Tag Archives: made in usa

Support Small Businesses

Backyard Buddy as a small business

Looking around our factory floor and seeing the intricate dance of workers and machines, you may find it hard to think of Backyard Buddy as a small business, but on a global scale — and compared to some of our foreign competitors — we definitely are.

We don’t say this as something we’re in a hurry to change.

Small businesses, which for our sector is those with fewer than 1,500 employees, are one of the largest drivers of the American economy. The economic recovery since 2009 has been almost completely reliant on small businesses, including people who are self-employed. According to the U.S. Small Business Association, businesses like Backyard Buddy, with less than 500 employees, were responsible for 74% of the jobs created since our economic recovery began in 2009.

Unfortunately, you’d never know this unless you dig deep into the media. Most economic reporting focuses on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (mostly made up of the largest companies in the world) and the S&P 500 (made up of 500 large companies). While both of these are showing positive signs, it is companies like Backyard Buddy, and thousands of other small businesses that are quietly driving our recovery, creating jobs, and making sure the American economy stays strong.

Why does this affect you?

If you’re an American, and you’ve got the device and internet connection to read this, you’re part of the American economy. In a very real way the economic growth provided by small businesses is one of the reasons that you have a job (and by the numbers, your job is likely to be at a small business) and can provide for your family. Even if you’re retired and think this doesn’t apply to you, your pension or investments depend on the continued growth of our economy, driven by small business.

If that’s too esoteric for you, consider that small businesses are better for the consumer. In our case, we’re able to make a better product than our competitors because our business model needs to be centered on a quality product and happy customers. We don’t have or want the capacity to make our living on getting junk products out the door as fast as possible.

In addition to a better product, customers get better service at a small business, where the person you’re talking to on the phone or in the store probably has detailed knowledge of the product or service that they sell, and in many cases has made the product themselves. Thanks to the global economy and manufacturers controlling prices of their products, you will often pay the same for something purchased from a local business as you would from a multinational big box chain, and get the added benefit of service, something almost impossible to find in chains.

Still looking for more reasons, maybe something nobler? When you buy from an American small business, your money stays in your country, and in many cases right in your community. Small businesses are also far more likely to then also spend that money in your community, either through paying salaries to local residents, or investing it back into the business. When you buy from a global business, your money almost always leaves the U.S. and far too often ends up in an offshore bank account where it pads the company’s cash reserves or just makes a wealthy person wealthier.

As the holiday season approaches, we ask that you spend your hard-earned money at small businesses to not only give someone in your life a gift, but to give all of us the gift of a strong community, a strong job market, and a strong national economy.

To find small businesses in your community (for everything other than vehicle lifts and accessories, which you know exactly where to find), check out this searchable map from the American Express Shop Small program: https://shopsmallnow.americanexpress.com/shopsmall.

Stand Up, America

It’s obvious that there’s a lot of turmoil going on in America right now. In the past few years, we’ve seen riots over race and officer-involved shootings, an extremely divisive presidential race, and a growing feeling that something’s just not right.

At Backyard Buddy, we’re proud to be a business that is keeping Ohio’s strong manufacturing tradition alive. We’re proud of our commitment to building our lifts and accessories using American-made raw materials assembled by American workers. But what we’re most proud of is what we all are: American.

One of the core, fundamental values of being an American is that we are all responsible to and for our country. We are all in this together. This is our country, and together with our fellow citizens, we will keep her strong and work to solve any problems that we run into along the way. This spirit has kept our country strong even through a Civil War that almost tore us permanently apart, and through all of the ups and downs over the past 240 years. Even though we are facing some tough issues right now, every one of us should be proud to be American, and committed to working together for our future, even if there are many different visions of that future.

Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way. This summer and fall, we’ve seen athletes from the NFL to high school teams, and even American Olympians taking a knee for the national anthem. While we respect everyone’s right to free speech, this is a deliberately disrespectful act and we cannot support those who do it. Our flag and our anthem are symbols of the rights and duties that each and every one of us has as an American, and disrespecting them is disrespecting all of us, especially the veterans who fought and died for everything these symbols stand for.

