Double duty: Sukup Steel Buildings offers huge space for farm & trucking consolidation

It was a dream that took five years to come true: consolidating two shops of a trucking business under one roof with a huge farm machinery storage area.

Since Bob Manning and sons Rob and Joe built their 150 x 200 foot Sukup Steel Building, they are able to shelter 10 Manning Ag Service semis in a section of the building designed to provide convenient drive-through access. The other part of the partitioned structure houses combines, tractors and other equipment of Manning Farms.

This 150 x 200 foot Sukup Steel Building provides convenient drive-through access for equipment storage at Manning Farms. Sukup photo

This 150 x 200 foot Sukup Steel Building provides convenient drive-through access for equipment storage at Manning Farms. Sukup photo

The big new building west of Des Moines, Iowa, was designed with a special jack beam that enabled installation of a 45 foot wide door, and the building took only 25 days to erect.

“It’s just a big old shed,” Rob Manning said proudly, happy to have a much more efficient setup than the previous three-site arrangement that wasted a lot of time and fuel. The two truck shops were 15 miles apart. “We were always running between the two locations for tools,” he said.

The building is the largest of about 75 buildings designed and manufactured for customers since Sukup Steel Buildings was launched in late 2011.

The Manning building has several notable features, said Steve Sukup, chief financial officer of the family owned company. It offers a huge unobstructed equipment storage area where the owners can unfold planters and sprayers to work on them; large doors for easy entry and exit; and a partition wall to separate the two uses of the building.

“It showcases some of the many special features we can design to meet specific needs of agricultural and/or commercial building customers,” Sukup said.

Construction of the building took 25 days, Rob Manning said, “from the day we set the first red steel until the building was completely enclosed.”

They had a crew of six, plus one crane, a sky-lift and a scissors lift to put up the framing and sidewalls, and hired four more workers to help with the roofing.

After standing strong against heavy spring snowstorms and wind, the Mannings are “very impressed with the tightness of the building,” Rob said.

With its Galvalume sidewalls and black doors and trim, it draws high marks from neighbors and passersby, he said. “We’re really happy with the way it turned out.”

The building adds to a site that includes Sukup bins providing about a million bushels of grain storage, plus a tower dryer and unloading equipment.

The master plan for the site goes back five years, Manning said. “But now we’re pretty complete and everything works very nice.”

The Sukup name is a familiar one in the ag industry. The parent company, Sukup Manufacturing, started in 1963 and today is the fastest-growing bin manufacturer in the world. Its product line includes farm and commercial grain bins, portable and tower dryers, centrifugal and axial fans and heaters, stirring machines, bin unloading equipment and bin floors and supports.

Sukup also makes a line of material handling equipment that includes bucket elevators, drag conveyors and chain loop conveyors. Products are sold throughout the U.S. and Canada, and are in more than 70 other countries.

Sukup Steel Buildings was launched in 2011 with the manufacturing of components for a 200 x 510 foot building at Sukup Manufacturing. The company began manufacturing buildings for outside customers late in 2011. Sizes range from a 2,000 square foot agricultural building to a 100,000 square foot manufacturing building.

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