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This artist's rendering shows Terex Utitlites' 450,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Watertown, S.D., as it will look when it's completed in 2020. Construction on the facility began in August. IMAGE: Terex Utilities

New heights: Terex Utilities’ new building in Watertown, S.D., will consolidate 10 manufacturing facilities into one

WATERTOWN, S.D. – Stand on your hat and you can see 15 miles, as the saying about the eastern Dakota prairie goes.

On this landscape, after all, a highway overpass is a meaningful rise.

So if you’re looking for reasons why a leading manufacturer of utility-industry aerial devices has prospered in Watertown – so much so that the company now is building a 450,000-square-foot manufacturing facility – maybe that’s one.

It could be that South Dakotans simply appreciate the power of elevation, and take pride in building machines that can safely lift workers to lofty heights.

Terex Utilities today builds aerial devices and auger drills as well as digger derricks – vehicles that drill holes in the ground, then lift and secure utility poles into place – in about 10 buildings around Watertown, said Alan Stager, the company’s finance director.

When it opens in 2020, the new facility will bring all of those operations under one roof.

“In this facility, we’ll manufacture and assemble our fiberglass booms, and there’s a section of the building that is a multi-story high bay to allow the booms be raised inside the building and testing to be performed,” he said.  

Also within the building, the booms will be painted, inspected and installed on commercial truck chassis for delivery.

Construction began in August and is taking place on a 55-acre site that had been owned in part by the Watertown Development Corp.  

South Dakota competed against several other states for the new plant, said South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard at the groundbreaking ceremony earlier this year.

“Terex is the sort of company that, when given the opportunity to expand or relocate, can do it just about anywhere around the globe,” Daugaard said.

“This reinvestment benefits Terex employees, the Watertown community, the state and the entire region at large.”

-- Tom Dennis

Editor, Prairie Business

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