We understand that the people doing this may feel that they don’t have a voice, but they are wrong. Each of us has a voice. Our collective voice is heard every time we vote. Our individual voices are heard through a free press, and thanks to the internet, everyone can share their opinion with the rest of the country. If we want to commit to deeper change, any one of us can participate in local politics by attending and speaking at local government meetings, or even running for office. In most places, running for local elective office is far easier than people think, and often only requires that you be well-respected in the community.

One of the greatest things about being an American is that each and every one of us has the power to change our country, but none of us can do it alone. We can organize our neighbors to change a neighborhood. We can work with others to change an entire city. A select 44 of us have inspired their peers to be given the honor of helping change the entire country.

Instead of protesting the symbols of our country, those who want to change it the most should celebrate that they are given the opportunity to do just that. No matter how much you disagree with what may be happening, stand tall and proud that you are an American, and that you have the power to create the change you want to see.

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.

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.

Backyard Buddy’s Hassle-free Ordering

In addition to building the highest quality American-made car, truck and boat lifts anywhere, Backyard Buddy offers a streamlined ordering process to make getting your new lift as easy as possible. First of all, we only sell our products factory direct.  That means there is never a middleman, and you get the lowest prices possible. The price you see is what you get!

Whether you buy your lift directly from our showroom or over the phone, at Backyard Buddy you will always have your order completed by a real, live person. There are no painfully long online forms where one typo or missed checkbox can ruin an entire order.  You won’t have to talk to an automated phone system that doesn’t understand what you mean and doesn’t offer the options you want. You will always talk to one of our knowledgeable representatives who can assist you with each step of the process:

Selection: Our representatives will listen to what you need to get out of your lift and recommend the best possible product for your needs. This ensures that you get the lift you need and don’t spend any more than you need to.

Accessories: The trained staff at Backyard Buddy can also suggest any of our accessories that might be helpful in fulfilling your goals for your auto lift.

 Shipping: Your representative will also walk you through all of your shipping options along with their prices up front, so there won’t be any surprises along the way. That way, you can choose the most cost effective and timely method for your needs.

Financing: Backyard Buddy now offers financing options for your new lift as well. We can assist you in finding the best option to make your dream lift purchase possible!

Best of all, the personal assistance will not end once you’ve made your purchase like it does with some companies. Backyard Buddy representatives are available from 8am to 5pm, EST, to answer any questions you have about the setup, storage and maintenance of your lift and accessories. We want your entire experience as our customer to be hassle-free!

America – Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Having just celebrated Veterans Day, a day we honor those who have served our country in battle and times of peace, we want to reiterate the importance of supporting this great nation.  Many have given their lives to defend the freedoms that so many of us take for granted.  They have sacrificed themselves and the happiness of their friends and family in order to keep us safe within our land.  They have voluntarily gone on our behalf and given up the comforts of home so that our nation could continue on as we know it.

We often take their sacrifices for granted, living as if we innately have our rights.  We forget that our freedom costs someone else their life.  May we continue to honor, not just one day the men and women who serve so that we might live in freedom and peace.  Let’s not forget the spouses who raise children alone while their husbands or wives are at war.  As the holidays approach, let’s be thankful for the families who spend them without loved ones who are on duty.

Around the world, many others do not have the choices we have here in America.  We choose our education, religion and what careers we pursue.  We buy and sell at will online or in stores across the globe.  We forget that while the world is at our fingertips, many other nations are confined inside their borders simply because they lack the means or opportunity.  Many nations solely support themselves on what little means they have.

America however, is a land of opportunity!  We have a plethora of choices to choose from.  Just take a walk down any American grocery store aisle and see the variety of cereal boxes to choose from!  So why purchase goods from other nations – supporting them and their economy at the expense of ours?  We can choose to purchase what we want, where to purchase it from, and how much we need – that is our right.  But it is also our responsibility to support the American business owners and manufacturers so that our economy continues to grow.  Who else around the world cares if America continues to thrive?    If we don’t care, no one else will!   Products made within our borders stimulate economic opportunities for future generations and it is our responsibility to do so.

