Turner Hydraulics, along with affiliated companies TASCorp and GPM Controls, designs and builds hydraulic systems for a number of industrial applications. Started in 1978 by Bill Turner Sr., the enterprises are currently run by his son, Dan.
Turner Hydraulics is responsible for providing hydraulic equipment and services to a number of Midstate manufacturers, being a dealer for most major types of industrial lifts.
Further, under the TASCorp brand, Turner designs and fabricates hydraulic systems, using components produced on-site or sourced from parts-makers around the world. GPM Controls likewise designs and assembles custom hydraulic accumulators, the pump and pressure control mechanisms that control hydraulic systems.
“We have a machine shop and fabrication shop so we can provide the products and also create a system that incorporates those products,” Dan Turner said.
A typical project, Turner said, was a recent contract with trailer-maker Master Solutions to design and build the hydraulic elements for 400-ton haulers.
“We designed and built a complex valve manifold and put the valves into it as a single unit that they can install right into the trailer,” Turner said.
The businesses employ 45 people, Turner said. Recent growth has been concentrated in electronic controls, which are becoming standard on many hydraulic systems.
“The reason I started TASCorp was that we saw there were a lot of advances being made in electronics and their ability to control hydraulics,” Turner said. “I wanted to make sure we’re able to maintain our business whether it’s traditional hydraulics or electronics.”
Turner said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the Midstate’s manufacturing environment. The amount of work in the immediate Carlisle area has dropped in recent years, but Lancaster and York manufacturers are still looking for hydraulic elements.
Turner’s father started the business as a repair shop. Bill Turner worked at Masland for 26 years, his son said, and was looking to start a side business. He ordered a kit of tools and instructions out of an ad in Popular Mechanics magazine, and the business grew from there.
Repair of consumer or light commercial hydraulics is not as lucrative as it was when his father started, Turner said, due to inexpensive imports from overseas making it more cost effective for many businesses to replace equipment rather than repair.
“There are a lot of things we find that are beyond economical repair, as we put it,” Turner said. “It’s not that it can’t be repaired, but it’s not worth it.”
But the availability of cheaper imports has allowed Turner to design and build systems at a more competitive price, as long as he is able to import the parts needed.
“We’re sourcing worldwide,” he said. “We have to go through the hassle of shipping and exchange rates, which adds a whole other layer.”