Starting in the 1950s Keith Foster built a company in the small farming community that now builds equipment used all over the world.
Madras can be proud of its history, especially when it comes to agriculture. Now more than 50 years ago the company that Keith Foster started in the heart of Jefferson County building farm equipment continues into the new age building innovative products that are used internationally in transfer and handling of large bulk materials.
Foster moved to Madras and started designing and building specialized farm equipment in a small workshop with only a few employees. By the ‘60s Foster was designing systems to unload various farm crops efficiently and with minimum manpower. These early innovations eventually lead him to developing The Keith Walking Floor System in the early ‘70s. This innovative design has become the standard in the industry for bulk transfer systems and are now used worldwide in agricultural and large volume materials applications.
Keith Manufacturing Company is a family business with the second and third generation continuing the high standards established by founder Keith Foster. Mark Foster is president and the company has 220 employees in six international locations including The Netherlands, Spain, Australia, Mexico, U.K. and Canada. The primary product is the Walking Floor material handling system. It is used in a variety of semi-trailer applications, as well as custom-fabricated stationary systems to move a wide range of bulk products, such as waste, recyclables, biomass and agriculture products.
Not resting on its history, Keith Manufacturing is moving forward into the future continuing to develop new materials handling equipment. Laura Crocker, media manager, reports, “We are seeing success with a new product designed to unload aggregate and asphalt, which is safer than traditional dump trailers used for road work. It’s called a V-FLOOR system which efficiently unloads most rock-related products, including gravel, asphalt, sand and dirt. Keith also recently displayed the most advanced Keith Walking Floor system during the Texas Cotton Ginners Association yearly meeting and trade show.”
Regarding the local economy Crocker says, “We are excited about 2014 and are looking forward to continued growth internationally, particularly in-roads made in the Brazil and Korea markets. While the overall Central Oregon economy continues to lag a bit, it is improving. Recent expansions in Madras’ industrial park indicate slow, yet steady growth for Madras.
“We hope to continue to create jobs, as that is an indicator that sales are increasing and the economy is improving.”
401 NW Adler St., Madras, OR 97741
Phone: 800-547-6161 • 541-475-3802
CEO/Owner: President Mark Foster
No. Employees: 220 worldwide
Year Established: 1950
Product/Service: solutions for a variety of material handling challenges with its trailer applications and stationary bin systems. Custom engineered systems have moved loads from several tons to over 1,400 tons.
Hot News: success with a new product designed to unload aggregate and asphalt, which is safer than traditional dump trailers used for road work called a
V-Floor system which efficiently unloads most rock-related products, including gravel, asphalt, sand and dirt.
Outlook for Growth: excited about 2014 and looking forward to continued growth internationally, particularly inroads made in the Brazil and Korea markets.