At Backyard Buddy, we are committed to buying American made products so we can continue to fuel the economy.  We value the quality and excellence required in North American goods, and by using them exclusively within our products and components, we do OUR part to support those who are sacrificing themselves for our great nation.  We show them respect as we do our patriotic duties by committing to support the U.S. economically.

Our national anthem ends by stating that our flag waves “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”  We are grateful for the men and women who bravely serve our county day in and day out to keep this great land free.  We are committed to supporting this great nation by manufacturing products made solely within America.  Won’t you join us by making purchases that are American made?

The Devil, or in this case, the quality, is in the details

If you stand 50 yards away from a collection of car lifts, they all pretty much look the same. Some may be red, some may be blue, but they all are basically posts and a deck.

It’s when you start to get closer that you notice the difference. You’ll quickly notice that Backyard Buddy lifts look a whole lot more solid. If you’ve got a keen eye, you’ll notice that our legs are a solid square, not an open “U” shape like some other lifts. You’ll probably notice that the quality of our finish and welds is a whole lot better too.

But when you get up close and personal with a Backyard Buddy lift, you’ll notice why ours are so much better than the competition. The Devil, or in this case, the quality, is in the details. Some of the things that set us apart are:

Fully Swaged Cables: If you look at the ends of our cables, you’ll see that they are swaged along their full length, and that you can see the end of the cable coming out of the end cap. This not only produces a stronger cable end, but it also allows users to inspect it to ensure that the cables have not slipped. Our competitors usually put a closed threaded cap on the end, a cheaper and less secure way to do it, and one that leaves you with no idea if the cable is correctly seated in the cap or if it is just barely secured and about to fail.

Lock Linkage: Keeping your lift deck locked when you want it locked and unlocked when you want to move it is one of the most basic functions of a lift. We use a high quality ⅜ inch linkage to make sure that your lift locks and unlocks when you want it to, and will be absolutely safe in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. Our competitors usually use a weak ¼ inch linkage that can easily bend, or even break, under stress.

Cable Guides: You’ve got to get really close to see this little detail, but all of our lifts have steel guides for the cables to make sure that they do not slip off the pulleys when they have slack in them. If you’ve ever tried to get a cable back onto a pulley while it’s under a load, you know how important this little feature is. It is, of course, either completely lacking on our competitors’ lifts, or at best is a little piece of plastic.

Hydraulic Pressure Relief Valve: A vehicle lift is at its most vulnerable while the deck is moving up and down with a vehicle on it. All of the weight is on the hydraulic system and cables. We’ve mentioned the quality of our hydraulic systems (American-made, fully warranted, and using all metal hydraulic pressure lines), but this little detail can mean all the difference if something goes wrong. If, somehow, your hydraulic system fails on a Backyard Buddy lift, this valve ensures that your platform slowly lowers without damage to the vehicle, and in time for anyone who accidentally finds themselves under it to move. A line failure on our competitors lifts can mean that your vehicle comes crashing to the ground, since they do not see the need for the extra expense of a relief valve.

Finish Quality: We’ll let you run your hand along our lift to gauge this one. Unlike our competitors, we media blast our steel to prepare it and apply a high quality finish by hand. This makes our lifts look a whole lot better than our competitors, but it also means that the finish will stand up to years of use. We’d never tell you to do it on purpose, but if you were to slip with a tool and hit our competitors’ lifts, there’s a pretty high likelihood that you’ll damage the finish down to the steel, leaving you a vector for rust, and one more thing to take care of in your garage. We put a durable finish on our lifts because you shouldn’t have to worry about repairing your lift’s finish to keep rust away. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing with the vehicle on it.

We know that if you take a close look at a Backyard Buddy lift, you’ll be blown away by all of the little details that we have put into our design. If you find yourself in Warren, Ohio, we’re here 8-4 on weekdays. Stop by our showroom and see if you can find all of the details that make Backyard Buddy the best lifts available.

