Owner: Benny Wheeler
Location Featured: Rogers, Ark.
General Manager: Dean Estep (pictured)
History: Wheeler Metals was established by Benny Wheeler, his brother Jimmy and his father Lacey in 1968 in Muskogee, Okla., and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Muskogee is headquarters for the three-location chain and is also the manufacturing center.
“I’ve worked with the company for 18 years starting in inventory control and location logistics,” general manager Dean Estep said. “The inventory at the Muskogee yard was not properly organized, and my first job was to implement Benny’s idea on how to improve the system. In 2002, Benny bought a location in Springfield, Mo., which I set up before moving here 14 years ago and building this Wheeler Metals site. We purchased 8 acres in Rogers, Ark., because the land was affordable and we knew the highway was soon to be improved, which would provide excellent access for supply trucks and customers.”
Products and Services: While the Wheeler Metals caters to a variety of customers and businesses, the main focus is agriculture products.
“We sell pipe, pre-cut posts, sucker rods, barb wire, t-posts, and other fencing material to farmers,” Dean explained. “Other farming products include gates, panels, cattle guards and feed troughs manufactured by us that carry a Wheeler lifetime warranty. Outside of metal, we also sell name brand equipment such as J & I truck beds, DewEze products, Priefert equipment and C & M trailers, to name a few.”
Philosophy: “Benny’s philosophy of customer satisfaction and selling a quality product at a fair price is really the heart of our business,” Dean said. “I operate under three critically important principles. The first two are customer satisfaction and safety. We work in metal and metal is heavy and therefore dangerous. Part of our safety protocol is to make sure metal is properly loaded which protects customers as well as employees. The third principle is organization of the yard and warehouse. Employees are protected by maintaining a clean, clutter free warehouse and yard. If a safety issue occurs anywhere within our chain, we immediately have a safety meeting in order to proactively deal with whatever caused the issue.”