Limiting reliance on outside contractors gives a manufacturer more control of its own destiny. Recent events have made this abundantly clear.
While the country continues to rebound from the pandemic, manufacturers have been forced to navigate the challenges that come with the fragile nature of the current supply chain. Dependence on an outside vendor for a critical component can place a manufacturer in a precarious position. In addition, while manufacturers can inspect incoming components to make sure they conform to acceptable standards, it’s no substitute for controlling the quality hands-on.
So, when Aaron Sage, second-generation CEO of Sage Oil Vac, saw an opportunity to take a more vested interest in tank manufacturing and support the local economy, he acted. In March of 2021, Sage acquired the Willborn Tank and Manufacturing product line of Willborn Brothers, another Amarillo, Texas-based company that complemented Sage Oil Vac. It was recently renamed Amarillo Tanks, a nod to the city roots established with Sage Oil Vac.
“The last few years have been challenging for contractors,” says Sage. “When the pandemic hit in 2020, many contractors and manufacturers were concerned that the work they had forecasted might go away. In some cases, there was a short-term dip in the industry. However, shortly afterward, work ramped up quickly, and many companies were facing labor shortages and long wait times for equipment. As a company, we can’t address all of the challenges our customers are currently dealing with. But we are trying to have a positive impact where we can. The addition of Amarillo Tanks helps us do that.”
ACQUISITION CREATES OPPORTUNITY
With a foundation of more than 100 years in the Texas Panhandle, the Willborn Brothers reputation for quality tank building was a perfect match for Sage Oil Vac. First started in 1911 with a goal of developing manufacturing water storage and stock tanks to support the ranching and agricultural industries in the region, the business soon expanded to manufacture petroleum storage tanks and tank wagons, further leading fuel dispensing systems and automatic tank gauges. Since acquisition, Aaron Sage has been intentional about continuing the company’s legacy.
Wilborn Brothers will retain their separate fueling systems installation, service, and parts business, which is also headquartered in Amarillo.
TRUE WIN-WIN SCENARIO
While Amarillo Tanks will continue to operate independently from Sage Oil Vac, the acquisition brings multiple benefits to both Amarillo-based companies. At the heart is the availability of locally sourced Amarillo tanks that will reduce the Sage Oil Vac reliance on outside vendors, further advancing their goal of building critical tank components in-house.
“In 2021, the most important component, the tank, began to transition closer to home. This gives us control over the quality and design of the workhorse of the Sage Oil Vac product offering,” says Sage. “The frames for the units are also designed, engineered, and built in our facility.”
By investing in technology to build tanks in Amarillo, Sage Oil Vac also gains key efficiencies, including quality control, component availability, and reduced shipping. The investment will also enhance the ability to customize tanks, providing tailored solutions to fit customer needs.
Quality has become a hallmark of the Sage Oil Vac line over the past 30 years and the acquisition of Amarillo Tanks builds on that reputation. “We have never had a tank that failed in the field,” notes Sage. Because Sage Oil Vac has total control over the tank manufacturing process, customers can have confidence in knowing nothing is left to chance.
Amarillo Tanks looks to gain steady market growth by supplying tanks for Sage Oil Vac while continuing to serve its existing customer base with fuel and oil tanks, fuel trailers, valve and meter boxes, and livestock and wildlife tanks. The company continues to invest in new technology that will elevate capabilities to the next level, providing customers endless customization capabilities. Amarillo Tanks’ round and rectangular tanks meet UL 142 Aboveground Flammable Liquid code requirements. The company has the ability to produce double-walled tanks for specialty applications.
“We are always challenging ourselves to innovate and build the highest quality mobile lube equipment for the needs of a variety of industries, and Amarillo Tanks will help continue to do that,” says Sage. “In addition, the Amarillo Tanks product line helps us support even more industries and provide additional tank options in the markets we already serve.”
For More Information:
For more information on the complete product lines from Amarillo Tanks and Sage Oil Vac, visit AmarilloTanks.com and SageOilVac.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, March 2023
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern Contractor Solutions magazine.