Tag Archives: Made in America

Classics & Modern Cars — there’s more to it than meets the eye.

What drives a person to want to invest in American Classics? (Pun intended.)

There has been much discussion over the decades amongst car collectors, forum debaters, and  salesmen within the auto industry on the pros and cons of buying “American.” Depending on the product, angle of presentation and/or a person’s prejudices, answers may vary.
Regardless the angle or opinions you may have that has shaped your perspective on these cars, history tells a story that is worth repeating.

They have and continue to hold a unique place in the heart of car buyers for many reasons and patriotism isn’t their main incentive. While there isn’t one simple answer to this, a combination of factors play a part and some may surprise you!

A classic car has a story

A classic car has a story and for many, when they encounter a classic, history speaks: engine sounds, hand-crafted auto parts, genuine leather, uniqueness and style unparalleled by modern-day car finds. Before assembly lines and robots, cars were treasured and parts were thoughtfully and carefully made by hand. Designers and craftsmen were not hindered by constraints such as crash tests or aerodynamic drag coefficients. Instead, they were free to explore and reflect current trends and culture, delivering desirable and memorable treasures that could stand, and have stood, the test of time.

Mechanically, modern cars are quite different when it comes to car control and operation. Modern engines are now a sealed unit with components that are usually unserviceable by the average person. Advancements in technology have influenced car designers to embrace electrical systems that can now control steering, clutch usage, torque vectoring, and more.
While these systems seem to offer improvements on efficiency and safety, car character and uniqueness are really lacking. Older machines are intricate mechanical systems that function not off of pre-calculated driver aids installed within an electronic-brain, but in harmony with thousands of individual parts tuned to work together and dependent upon direct input from the driver. Today’s modern vehicle just can’t compete with this type of authentic driving experience.

One thing is for sure, getting a new car serviced can sometimes make you want to pull your hair out with the amount of money it can take to fix a problem! Take changing a fuel pump for example. What takes one person thirty minutes of work on a 1955 Chevrolet and $45 in parts might take multiple people and a lot more time to do on a 2006 Saturn. A complete assembly would be required because the gas-gauge sending unit is built-in and the fuel pump is located inside the gas tank which would have to be emptied and dropped in order to get to! The times have changed the way we take care of our cars and now due to complex engineering and electronic systems we usually have to pay someone else to get the job done.

Classic cars

Classic cars offer the driver and admirer personal experience, unique style, and an appreciation for true craftsmanship. All of which is hard to find in most modern cars manufactured by robots and in assembly lines for fast reproduction and quick money. While modern cars are safer, faster, more dependable, and more economical than the cars of the past, many classics have stood the test of time and have lived to tell about it, making car owners proud on many levels.
Your grand kids’ “classic car” will be a lot different than the ones in your Backyard Buddy Lift today. Soon the Chevrolet Stingray, will rest in your grandson’s garage taking the place of your 1969 Boss 429 Mustang, and it will be his most prized possession.

So when it comes to comparing classics and modern cars, you can see that “there’s more to it than meets the eye.”    Investing in or having a special interest in Classics goes beyond what many would say is a hobby. It’s a coveted experience that keeps driving us towards them and leaving us in awe of a different era and timeless memories packaged in steel, leather, and sounds.

Car Collection displayed on Backyard Buddy lifts

This classic car collector trusts Backyard Buddy

Let’s Work Together

I don’t know about you, but if I never see another political ad again, I’ll die a happy man.  This was one of the most tumultuous presidential elections I’ve ever witnessed, and I’ve been around for a little while.  Whichever side of the aisle you stand, you have to admit that there was far too much negative rhetoric being hurled at the other side.

The result of this election stunned “the establishment,” shocked the mainstream media, and left the pundits asking, “How could we have been so wrong?”  Even The New York Times’ publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. admitted the paper failed to appreciate Donald Trump’s appeal.  He is quoted as saying, “After such an erratic and unpredictable election there are inevitable questions: Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?”

He’s not the only one asking those questions.  And there are a large number of people who are pretty damn angry about him winning.  But the Electoral College spoke volumes on election night; it was a sea of red.  Our president-elect is a candidate who appealed to Americans who felt unheard.  He listened.  They voted.

