Vehicle Service Group has been awarded a contract worth almost $4 million from New York City Transit Authority, the largest public transit agency in North America. The contract could lead to more jobs at the local manufacturer.
VSG manufactures several brands of vehicle lifts, wheel service and collision repair equipment. Brands like Rotary, Chief Automotive Technologies and Direct-Lift design, test, produce and sell their products from the company’s North and South American Headquarters in Madison. The manufacturer employees about 400 people.
NYCTA tested VSG’s MCH18 mobile column lift alongside two other manufacturers’ comparable lifts during a three-month period in 2016 to determine which company they wanted to hire. The Rotary Mach Series MCH18 lifts, designed and built in Madison, were a staple at the local manufacturer before this recent contract. NYCTA will use the lifts at its service depots to perform preventive and reactive maintenance on the city’s transit fleet.
“Winning this contract is a testament to the Rotary Lift team that designs and builds the MCH18 mobile column lift,” said Doug Spiller, heavy duty product manager for Rotary Lift. “The customer testing was second to none: they really put our mobile columns through the wringer.”
VSG has added 30 full-time positions in Madison since the start of 2017. The health of the company spurred some of the growth, but they also were preparing for the new contract. The NYCTA contract accounts for 10 of the jobs created this year, according to David Fischmer, VSG’s director of marketing.
“Any time a high-profile contract such as the NYCT deal is awarded to a local company, it’s a win for the company’s employees, Madison and Jefferson County,” said Fischmer. “It provides an influx of revenue for the local economy and creates opportunity to offer new jobs, as it has for VSG.”
Machine shops often prefer mobile column lifts because of the versatility they offer. The portable lifts engage the vehicle at the tire, not the frame, making them easier and faster to use, said Fischmer. Mechanics can use the MCH18 to lift all vehicles in a fleet — no matter the size. The mobile column lift also requires no strict building foundation; only quick setup is necessary before the work can begin.
VSG will begin delivering the lifts to NYCTA during the first quarter of 2018, said Fischmer. The duration of the contract is dependent on the rate of manufacture and delivery, which has not been set yet.
“We continue to look for opportunities to grow, win new business, design innovative equipment and acquire new brands and products,” said Matt Webster, VSG vice president and general manager of the Americas. “Contracts like this one in New York are good for our employees and community.”