Vac-Tron Equipment celebrates 20 years of innovation

OKAHUMPKA, Fla., July 6th, 2014Vac-Tron Equipment, LLC, the country’s largest producer of industrial vacuum equipment, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

CEO and founder Don Buckner
CEO and founder Don Buckner
Okahumpka, Florida-based Vac-Tron first took shape in October of 1994 when Don Buckner founded American Manufacturing and Machine, Inc., out of his garage with his son, Donnie Jr. Forged from their desire to “make something better” — not unlike other garage-founded operations such as Amazon and Microsoft — the “virtual manufacturing” company relied on subcontractors to build and sell pumper and septic-tank trucks across the U.S. While in this role, Buckner saw a need for innovation in the trenchless industry, which was, at the time, marked by disastrous underground utility strikes. Soon, Buckner developed a revolutionary, well-made industrial vacuum system that could safely locate underground utilities — without the risk of a strike — and Vac-Tron was born.It wasn’t long before the industry took notice of Vac-Tron and its new technology. By 2000, the company’s sales had skyrocketed, leading to its recognition on the Inc. 500 as the 13th fastest-growing American company by Inc. Magazine. In the same year, Buckner was named Florida’s Entrepreneur of the Year and one of three finalists of the National Entrepreneur of the Year Award for construction/real estate by Ernst and Young (in conjunction with NASDAQ, CNN and USA Today).Today, Vac-Tron manufactures more than 30 industrial vacuum products with more than 50 wet and dry applications; its products are distributed globally through a network of 120 dealer outlets. Buckner and Vac-Tron’s team of 40-plus employees, which includes his son as head of manufacturing, continue to lead the industry in assessing and developing new products and patents.In June 2014, Buckner accepted Manufacturing Leadership Awards in two categories from Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council: “Product Leadership” for Vac-Tron’s work on the 2010 BP oil spill cleanup, and “Individual Project – Growth, Innovation, Leadership” in recognition of Buckner’s commitment to furthering the manufacturing industry. Buckner has also been nominated for the Association of Equipment Manufacturer’s Hall of Fame.Despite the company’s long-held success, Buckner said he still pinches himself. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d be where we are today,” he said, while adding, “I’m very proud of our team and the work they’ve put in over the years.”Buckner said Vac-Tron’s uncompromising dedication to quality and to U.S.-based vendors and suppliers has also contributed to its success. “We’ve never taken shortcuts to cheapen our product,” he said. “In everything we do, we strive for longevity and value; it’s a business model that’s worked well for us — and it’s one we’ll carry into the next 20 years.”The company’s 20th anniversary celebrations are being planned for the fall. For more information, visit www.vactron.com or call 1-888-VAC-TRON.About Vac-Tron EquipmentVac-Tron Equipment, LLC, offers a full line of industrial vacuums, potholing, daylighting, hydro-excavation, and air excavation equipment. Vac-Tron can also be used for directional drilling slurry removal, industrial cleanup, waste cleanup, lift-station cleanup, manhole clean-out, culvert clean-out, lateral and storm drain clean-out, oil spill cleanup and other natural disaster cleanup applications, power pole installation, and sign setting.Vac-Tron’s industrial vacuum systems come in trailer-mounted or skid-mounted models. Vac-Tron’s industrial hydro excavators also come in gas, diesel, and super diesel models for use by public and private sectors. For more information, visit www.vactron.com.

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