I employ nearly 30 hard-working, blue collar workers; many who have families to support.  During this economic decline; they’ve had no voice.  I stumbled on an explanation of this year’s presidential election outcome by Mike Rowe, former host of “Dirty Jobs” on The Discovery Channel.  He wrote a Facebook post comparing Trump’s White House win to his 2003 “Dirty Jobs” pilot on The Discovery Channel.  His reasoning sure makes sense to me.

This is an excerpt from a November 11, 2016 article in The Washington Times, titled, “Mike Rowe Explains the Real Reason Donald Trump Won” —

“It wasn’t pretty or careful. It took place in sewers and septic tanks, and featured a subversive host in close contact with his 8-year-old inner child who refused to do second takes,” the 54-year-old wrote. “Everyone agreed that Dirty Jobs was totally ‘off-brand’ and completely inappropriate for Discovery. Everyone but the viewers.

“Dirty Jobs didn’t resonate because the host was incredibly charming. It wasn’t a hit because it was gross, or irreverent, or funny, or silly, or smart, or terribly clever,” he continued. “Dirty Jobs succeeded because it was authentic. It spoke directly and candidly to a big chunk of the country that non-fiction networks had been completely ignoring. In a very simple way, Dirty Jobs said ‘Hey — we can see you,’ to millions of regular people who had started to feel invisible. Ultimately, that’s why Dirty Jobs ran for eight seasons. And today, that’s also why Donald Trump is the President of the United States.”

You see, the silenced finally found a voice; they found someone willing to listen.  Celebrity elitists just don’t represent a majority of the electorates.  (Have any of them packed up and moved out yet?)

There are lots of angry people out there; some of them are still protesting.  And because they live in this country, they have that First Amendment right – the rights that allow us to march in the streets, to worship freely, and to share our thoughts through blogs like this one.

Speaking to supporters at a victory celebration, Trump said it best, “It’s time for America to bind the wounds of division.  I say it is time for us to come together as a united country.”

I agree. Let’s start working together.

Get Out and Vote

This year’s political scene is unprecedented.  No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, it’s been an ugly, heated and tumultuous battle of wits and words.  People are passionate about their candidate and are just as passionate about their disdain for the opponent.  I’ll refrain from expounding on my political views, but what I will do is implore you to get out and vote in November.

The United States of America may just be the world’s oldest continuous democracy; something we should never take for granted.  Voting is a privilege and a right that many Americans fought hard for and struggled to win.  There are people around the world whose voices are never heard; their opinions never known.  Thanks to our soldiers, our freedoms and the democracy we embrace are protected.

Stop and think about this; which would you rather contend with?  You arrive at your polling location, you’re running late for work, only to be met with a very long line and just two poll workers to handle the rush. Or, you live in Afghanistan (you’re already concerned about backlash for simply voting), the line at the polling booth is long, leaving more time for exposure to potential threats, outright danger, or terrorist violence just because you’re trying to cast a vote.  I think I’d rather be late to work.

You get the gist – voting is a privilege.  Honor that privilege.

We live in a free country, so our voices can be heard through the votes we cast.  This is an important way to show support for the issues that matter most to us by helping to elect the representatives who can best implement policies and effect the changes we want to see.

Consider voting a civic duty.  It is one of the most important rights and responsibilities that U.S. citizens have.  Not only it is everyone’s right to vote, it is also everyone’s duty to vote in order to ensure freedom of expression, equality, and well-being of this country we live in.

Be American. Vote.

Backyard Buddy at the Fall Carlisle

Hey, auto fanatics!  If you haven’t ever attended the Fall Carlisle – a collector and classic car swap meet, car corral and auction – make this your year to see what it’s all about; and of course, we invite you to visit Backyard Buddy while you’re there!  The Fall Carlisle takes place in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (just west of Harrisburg) and runs September 28 through October 2, 2016.  (http://www.carlisleevents.com/carlisle-events/carlisle-fall-swap-meet-corral-auction/default.aspx) Did you know that this event “plays host to thousands of collector and classic automotive enthusiasts, who travel the 150-acre Carlisle PA Fairgrounds from all points of the globe to buy, sell and celebrate all things automotive?” This is one of the premiere auto events of the year!