Everything we design, make, and sell at Backyard Buddy is made in the USA.

Best American made car lift

Backyard Buddy: Home of the Best U.S.-Made Car Lift

It seems like a simple claim, but those of you with a good eye might notice that more and more companies are finding ways to weasel around their own “Made in the USA” claims.  Not Backyard Buddy, of course. We make entirely U.S.-made auto lift products, parts and accessories, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

Why an All American-Made Car Lift Matters

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), who enforces “Made in the USA” claims, states that in order to make the claim, “all or virtually all” of the product must be made in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US Territories and possessions.

There’s where the first level of deception begins. “All or virtually all” allows for some foreign parts, though according to the FTC they must be “negligible.” “Negligible” does not mean “non-existent.” In its own example on how to assess the “all or virtually all” statement, the FTC states that a grill with its main components made in the USA, but with knobs made in Mexico is still considered “Made in the USA.”

That seems like splitting hairs compared to the definition of what comprises the USA. If you read carefully, you will note that it also includes US Territories. This means that a product made in American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands can also be called “Made in the USA.” If you think we’re being too picky with this distinction, consider this: while these are technically US territories, they enjoy few of the labor, safety, or environmental protections that we take as a matter of course on the mainland. As you may imagine, American entrepreneurs are smart, and have taken advantage of this situation to produce products that can boast “Made in the USA” but are produced in conditions that would be unacceptable in the 50 states.

If you still think we’re being picky, consider a new type of label we’re seeing lately — “Designed in the USA” and “Assembled in the USA.” The first, “Designed in the USA” is almost meaningless. Most companies design their products in the USA; and then send them out for bids to foreign manufacturers who ruthlessly cut corners in quality, labor costs, and safety to come out with the lowest bid.

The second “Assembled in the USA,” is a little more tricky. To its credit, the FTC does not allow products with a trivial assembly operation performed in the US to be considered “Assembled in the USA.” A product’s principal assembly as well as its final “substantial transformation” must occur in the US for this label to apply, but a substantial amount of foreign-made components (potentially all) are still allowed in the product.

Now that you know all of that; know this. Backyard Buddy’s products are made in the USA. Period. We machine American steel, assemble American components, apply American finishes, and ship our products by American carriers. All of our lifts are designed, tested, and assembled in our factory in Warren, Ohio by American workers. 

That’s a truly American-made auto lift in every sense of the term.

Looking to buy a U.S.-made car lift? That’s all you’ll find from Backyard Buddy.

Made in the USA. Full stop.

Our Backyard Buddy Story: Dave and Denise Tucker

crowded garage

Crowded garage is hard move cars around in

1932 Chevy roadster, Backyard Buddy Lift

Lots of room now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

new camaro and oldsmobile on a Backyard Buddy liftLiving in Michigan, we aren’t able to enjoy our cars all year round and need a place to store them for the winter. We have a garage we use to store our three cars but it was difficult to do without having one of the cars turned sideways, and once full there was no room for anything else.

To help solve this problem, my wife and I decided several years ago to buy a drive-on hoist, so the search began for the perfect hoist. One of the benefits of being active members in a local car club is knowing lots of people with different hoists. In looking at the hoists others have and talking with them about what they likes and dislike about their hoists, we came to one conclusion: buy a good one.

Many of the hoists we looked at were not very robust and seemed weak and cheap. They needed to be bolted to the floor and still appeared flimsy. In looking at how they were assembled and constructed, many looked like they might actually fall. So not being happy with the hoists we saw, we started researching hoists on line. We looked at dozens of them. Even though we are amateur car collectors, we do still have a great deal of money invested in our hobby, and with that comes the fear of a damage if a hoist were to fall or fail. We knew a hoist would let us store additional cars in our garage, so we had an added fear of damaging someone else’s pride and joy if a failure of a cheap hoist were to occur. We were not willing to take these risks.

