In 1935, a man by the name of Lou Conne founded Muncie Parts Manufacturing Company or what is better known today as Muncie Power Products, Inc. Located in a section of the Plank Brothers building in downtown Muncie, Indiana, the company as it was consisted of a single location and one employee, Hamer Shafer.
Throughout the company’s early years, it served as a distributor of automotive replacement parts. Shortly after World War II and by the end of its first decade of operation however the company had redirected its sales efforts to mobile power equipment. With Shafer taking a larger role in the company’s operations, Muncie Parts Manufacturing traded truck parts for power take-offs and other related hydraulic components.
Although Muncie Parts Manufacturing would go on to become the largest distributor of PTOs in North America with 10 locations in the United States and Canada by the 1970s, it was not until the late forties that Muncie Parts would release the first of its proprietary products. This included a Muncie branded, single gear power take-off by Borg-Warner.
With the passing of Muncie Parts founder, Lou Conne, a few years later in 1952, employee, Hamer Shafer, entered into a joint partnership with Conne’s daughter. It was a turning point for the company with Shafer now at the helm, with his part interest and appointment as general manager. Under this new leadership, the company moved to 342 N. Pershing Drive in Muncie and on March 1, 1960, the company incorporated.
Five years later, the company continued to flourish under Shafer’s guidance with the company’s first division taking root in Atlanta in 1965. That following year Shafer would go on to purchase the remaining stock and become the company’s president.
The late 1960s through the mid-1970s brought product expansion with Muncie Parts’ patent of the polyethylene reservoir and creation of the well known, BIG RED dump pump. A few years later in October 1979, the company officially changed its name to Muncie Power Products, Inc. to better mirror the company’s role in the truck and mobile equipment industry.
BECOMING A MANUFACTURER
In 1982 the decision was made to develop a revolutionary PTO design in cooperation with Tulsa Winch, a division of Sperry Vickers, breaking away from the role of distributor to that of manufacturer. With its purchase of the state of the art PTO manufacturing equipment and facilities from Vickers Tulsa Manufacturing company – now the manufacturing division and distribution center in Tulsa, Oklahoma – a few years later in November 1986, Muncie Power officially became a manufacturer in its own right.
In 1992 an early version of the interactive software, M-Power, was distributed via floppy disc to help educate customers on Muncie Power’s line of products. By April 1994, the interactive software was copyrighted and formally released. (M-Power still stands today as a valuable product specification tool for customers.)
Four years later in 1998, company headquarters moved to its current location at 201 E. Jackson St. in Muncie, Indiana.
That next year, 1999, brought with it more change, as Muncie Power Products went on to join – what is now – more than two dozen other companies, becoming part of the multinational operation, Interpump Group, S.p.A. located in S. Ilario d’ Enza, Italy. Two of these companies, Muncie Power Products would join, were Hydrocar and PZB, two of the largest PTO manufacturers in Europe.
Together these three companies offered, and still do offer, the largest selection of PTO products in the world. Over the next 16 years, Muncie Power Products would establish five more locations in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2014, develop Muncie Power’s Snow & Ice Division in 2004 and implement Lean Enterprise.
MUNCIE POWER TODAY
Today Muncie Power Products has seven company owned locations; headquarters in Muncie, Indiana, assembly centers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Muncie, Indiana, and distribution centers in Atlanta, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Visalia, California. Beyond these manufacturing and distribution facilities across the country, Muncie Power Products maintains a global distribution network to best meet customer application needs and provide industry leading customer service.
Even with the growth of the company and the transfer of ownership to the Interpump Group, Muncie Power continues with the same mission: “…to provide quality products and services that will satisfy the needs and expectations of our customers. We are committed to the continual improvement of our products and processes to achieve our quality objectives, minimize costs to our customers and realize a reasonable profit that will provide a stable future for our employees.”