Backyard Buddy has been exhibiting at the Fall Carlisle for years.  We’ve made plenty of friends along the way – whether they’re buying, selling or trading at the Carlisle with total confidence or purchasing a Backyard Buddy automotive lift they can fully trust to use in their home garages or professional shops – we all share in the belief that auto enthusiasts deserve the very best.  If you’ve visited us in the past or this is your first Carlisle experience, come on by and check out our quality-made lifts by Backyard Buddy in section O134-140.

This is a family-friendly destination – plenty of entertainment for everyone to enjoy.  Or maybe this is a “guys only” getaway?  Either way, there’s no shortage of fun to be had!  Tickets run $10 Wednesday through Saturday and $7 on Sunday.  An event pass is only $30.  If you’re planning to make a weekend out of this, there are plenty of lodging options available (http://www.carlisleevents.com/carlisle-events-hotels-and-lodging/default.aspx), but act fast, Carlisle events attract 40,000 to 120,000 visitors on any given weekend!

See you in Carlisle on September 28 – look for the red, white and blue – lifts proudly made in the USA.  Be American and Buy American!

Our Hometown – Warren, Ohio

If you have read more than a couple of our blogs, you know that Backyard Buddy is extremely proud to be a manufacturer of American products made by American workers. You probably won’t be surprised that we’re not only proud of our country, we are all so proud of our city: Warren, Ohio.

Warren is a small city of 41,000 residents in Northeast Ohio, about an hour east of Cleveland, and has a proud industrial history. It was the first city to have electric street lights, thanks to the Packard Electric Company, which also spawned Packard automobiles, one the first major automobile manufacturers in America (our facility is just down the street from their original factory). As its industrial might grew, the city also made steel for thousands of American products for most of the 20th century.

Unfortunately, like so many small industrial cities in the Great Lakes, Warren fell on hard times when the American steel industry collapsed in the face of cheap, foreign steel in the 1970s and 80s. Good jobs became scarce, and many residents either left the city to find their fortune elsewhere, or struggled to find new jobs in the Warren area.

One of the things that we are most proud of at Backyard Buddy is that we’ve worked for almost three decades to stop these losses. We make a quality product using American steel and American workers, making us almost alone in a sea of foreign junk.

Today, Warren is home to many small and midsized businesses like ours, including AVI Foodsystems, a national-level food service and hospitality provider. The National Packard Museum downtown celebrates the city’s important place in the history of the automobile, with more than 30 historic cars, and an archive that is the envy of any Packard enthusiast. For those looking for wings instead of wheels, the Ernie Hall Aviation Museum showcases planes and artifacts from the early days of flight.

Warren has a lively arts scene as well. The city’s Packard Music Hall brings in national acts (did we mention that Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame was born here?), touring theatre productions, and classical and modern performances from Warren Civic Music. If you’d rather hear your music under the stars, the Riverwalk Amphitheatre features a rock and pop concert series every summer. Downtown, the Trumbull art gallery has rotating exhibits of local and national artists.

Warren also has lots to offer outdoor enthusiasts. Mosquito Lake State Park (don’t worry, it’s just a name) is about 15 minutes north of downtown Warren and offers boating, fishing, swimming, camping, and hiking. There are also several public hunting areas less than a half hour drive away.

We should also mention that our showroom is another local attraction where you can check out our impressive quality and features firsthand and talk to our knowledgeable staff. We invite you to come see our products and then spend a day or two taking in all Warren has to offer.

Let’s Make America Great Again

Normally, I wouldn’t dedicate a blog to the U.S. presidential race, but this year we have the choice of someone who isn’t the normal candidate. This year, I ask that you join me in supporting Donald J. Trump, because he is not just another politician, and he is the best candidate that American businesses and workers have had in their corner in years.

