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Filling Canada's need for piling products

By Jennifer Paterson

 

American Muscle Docks & Fabrication has its roots in the fabrication business – it was born from an amalgamation between Valley Manufacturing, a metal fabricating and stamping company, and Follansbee Dock Systems, which it purchased in 2012.

“Being that we are a fabrication business at heart, we work with the metal from raw to refined,” said Luke Diserio, the company’s CEO. “We manufacture our dock hardware all under one roof, in order to control quality and have the ability to quickly handle customized product demands.” 

The company’s roots are also in the U.S., as it was founded in West Virginia, and it has a distribution network across the U.S., but the majority of its products are sold in the northeast and in Canada. 

“The Canadian market is a good fit because we build our products heavier and stronger, so they are suited for harsher water environments,” said Diserio. 

 

Fabricating and manufacturing

The company fabricates, builds and sells completed boat docks and hardware worldwide. Its focus is fabricating metal dock hardware for floating and stationary applications, such as wood docks, steel truss docks and steel channel dock kits.

  “We fabricate and manufacture the metal hardware to 

construct many boat dock material styles, as well as the necessary mooring hardware to attach them to piling poles, bulk heads, etc.,” said Diserio. “We not only fabricate and produce marine-specific products, but also many other metal products for a range of customers and applications.”

 

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In its metal boat dock hardware category the company’s biggest seller is piling hoops, including external hoop pile guides, which attach piles to floating docks. It also sells external and internal square pile guides in various sizes, strengths and with options such as different materials of rollers, which allow the pile guides to ride up and down more easily on the piling poles.

“Some 80 per cent of our built docks are moored with piling poles, and the most popular item we fabricate is the piling hoops,” said Diserio. “Our hope is to be a reliable source to those in the marine [piling] industry, and be able to grow and expand the products we offer.”

 

In the beginning

American Muscle Docks was born Valley Manufacturing, a metal fabricating and stamping business that specialized in producing stamped metal for window screen frames. Paul J. Diserio, who founded the company in 1963, ran the business successfully for 25 years, due to the demand in this niche market.

In 1988, he passed the company to his son, Paul R. Diserio. That same year, the company shifted its focus to fabrication and bought seven acres of land outside Wellsburg, West Virginia on which to build a new manufacturing facility. 

Ten years later, Valley Manufacturing became the sole supplier of metal goods for Follansbee Dock Systems, an international manufacturer of floating dock systems and components. Between 1999 and 2012, Valley manufactured steel truss frames and hardware, wood dock hardware, ladders, metal dock frames and specialty fabricated metal parts for Follansbee to then resell.

In January 2012, the owners of Follansbee Dock Systems announced their intent to sell the business, which put Valley Manufacturing in a difficult position, as manufacturing for the company had become more than 70 per cent of its business.

During this time, Paul R. Diserio, his wife Kathy, and his two sons Luke and Kurt, decided to start their own dock manufacturing company and called it American Muscle Docks & Fabrication. Luke, who at the time was a professional golfer, decided to change his course in life for the opportunity to help run the new business. His brother Kurt, who owned several businesses of his own, came on to handle all the website, computers and graphic imaging for the new company. 

Valley Manufacturing, which was now American Muscle Docks & Fabrication, made an offer to purchase Follansbee Dock Systems. After a couple of months the deal was finalized, and it began operating as American Muscle Docks & Fabrication at the 20,000 square foot facility in Wellsburg. 

“American Muscle Docks & Fabrication is not a new business, but rather an ever-evolving company that has changed and adapted to new demands and markets over time,” said Diserio. “The heritage of both Valley Manufacturing and Follansbee Dock Systems has laid the groundwork on which American Muscle Docks operates.”

 

What's in a name?

AMERICAN -  U.S. employees using U.S. steel
MUSCLE - Strength is the company's goal for every product
DOCKS - It offers a variety of dock systems, from simple to extravagant
FABRICATION - The company is confident in its products, knowing it s the manufacturer

 

 

Looking ahead

As it embarks on its third year, the company is focused on growing and expanding to meet its customer needs, especially as a large aspect of the business is fabricating specialized parts and pieces to meet unique customer requests.

“Our goal is to continue to do what we do best, which is building hardware, and to expand our selection offered as demands arise,” says Diserio. “Roughly 30 per cent of our fabricating is one-off parts for customers. These are stock parts that we alter to fit the customers demand, or entirely one-off custom pieces. Pile hoops are the most common special fabricated parts. All we need is an accurate drawing with dimensions, and we can make the part.”

The company’s dock systems are built to fit into existing piling pole locations, as long as it has accurate dimensions and placements of the current piling. Piling poles can also be driven through the pile guides after they have been attached to the dock. 

“Many first-time installs do it this way because it is easier and more accurate most of the time,” said Diserio.

The company’s aim is to have stocking warehouses located in the four corners of the U.S., a move that would cut down on shipping costs and help to expedite shipping times. 

“We are also currently seeking international stocking dealers that can push our products overseas,” said Diserio.

Looking up north to Canada is also a priority. 

“We feel the Canadian market will be one of our growing markets, because of our geographical location and the products we offer,” said Diserio. 

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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.