There are a lot of faces behind the name, G.F. Puhl Company, Inc., headquartered in Gallatin, Tennessee. But there is one face that has been present for every day of the past 40 years: Gregg Puhl.
Gregg has a saying that he’s “grateful that he’s only had to hang one shingle” over all these years. His leadership, vision, and dedication have served our customers well and employed many for decades. The 40th anniversary reminds us how grateful we are for those who were part of the Puhl team who have passed on and those with us today.
Gregg’s father closed shop in June of 1980 for health reasons and, at that time, Gregg went to work for a local mechanical contractor until June of 1983. That was when he made the decision to “hang his own shingle” and start up what is today a full-scale engineering, fabrication, and installation company for air-conveyed trim and dust collection systems.
Gregg officially opened the doors of G.F. Puhl on June 15, 1983 and has never looked back. Based on the current job number log, the company is well over 20,000 projects and counting.
Building A Dream: A Word From The President
Forty years ago, my dream was to be sitting exactly where we are at today, being a leader with a reputation for designing, fabricating, and installing air conveyed trim and dust handling systems that are reliable and perform as advertised. This business is my passion that has turned into my favorite hobby.
By providing reliable systems that last the test of time, I have also made many personal lifelong friends out of people who started out as customers and business acquaintances.
It’s hard for me to believe that I started out in a three-bedroom apartment with five employees. In 1985 we pulled together enough funding to have our first 20,000 square foot fabrication shop built, located in Goodlettsville Tennessee (about 20 miles north of Nashville).
By 2007, we had outgrown the shop and decided to move to our current 51,000 square foot plant location in Gallatin, Tennessee, about 30 miles north of the Nashville airport. Since then, we’ve added a 5,000 square foot warehouse to store equipment that we remanufacture with a warranty for some savings for our customers.
My philosophy about serving our customers and making a solid business has changed very little over the years. The main points of this philosophy are:
Our systems must work reliably, and we must stand behind our work to build confidence within our marketplace. Walking away from a problem and leaving the customer with a problem is not an option. Some of our competitors have a history of walking away and re-forming under a new name. That approach is not an option at Puhl.
The latest fad in new designs for systems to save money isn’t always a good idea or a new idea. Several designs advertised today in the market claim to be “new” and “market changing,” however being around 40 years, I remember what was previously tried and ultimately didn’t work so well. There is no free lunch in cost savings unless there are real changes in the technology. Dust collection has recently become one of those areas where an old design has been resurrected but the technology and the physics have not changed. The result is a less than satisfied customer.
NFPA and OSHA codes are not going away, and they are not going to get “easier.” Our systems are designed with this in mind to minimize the chances of an OSHA inspector issuing fines or worse, shutting our customer’s operation down. Our systems pass FM Global and can be UL listed as an optional upgrade.
Planning for the future is always a good idea when it comes to buying a system. There is no time like the present to plan for some expansion capacity in a new system as up-front the cost per CFM of air is the least when you plan ahead.
Having in-house engineering, fabrication and installation crews is a must to control our own destiny and to be able to serve customers the way they want and need to be served.
Overall, I’m thrilled to be in this industry. When I started 40 years ago, this was my dream, but I could not have done it without the help of our 48 associates working hard to design, draft, fabricate, schedule, and install our systems.
And it doesn’t end there, as we also offer whole system operations manuals online or on USB drives, free phone support, and UL listing of whole systems.
According to UL, Puhl is the first in world to have field UL certified combined trim and dust collection systems. There are UL certified dust collection systems, but there are not UL combined trim and dust collection systems in operation in the field other than those installed by Puhl.
Our most recent field certification was completed on the first (preliminary) inspection. The UL inspector commented that this was the first time he’d ever seen it done without corrections and a follow up inspection — a true sign of the strength of our engineering, electrical, fabrication and installation staff.