It’s no secret that I, along with many other American business owners, have to constantly fight against a tide of cheap, crummy, low-cost foreign products. For most of my adult life, I’ve watched good manufacturing and industrial jobs leave the United States for Mexico, China, and everywhere else but here.

As a patriotic American who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, as someone who loves my country, and as a businessman who is trying to provide for my family and the families of all those who work at Backyard Buddy, it pains me to see good jobs leave the country. Our hometown of Warren, Ohio, like many other small cities and towns across America, has been devastated by the mass exodus of manufacturing jobs over the past 40 years. I’m sick of watching the “American Dream” fight for its life.

For the first time in a long time, I have faith that a presidential candidate will actually live up to his promises. Trump has repeated one simple pledge over and over: to make America great again.

Here at Backyard Buddy, I’ve spent decades doing my small part to keep America strong. To keep good jobs in America. To help my fellow Americans make a decent living while producing an excellent product. To keep good jobs in the Rust Belt. It hasn’t been easy. It seems like every politician for the past two decades has sold out hard-working Americans for international trade and a flood of foreign crap coming to our stores.

Trump is the first presidential candidate in a long time to set himself apart from this tide of globalization that is hurting America. Trump knows that Americans are getting ripped off in trade, watching our hard-earned dollars flowing to Asia and South America. He knows we’re losing millions of jobs and thousands of businesses. He has pledged to help stop this tide by taxing cheap imports, making it less attractive for companies to leave the United States and undercut American wages by hiring people living in poverty in the third world.

Trump will stem the tide of illegal immigrants coming from the Mexican border and taxing our social services while undercutting American workers. He has also pledged to be the greatest job producing president that the country has ever seen, and to develop a tax plan that grows the U.S. economy and trims the debt.

I would urge you to vote Trump even if I only agreed with him on these critical issues that will help American businesses and workers, but I stand with him on so much more. He has pledged to uphold the Second Amendment, to keep our military the strongest in the world, to fix our education system, to stop the flow of illegal drugs coming from over the border, to respect our law enforcement officers, to end the tyranny of political correctness, and to make America a better place however possible.

I ask you as a fellow American, as a small business owner, as a veteran, and as someone trying as hard as he can to provide good jobs for my workers: Vote Trump!!

Thank you,
Larry Gross, Owner, Backyard Buddy

Veteran’s Day

Backyard Buddy was started by a Vietnam veteran and Marine who served his country with distinction. He was proud to be a veteran when it seemed that many people would rather not be reminded that there were Americans fighting and dying in Southeast Asia. We’re loudly and proudly American, and never miss an opportunity to point out that we make American-made products with American workers.

This November, as Veteran’s Day approaches, we’d like to take a moment to thank those who have made America, our lives, our work, our freedoms, and even our company possible: the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces.

Thankfully, our veterans are now treated as heroes. They receive ovations in airports. They get front row seats at football games. They have a hard time paying for a drink in most bars. As wonderful as it is to see our veterans given this respect, we need to understand that this is not why they joined up, and this is not why they fought.

Our veterans – whether a 90 year-old who fought in the Philippine Sea in 1944, his son who fought in Khe Sanh in 1968, or his granddaughter who fought in Kandahar in 2001 – served because they thought it was the right thing to do. They served to protect our freedoms. They served to protect their families. They served because someone attacked America and it pissed them off. They served to make sure that their children, and our children, will continue to live in a free world where they are rewarded for what they do, not who they are.

The funny thing is, despite the importance of their task and the often-impossible odds they faced to do it, if you ask any of these veterans if they are heroes, they’ll all say no. They’ll tell you the guy who didn’t make it back is the real hero, or that the medic who came and got them in a firefight is the real hero, or that the pilot who took out a dug-in enemy that had them pinned down is the real hero.

But there’s one thing we hope that every veteran realizes. Everyone who they call a hero in their story is telling a different version of that story where the “other guy” is the hero.

This year, and every year, let’s remember the men and women who are heroes to everyone but themselves. Without these veterans, who committed their blood, sweat, tears, and even their lives, to America, we wouldn’t have so much of what we have.

