August 1, 2017
Did anyone do a double take when they saw the gold Red Rider at the Smithco booth during the Golf Industry Show in Orlando?
If so, you just had to know that something was up, right? Right! All year long, Smithco is celebrating its 50th anniversary. In 1967, Smithco launched the Red Rider utility truck. Based in Wayne, Pa., Smithco is in rare company when it comes to longevity, Smithco owner Don Smith says.
“I did some research on startup companies in 1967 that are considered small businesses. Only two percent of them still exist. That gives us a lot of pride,” Smith says. The company, which also has manufacturing plants in Kansas and Wisconsin, has approximately 70 employees.
Smith says the company sold 10,000 Red Riders in the first 10 years. Today, Smithco carries multiple products, including the Star Command Chemical Delivery and Control System, an electric-powered bunker rake, and greens and fairway rollers.
Just before founder Ted Smith passed away at 97 in 2013, he called his son Don over to him with one final request. “He said, ‘Don, are you there?’ and went on to say, ‘Bring back the Red Rider.’”