Backyard Buddy car lift shipping crateOur main interests were:

  • Made in USA
  • Solid/Robust
  • Safe
  • Never going to fall or fail
  • Built-in safety systems
  • Easy to use
  • Easy assembly and maintenance
  • Quality construction using high grade materials, welds, and hardware
  • Free standing (not needing to be bolted to the floor)

Cost was very important, but we were willing to pay a bit more for a high quality product that met our needs. Having wheels and portability was not on our original list of needs–until we ran across the Backyard Buddy and saw the features it had. A jack platform was also not on our original list of needs–but we are glad we got that option for our Backyard Buddy as well. We had not even thought about total lift height, until we saw the Backyard Buddy had a taller lift option.

We gathered information on all the hoists we were interested in, got quotes, and made phone calls. In the end, there was only one clear choice.

It was obvious the Backyard Buddy was a far superior product to anything on the market. It’s offered in cool color combinations too (we got the USA color scheme: red, white and blue). We ordered our Backyard Buddy, and when it showed up we were so excited. 6 hours later it was up and we had put the 1st car on it.

new camaro on a Backyard Buddy liftOur Buddy’s features:

  • Extra tall height
  • Rolling jack platform
  • Drip trays
  • Wheel chock
  • Extra long ramps
  • USA color scheme
  • Casters for portability

Having never owned a hoist and not being familiar with how to set one up, we were concerned, but we found assembling it much easier than expected. It was very well packaged and easy to figure out. The only warning we have for people is that some pieces are very heavy and you do need to make sure you have the proper equipment to move the very heavy parts around. Knowing the right people with the right tools and equipment helps a ton.

Attached are several installation and usage photos as well as one that shows the improved garage layout we now have. We went from difficulty fitting in 3 cars to being able to fit 5 easily.

We have told everyone we know looking to buy a hoist about the Backyard Buddy and we are 100% confident ours will provide years of safe, reliable service. We can sleep well knowing our investment in our cars is protected while our Backyard Buddy is on the job.

What a great product, and it’s even made in the USA. Can’t get any better than that!

Dave and Denise Tucker

Proud and happy owners of a Backyard Buddy–the best hoist for your home. Period.

Backyard Buddy Easy-Access to The Rescue

Easy-access rolling jack stand system

Easy-Access

We’ve been working on getting our friend’s son’s 1979 Jeep CJ7 back on the road.  It has been off the road for about 15 years and consequently, by sitting that long it did not do the old CJ any favors.  Once we took a close look at it, what we thought would be a quick job of cleaning out the gas tank and changing the fluids has turned into a major project.

We’re currently working on replacing the body and patching the rear of the frame.  Jeep CJs are notorious for rusting in the rear frame kick up and shackle area, and this one is definitely not an exception. The main problem is that the frame’s design has manufacturing holes that allow dirt, moisture, and other crud inside the frame.  This thus provided free housing to many generations of mice.  Subsequently, we learned that mouse nests are excellent at holding in moisture and causing the frame rails to rust from the inside out.  Luckily, the sides and front of the frame are in good condition, therefore keeping this from being a total loss.

Since the garage is full of other projects, we’ve been working on the Jeep outside on the concrete driveway.  We have been using our Backyard Buddy Easy-Access system (http://www.backyardbuddy.com/automotive-lifts/backyard-buddy-easy-access/) to support the frame and to allow us to move it around so that we can easily work on it.

Easy-Access rolling jack stand system

Easy-Access

The Easy-Access jack stand system is a great tool for anyone who needs to support their vehicle but doesn’t have the space or the need for a full auto lift.  Easy-Access has many different attachments that make it conducive to set up for any frame, axle and body combination.  It has heavy-duty rubber casters which allow it to roll on uneven surfaces easily.  It is very rigid, safe and much better than having the frame sitting on jack stands.  (Jack stands often wobble, they are hard to get level, and they are almost always unsafe to leave on dollies so that the vehicle can be moved around.)

The Easy-Access system is the next best thing to having an auto lift because it allows flexibility in moving around the frames and chassis.  We know people who have both an auto lift and the Easy-Access system, and as you probably well know by now, there are advantages to owning both.