Dodge Industrial Makes a New Home in Mauldin’s BridgeWay StationSep 21, 2022 05:16PM ● By John C. Stevenson
Global manufacturer Dodge Industrial has a new place to call home: The manufacturer that was founded more than a century ago in Mishawaka, Indiana, now occupies a 75,000-square-foot headquarters in Mauldin’s BridgeWay Station.
Dodge Industrial might not be as familiar as the other Dodge – the one that makes cars (there’s no relation) – but in an ironic touch, Dodge Industrial’s first product was the Magic Wagon Jack, which founder Wallace Dodge invented in 1878 and which became the leading jack of the day for performing wagon maintenance.
From those beginnings, DI has grown into a worldwide manufacturer of a wide range of mechanical power-transmission solutions, including mounted bearings, enclosed gearing, couplings, conveyor components, bushings, hubs and collars, and belted drives, according to the company’s website. Before coming to the Upstate, DI was headquartered in Cleveland.
In its facilities in Greenville and Belton, DI manufactures enclosed gearing used in a wide range of industrial applications.
The company employs almost 1,650 people worldwide, with almost half of those – 770 – in the Upstate, according to Lisa Dwight, Dodge Industrial vice president of marketing and communications.
Dwight said DI originally opened its corporate offices on Ponders Court in Greenville in 1981, after a company manager noted the influx of industry to the Upstate.
“We saw industry moving South, so we followed suit with the opening of the Rogersville, Tennessee [plant],” she said. “Greenville was selected because the general manager for the mechanical division, Bill Hendricks, was from the area and spoke to the large industry that was moving to town – Michelin, Fluor Daniel, etc.”
And while the Ponder Court location served the company for more than three decades, of late, the leadership had noted a need for larger and more modern facilities.
“Following an extensive research-and-evaluation process on the cost to upfit the existing building to meet the needs of the current workforce, the leadership team determined a relocation to a modern facility was the right decision for the company to meet its needs for current and future growth and development,” Dwight said.
“As a leader in our industry, Dodge needs an office environment that aligns with our innovative, forward-thinking nature, and the new office building allows for improved space utilization, better collaboration, lower maintenance costs, and improved operations, all located in this exciting new development, BridgeWay Station.”
Dwight said the new headquarters facility also includes an Innovation Center, which is a hotbed for the development and testing of Dodge Industrial products.
In addition to its Mauldin headquarters, Dodge Industrial operates five manufacturing facilities in the U.S., including the Belton and Greenville operations, according to Dwight. She said the company “is proud to say” it manufactures 85 to 90 percent of all its products in the Southeastern U.S.
Mauldin Mayor Terry Merritt said that having Dodge Industrial relocate its corporate offices from Greenville to BridgeWay Station was not only a feather in the cap of BridgeWay’s developers, but was an important addition to the city’s industrial sector.
“If you look at what we’ll call the center of Mauldin – let’s call it City Hall – and you go out two miles in any direction, you can see there is kind of a ring around Mauldin this side of Woodruff Road,” Merritt explained, “so our Brookfield (South) and Brookfield Oaks industrial parks have a lot of call centers in them and a lot of international companies there, so this is just a natural progression on down Holland Road into BridgeWay Station.”
Not only does Mauldin boast an array of available properties suited to industrial applications, the one-time bedroom community to Greenville also offers an expanding quality of life for people who not only work in Mauldin, but call the city home – and who don’t necessarily want to deal with Greenville’s traffic.
“That natural growth goes around the city of Mauldin, and it’s also in the city of Mauldin,” Merritt noted. “People have to work here, and when they work here they want to live someplace nearby. We’ve got 6,500 to 6,900 homes coming on board in the next four to six years. So our industries are coming and we welcome them. They need employees and we’ve got homes for them.”
The next step for the city, according to Merritt, is to continue to attract new shops and restaurants.
“We need dining opportunities and entertainment opportunities,” he said, “so as we’re recruiting those (businesses) and major players to come to Mauldin, they look at rooftops. So if we’ve got 6,900 (new homes) coming in addition to the ones that are here, that helps us in our recruiting because they say, ‘Oh, well maybe we do need stores and restaurants in the Mauldin area because we’ve got all these new people coming in and they’re working and living in Mauldin and the industries that surround it.’
“That,” he said, “didn’t happen by accident.”
When it comes to drawing new residents to the area, Dodge’s Dwight said DI anticipates doing its part
“While there are no immediate plans for expansion of our existing facilities,” Dwight said, “we do anticipate company growth, which will require additional resources in engineering, sales and marketing, business management, and information technology.”
Dodge Industrial Keeps Companies Moving
Dodge Industrial is a leading manufacturer of mounted bearings, gearing, and mechanical-drive components, couplings, and conveyor components.
According to Lisa Dwight, Dodge Industrial vice president of marketing and communications, the company is also on the “cutting edge of industry innovation” with its predictive maintenance sensor products.
“Dodge products are used to keep industrial companies moving, safely and efficiently,” Dwight explained. “Our products are located in several Upstate manufacturers’ facilities, as well as facilities across the globe.”
With its headquarters now located in its new, state-of-the-art facility in Mauldin’s BridgeWay Station, Dwight said the company has no plans for further local expansion at the moment, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t always looking for new talent.
“We are always looking for qualified CNC (computer numerical control) operators and engineers who want to join a world-class manufacturing operation,” Dwight said.