Capital Reman and Big Bear Engine Company Donate Much Needed Surgical Masks in Time of Crisis

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Two local diesel engine remanufacturing companies hearken back to a time of recycling, reusing and community involvement

Big Bear Engine Company Surgical Masks Donation

Surgical Masks Donation

In this uncertain time due to the Coronavirus the norm for both businesses and customers alike is to hunker down and take things one day at a time. However, this doesn't seem to be the case for two local Denver, CO manufacturing companies. The guys at Big Bear Engine Company and Capital Reman Exchange have been pushing beyond normal production schedules to try and keep up with demand all the while focusing on the safety of their employees. Both organizations focus on the heavy duty diesel engine industry with a specialization in remanufacturing. "Just because mother nature is telling us to take a break, doesn't necessarily apply to the millions of tractor trailers and excavators running out there every day. Work is still going on, buildings are still being erected and roads are still being paved," stated Capital Reman Owner Brian Pfister.

Capital Reman and their staff of engines builders and machinists continue to build 40+ remanufactured diesel and natural gas long block engines every month (400+ per year). The companies are using green processes in and otherwise dirty industry. When you think of "remanufacturing" or "refurbishing" you normally associate it with electronics (TVs, Computers, Cell Phones) but in reality rebuilding an old product is common in just about every sector of the economy. Remanufacturing is essentially recycling for old broken down engines. The engines are torn down and brought back to original manufacture specifications; essentially making it like brand new again. When an engine goes down usually a fleet manager will end up having to scrap an entire truck or purchase a new engine from a dealership. A reman engine solves both problems by reducing downtime and preserving working capital.

Big Bear Engine Company is a separate off shoot company focusing on smaller diesel engines. They supply roughly 200+ diesel engines per year for small equipment and off-road enthusiasts. Between the two companies, 600+ engines are recycled and reused saving approximately 1,617,072 lbs. of emissions from the environment which would otherwise result in new trucks/equipment purchases on the road. With a recycled engine not only is the truck or piece of equipment back up in a matter of days but also helps decrease the carbon footprint just a little bit.

"At first it didn't seem like our industry would be deemed "essential" by state and federal authorities however we were given the all clear once they understood the impact our engines have on the supply chain in this country. Every day a truck is down is a missed delivery to restock the grocery store shelves," said Pfister.

Despite business as usual at the plant, both companies needed to keep everyone safe. CEO of Big Bear Engine Company John Clifford stated, "We are ensuring the safety of everyone still on-site. We put an extra emphasis on deep cleaning the facility and have shifted all of our front-office employees to a work from home scenario." However, both Big Bear and Capital Reman felt compelled to do more; not only for their employees but the community at large.

"The first response was great but that simply wasn't good enough. Our staff needed masks ASAP and we couldn't just sit back and do nothing. Through a little elbow grease we were able to procure 150 surgical masks from our overseas parts suppliers. Now everyone and their families have at least some protection from the airborne virus." stated Clifford. After the organization distributed the masks they had about 100 left over. Clifford further elaborated, "We were able to reach out to Linda Ford at Denver Health Medical Center,who's in charge of the Person Protective Equipment (PPE) response program, and quickly donate the rest of the masks to the doctors and nurses on the front line battling Covid-19. Crisis has a way of bringing out the best in people. From our biggest vendors to the youngest guys in the shop; everyone wanted to pitch in. It felt good to know that we at least did our small part and maybe helped a few people in need."

In many ways what these two companies are embodying is akin to the days of old; sharing similarities to WWII scrap metal recycling donations or food rationing. You use what you have, adapt when needed and help your neighbor when you can.

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John Clifford

Brian Pfister
Big Bear Engine Company
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