In Business: LaValley Industries Revolutionizes Pipe Handling
The start of LaValley Industries is known as a Bemidji success story.
Jason LaValley said the concept of a pipe handling attachment came to him after an accident on a job site he was working at over a decade ago.
“I had this idea of a new way of handling pipe, so I had faxed it to my dad and spoke with my wife about creating this new idea in my garage. So we began building this idea, this attachment for handling pipes in a safer way,” said LaValley, CEO of LaValley Industries.
Before the Deckhand was invented, people would use slings, cables, and straps on construction sites. Lavalley wanted to eliminate the free-swinging portion of handling pipes. In November 2005, his family and friends helped him with his project, and a couple years later the Deckhand prototype was finished.
“2007, I borrowed some money from my uncle because I had spent everything I had my life savings on this project and I brought the machine down to where I was at, at the job site, and lo and behold, the dang thing worked,” LaValley said.
Jorge Prince, the Chief Financial Officer of LaValley Industries, said that over the last 12 years the company has grown.
“So it’s not just different arms, it’s different heads, but we’ve also created a new kind of pump, we’re working on a new type of electrical generator, we’ve created a hydraulic test bench, we’ve launched five other companies out of LaValley Industries,” Prince said.
Deckhand is known as the safest and most effective pipe handling system and can be used in any weather environment. The product comes in multiple sizes, the largest being the XL. It weighs about 3,000 to 5,000 lbs and has been modified slightly over the years. The Deckhand attaches to excavator, which are typically used for digging dirt and loading trucks.
“What we’ve done is detached the bucket and added an attachment with a grapple, it’s a grapple designed attachment that grabs the pipes to manipulates it in any different directions, in a non-free-swinging action, and loads trucks with the pipes or unloads trucks,” LaValley said.
The tools available at LaValley Industries are used for drill rod handling, pipe handling, utility work, and road mats.