The Story Behind a 200 Horsepower Shredder

 “Allegheny has its own internal standard of excellence, and maintains that standard even when customers would be satisfied with less. John Wagner is driven by the reputation of his company.”

 When Ron Mason, President of Rohn Industries in St. Paul, Minnesota, visited the Allegheny factory in August 2000, he knew within a single day that he would purchase from Allegheny. “My former shredder had a ripped gearbox, and it would have taken $30,000 to rebuild,” Ron says. “I needed a shredder that would handle our volume of work. I was looking for equipment that was absolutely reliable. When I saw the 200 Horsepower model in action at Allegheny’s shredding facility, I wanted one just like it.”

 But Ron’s facility in St. Paul, from where the company had operated since 1983, wasn’t properly wired to handle the current required for the 200 Horsepower motor. He was reluctant to re-wire because he was in the process of designing his own facility, and hoped to have it built within a few years.

 “I discussed the situation with John Wagner, and to my surprise he offered to ship the shredder with a 125 Horsepower motor, then replace it with the 200 Horsepower when I was in the new facility. I said to him, ‘You mean you’re essentially lending me the 125 Horsepower for three years until I move into my new building?’ His reply was, ‘We have one just sitting around anyway.’ That’s the way John Wagner is. He was more concerned about me as a customer, and about getting my business up and running as quickly as possible, than he was with making an extra buck.”

  Since installation, the 125 Horsepower shredder has handled everything Ron’s staff has put through it. “We destroy all types of paper media with no problem whatsoever,” Ron says. “This includes bound material two or three inches thick. There’s nothing the machine won’t handle in our day-to-day operations. Now, with three people feeding the shredder, we’re destroying about 15,000 lbs. per hour. Next year, when we’re in our new facility with the 200 Horsepower motor and Allegheny’s Auto-Feed System installed, I expect to destroy 25,000 lb. per hour. After seeing Allegheny’s Auto-Feed System and the Auto-Tie Baler, I know that’s the only way to go. John Wagner developed the Auto-Feed himself because there was no conveyor that could feed his machines fast enough.”

 Ron explains that the durability and capacity of Allegheny’s shredders is due in part to the rugged construction of their gearboxes. “Almost all the stress of a shredder is transferred to the gearbox,” he says. “The gearbox of my former shredder had to be rebuilt every few years, but the way Allegheny’s gearboxes are constructed, I’ll be dead and in the ground a long time before the one in my equipment quits. This shredder is made of solid steel components. It weighs about 25,000 pounds—and it replaced a shredder of the same size that weighed about 5,000 pounds. I think that if you took my former machine apart, the Allegheny shredder could shred it piece by piece until it was gone. That’s how rugged the Allegheny shredder is.”

 Ron says that when he visited the Allegheny factory, he was most impressed with the people. “The factory doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles,” he recalls. “I bought John Wagner, his sons, and all the people I talked with who were absolutely committed to the machines. I saw a lot of heart and soul there.”

 Ron remembers that during his visit he was shown a shredder that had been taken in from a customer after 30 years of usage. “The teeth were as tight as on a new machine,” he says. “Allegheny doesn’t use a production line, where one person does nothing more than screw on a few parts as the line goes by. Each machine is hand crafted by two or three specialists. They’re hand built to your specifications.

  “Allegheny’s customer service leaves every other organization I’ve worked with a distant second,” Ron continues. “When you call in with a problem or question, you don’t talk with a customer service person, who needs to get back to you after taking the problem to someone else. With Allegheny, you speak directly with John or his son, Jim—the people who build the machines.”

 Although Ron is confident that his 200 Horsepower shredder, with Auto-Feed and Auto-Tie Baler, will handle all his needs for years to come, he’s already looking ahead. “I’m impressed by Allegheny’s trade-up policy,” he says. “If someone purchased a 50 Horsepower shredder, they could trade up to a 75, a 125, or a 200, receiving a high percentage of their initial cost. In fact, I would have no issue buying a refurbished Allegheny. There’s little chance that anything would every go wrong—but if there were a problem, I know that John Wagner would make it right.

 “For me to personally endorse a product, I wouldn’t do it for a million dollars if I didn’t believe in it. That’s why I’m happy to talk about Allegheny.”

Ron Mason, President
Rohn Industries, St. Paul, Minnesota