All of us at Backyard Buddy give a loud OORAH! (remember, our boss is a Marine) to all of those who served, and want them to know that we don’t just remember them on November 11th, but that they are in our thoughts and prayers every day.

Cutting With Electricity

Backyard Buddy Plasma cutter

Earlier this year, we introduced you to to one of our more unusual workers: our robotic welder Johnny 5 ( Our products wouldn’t be possible without our hardworking, expert staff, but sometimes even they need a little assistance to do things that the human body can’t do, so we use precision machines like Johnny 5 to help them out.

Our new HyPerformance HPR260XD dual-head plasma cutter will help Johnny 5 and our workers keep making the best automotive lifts that money can buy. As you may have gathered from its name, this cutter uses an electrical arc inside a jet of compressed gas to create a blast of hot plasma that cuts through metal like a knife through paper, cutting more than ten linear feet per minute through ½ inch-thick steel. Combined with a computerized CNC cutting table, the HyPerformance cutter can cut holes, shapes, and designs that no human or mechanical cutting device can match.

Traditional metal tooling also leaves a work surface that needs to be finished by grinding, media blasting, and buffing to create a smooth surface. Plasma cutters make incredibly precise cuts, from simple holes to complex shapes, that leave the metal fully-finished with a mirror shine. Our new High-Definition plasma cutter cuts (no pun intended) several steps out of our manufacturing process while actually increasing the quality and precision of our metal work. This allows us to manufacture our lifts to higher tolerances with better quality control.

Not only does the HyPerformance cutter help us reduce the work needed to put together a Backyard Buddy lift and make the most precise metal cuts possible, it also helps us reduce our power consumption. The cutter is extremely efficient and has an industry-leading cutting speed per amp of electricity used. At its low-power setting, it draws only a little more current than an electric clothes dryer.

We know that ours is the best lift on the market, and one of the ways we keep it that way is by using new technologies to our advantage wherever possible. They will never replace our workers, but new tools and techniques can help them do their job better and more efficiently. Our new plasma cutter is just one of the tools that we use to make our lifts better, stronger, and safer than the competition.

The Vicious Cycle of Quick Fixes

We live in a culture obsessed with the quick fix. Our media sells us shoddy products, knowing that many people will just buy another one when the first one inevitably breaks.  In fact, the consumerist mindset of many Americans is so focused on the now that it completely neglects planning for the future in everyday life.  In fact, many companies believe it is in their best interests to make flashy, expendable products to keep consumers coming back to spend more and more of their hard-earned cash.

If you’ve ever worked with Backyard Buddy, though, you know we don’t treat our customers that way. We believe that everyone’s best interests are best served by us producing the highest quality product we can offer.  Our quality, both in production and in customer service, speaks for itself.  We’re proud to offer the best value on the market.

Cheaply made products have nothing to make them marketable other than a low price. The features of the actual product are limited, the quality is flimsy, and the customer service support is terrible (if not completely nonexistent!). That’s why all they advertise is the price—not only is it all they’ve got going for them, but it also appeals to the quick fix mentality.  Beware of products that talk all about price and hesitate to mention actual value. They might be set up to make you need another “quick fix” before too long!

At Backyard Buddy, we reject the quick fix mentality in favor of the generations of wisdom that preceded it.  We know our customers are smart enough to recognize that a good long-term value is always a better deal than a cheap fix in the moment.  That’s why we devote our space in this blog and on our website to showing the value of our products, which we firmly believe are the highest quality, longest lasting lifts available on the market.

Growing up, maybe you heard someone wise say, “We don’t have enough money to buy cheap products!” It may not have made sense to you then, but by now you’ve seen how buying cheap things that break and have to be replaced almost always ends up costing more money than paying for quality. In the arena of car lifts, this could not be more true! Imagine a competitor’s lift costs half as much as Backyard Buddy’s best value.  If the Backyard Buddy lift lasts your whole lifetime (which it will), it seems like you could afford to buy one cheap one instead, have it break once, and replace it for the same price.  But what if it breaks more than once? And what about the time you have to spend fixing it and replacing it? And above all, what huge costs could be incurred when something as big as a car lift fails, possibly while holding or while standing above the prized vehicle you’ve spent so much time and effort on? It’s just not worth the risk.

