Our story began over fifty years ago when Planet Corporation, a Michigan based company, opened its Highway and Railroad Safety Products division on a 12-1/2 acre site near Birmingham, Alabama. The 63,000 square foot facility was strategically located three miles south of U.S. Steel's Fairfield plant and on a railroad siding.
Henry A. Parker, a Licensed Professional Civil Engineer and graduate of the University of Alabama, was hired as Chief Engineer for Planet Corporation in 1973 after seventeen years with the American Bridge Division of U.S. Steel.
In July, 1974, Walpar, Inc. was chartered by Richard A. Wall, Jr. and Henry A. Parker, and the company subsequently acquired Planet Corporation's Birmingham facilities and business operations. Mr. Wall was formerly General Manager of Planet Corporation's Highway Division. In 1978 Mr. Parker purchased Mr. Wall's interest in the company and became principal owner.
Until July 2009, Walpar operated as a family-owned business and achieved tremendous growth and market presence under the leadership of Henry, as Chief Executive Officer, and his two sons H. Allen Parker, Jr. and Stanley R. Parker.
Allen joined Walpar full-time upon graduating from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1978. Allen was named President of the company in January 2007.
Stan started with Walpar full time in 1980 and was later named Vice President after attending the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham with major course study concentrating in Civil Engineering.
In order to facilitate continued growth and estate planning objectives, in July 2009, Walpar, Inc. was recapitalized by Rock Gate Partners, LLC (www.rockgatepartners.com). Allen continues as the company's President with Henry remaining active as a consultant. As part of the transaction, Stan elected to pursue other entrepreneurial endeavors, but remains close to the company. Each of the Parkers remains equity owners in the recapitalized company, Walpar, LLC, along with Rock Gate Partners. With the exception of Stan, the entire leadership team at Walpar remains with the company and passionate about the company's continued growth and success.
Walpar has been a leader in the design and fabrication of overhead sign structures for more than thirty-five years having furnished structures in over forty states and Puerto Rico. Complementing the company's leadership position in the sign structures market, Walpar has also developed significant expertise in the design and fabrication of a wide range of other large-scale, highly-engineered fabricated metal structures which have stringent quality and inspection requirements.
The majority of Walpar's customers have worked with the company for decades in partnership-oriented relationships. The entire Walpar team takes great pride in its customer relationships and seeks to differentiate itself from competitors through excellence in design, engineering, product fabrication, quality control and customer service. As a result of these core areas of focus, Walpar has successfully
leveraged its excellent reputation to achieve significant growth and an industry leadership position, and is well positioned to be a beneficiary of the increased focus on infrastructure investment in the United States.
Walpar typically pursues business opportunities during the design stage and considers its design and engineering capabilities to be a key core competency. As such, the company typically pursues projects where Walpar can be heavily involved from concept through the final acceptance of the product.
Walpar believes it has one of the most experienced design and engineering teams in the sign structure industry. As a result of its expertise and experience, Walpar embraces the opportunity to pursue the most complex design, engineering and fabrication opportunities in sign structures, as well as other large scale, highly-engineered fabricated products. Walpar typically does not pursue business which it deems to be commodity oriented, unless significant quality control elements exist or at the specific request of existing customers. Walpar's design and engineering team is led by Mrs. Barbara Clements a Professional Civil Engineer and graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with licenses in over twenty states.
Fabrication is facilitated by our highly skilled and experienced work force largely on specialized jigs and fixtures which ensure the highest level of quality. In addition to Walpar's specialized fabrication equipment, Walpar utilizes eight overhead cranes, plate shears, press brakes, numerous welding machines, multi-headed torches and a variety of saws, mills, lathes, punches and radial drills. In addition Walpar has access to a galvanizing facility with a tank capacity of 58'0 x 7'2 x 9'0, making it particularly well positioned to pursue large scale fabrication projects. Excellent fabrication requires skilled and experienced personnel, and Walpar believes it employs some of the most talented and experienced tradesmen in the industry. Walpar's plant management team averages of over twenty-five years in metals fabrication. The average employment tenure of our shop employees is over ten years.
Walpar's quality practices and procedures have been certified by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) since 1993.
Walpar has been an integral participant in the metals fabrication industry for over thirty-five years. Our production, engineering and management personnel possess an extensive array of highly-successful experiences with a wide variety of customers, public agencies, engineering firms, testing labs and consulting engineers throughout the United States.
Our product lines include:
Highway Sign Structures
Walpar designs, engineers and fabricates sign structures to meet specifications utilizing tubular or other forms of steel and aluminum while affording customers the benefit of significant experience in galvanizing, painting and powder coating.
Railroad Signal Bridges & Grade Crossing Cantilevers
- Material Handling Systems
- Water & Sewage Treatment Projects
- Lock & Dam Projects
- Ducts, Chutes, Hoppers, Structural Steel, etc.
Walpar prides itself on being able to engineer and produce custom products which
meet clients' specific needs.