to Ben’s Cleaner Sales, a distributorship out of Seattle, WA, in the article “Ben’s Cleaner Sales Inc.: Sharing the Secrets of 73 Years of Success.” Ben Meyer started the company in 1945 as WWII was coming to an end. His son, Gordon Meyer, the current president of the company, notes how people observed his dad servicing his own steam cleaning equipment and began asking him to service their equipment and buy the necessary parts to fix the equipment. Gordon notes, “Eventually, they asked if they could just buy steam cleaning equipment from him, considering that he would ultimately be the one responsible for ongoing maintenance and repairs. It was the beginning of a shift in the company’s focus.” Currently, Ben’s Cleaner Sales Inc. is recognized as one of the largest and oldest full-service steam cleaner and pressure washer distributors in the United States.
As you pick up your April issue, we trust that the longevity of these two companies will encourage you, and we hope someday to profile your company for such endurance.