Don’t become another victim of the vicious cycle of quick fixes that today’s media wants to trap you in. Check out the value of Backyard Buddy’s line of products, and you’ll see that we offer a wise investment for a lifetime of security. Our value will make your work easier, AND it will save you money in the end.

Worth Every Penny

Why a Backyard Buddy Home Auto Lift is Worth Every Penny

If you’ve read this blog, you know how proud we are of our home auto lifts at Backyard Buddy. They use American components and American steel put together by American workers right here in Warren Ohio. It’s very rare that we hear complaints about our quality, but we do occasionally hear grumbling about our price.

We’re not afraid to come out and say it: A Backyard Buddy home auto lift isn’t cheap. They’re not cheaply made, they don’t use cheap components, and they don’t use cheap labor. The steel to make a Backyard Buddy lift alone costs more than some complete Chinese lifts.

So why do we insist on making such a high-quality auto lift?

A car lift for the home is a purchase that you are trusting to hold thousands of pounds of steel above your head while you work on your vehicle. You need to know that it won’t drop your vehicle, destroying it and whatever happens to be under it, including you. You want the safest, most stable lift available:

•    Unlike the flimsy light-gauge steel U-shaped posts of our competitors, the lift posts on a Backyard Buddy 4 post car lift are square and made of 4×4 structural steel tubing.
•    Our lifts are free standing, and can even be moved with a load on them, unlike our competitors’ lifts, which must be bolted into the floor to remain stable.
•    Our lifts have welded decks with a full angle iron frame and cross braces supporting the diamond plate deck, while our competitors’ decks are usually just stamped diamond plate with no support under it.
•    While our competitors use small tabs welded to the legs as locking points, our decks lock into the legs through a precision key cut into the steel itself
•    Our hydraulics have built-in flow restrictors that keep pressure in the system even in the event of a hydraulic failure, while our competitors’ lifts risk slamming your vehicle into the ground over something as simple as a burst hydraulic hose.
•    Where our competitors do their best to hide their cables and end them with welded caps that don’t let you inspect the cable, ours are fully swaged with visible ends so that you will know if they are starting to wear or slip.

But maybe our incredible safety and stability won’t convince you. If you’re the type of person that is okay with trusting your life to “good enough,” maybe you’ll be more interested in some of the options we offer that help make your life easier.

•    Our lifts have an optional built-in hydraulic jack that slides back and forth between the lift decks so that it can be used in any position and on even the lowest-profile vehicle. This lets you roll your vehicle onto the lift, raise it to whatever height you would like, then jack the wheels off the lift deck. The first time you do a chest-level brake job, you’ll know why this is one of our most popular options.
•    Our lifts are so stable that you can use the optional heavy-duty caster set to move the lift easily even when it’s got a vehicle on it.
•    Our crane attachment moves along the entire length of the lift, allowing you the freedom to easily lift a body off a chassis, pull a motor, or do any other heavy lifting you may need.
•    Combine the crane attachment with our heavy-duty casters and you can use the lift to move heavy loads around your garage or driveway.

While the foreign-made lifts may beat us on initial purchase price, we beat them in every other area, including value. You’ve no doubt heard the adage “buy once, cry once,” and it applies to a Backyard Buddy Lift home auto lift.  More than one of our customers threw away their money on a Chinese home auto lift first, and then ordered a Backyard Buddy lift when they realized just how crummy the foreign-made lift was.  A Backyard Buddy car lift for home and garage is a “once-in-a-lifetime” purchase; an investment in a tool that helps you store and work on your vehicles more safely and easily.  Buy one first and be done (until you find more room in your garage and order another one).

Another place we have the foreign competition thoroughly beaten: you can actually talk to us on the phone. Whether you’re an owner who has a question or someone who’s “just looking” and needs more information, a live person right here in our factory will be happy to talk to you between 8AM and 5PM EST at (800) 837-9353. And if you happen to be near our factory in Warren, Ohio, stop by our showroom and see just how safe, stable, and incredibly well built each and every Backyard Buddy home auto lift is.