Manufacturing Processes


Our Facility

Located in Reading, Pennsylvania, for 60 years, our manufacturing facility has grown to 335,000 square feet of production space under one roof on a 23-acre campus. We continually upgrade and expand advanced technology in the manufacturing process including the following:

  • Bystronics BySprint Fiber Optics Laser Cutting System
  • SolidWorks 3-D engineering CAD program
  • Prima 5-Axis Laser
  • 750-Ton Draw Form Press
  • Hydraulic Autoforming Machine

Our processes are constantly evolving to improve quality, drive down prices and speed production.

our-facility

Design

For 60 years, our design teams have worked continually to refine our processes and products. Our engineers and designers are SolidWorks certified in 3-D CAD design. The result is industry-leading innovations and exclusive Reading options featured in every product we sell. We also work closely with large fleets to develop custom solutions to fit their vocational needs, keeping a keen eye toward worker safety and productivity in all our designs.

Build

We recently retooled our plant as part of a lean manufacturing initiative. We now produce aluminum and steel bodies on the same line, reducing down time. We have developed fabricated parts “supermarkets” to ensure all parts are available and in place to feed the production lines. Parts travel with the body through production and all the legwork is done by dedicated kitters. Our ongoing dedication to innovative, lean manufacturing principles helps us maintain our lead times without compromising quality.

Paint

Our revolutionary processes begin with a full immersion bare metal body wash and zinc phosphate bath to prep the bodies for superior paint adhesion. The E-Coat primer and powder coat finish system was designed and built by Reading employees in-house. Aluminum bodies move directly to finish coat while A60 coating-weight galvannealed steel continues with the acrylic primer and finishes with a baked-on powder coat finish. This process offers the best defense against corrosion and wear of any finish anywhere. Today, the system is highly automated and features a quick changeover system that allows us to offer the same lead time on custom colors as on our standard white body. The entire process from start to finish is environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Safety

Safety is always top of mind at Reading. We start every shift with stretching exercises to maintain a healthy workforce. A dedicated safety committee led by a senior-level safety officer helps ensure worker safety in all Reading facilities. In fact, we surpassed a remarkable safety milestone in 2014, reaching 500 days or 1.1 million hours without a lost-time incident. In a heavy steel manufacturing facility, contending with many hazards and OSHA regulatory issues, that is a major achievement.

Reading Truck Body will always strive to provide a work environment that nurtures and encourages safety through continuous improvement, quality and creativity.

Safety

Sustainability

Reading was an industry leader in using aluminum to lower vehicle weights and improve fuel economy. Today, 40 percent of the truck bodies we sell are aluminum and that percentage climbs every year. In addition, we use sustainable manufacturing processes such as our environmentally friendly E-coat primer and powder coat finish to minimize the impact of our activities on the Earth.


Expert Craftsmanship

While Reading is committed to maintaining a technologically advanced production facility, it is no substitute for our company’s most valuable asset—our highly skilled and motivated employees.

Outstanding Quality

We are so confident in our products and quality that we back them with the best warranties in the industry. There truly is No Body Better than a Reading.

Corrosion-Resistant Products

Reading combines our superior A60 galvannealed steel with an acrylic E-Coat primer and a durable powder coat finish for the most hard-wearing, corrosion-resistant finish available. Heavy-duty aluminum products are washed and immersed in a zinc phosphate bath to prep for superior finish coat adhesion.


Step 1: Quality Metals

We build our steel bodies only with heavy-duty A60 coating-weight steel. The steel is galvannealed, a process that creates a molecular bond with the zinc, as opposed to galvanizing, which involves dipping the steel in hot zinc. Our aluminum service bodies are built exclusively with recycled high-strength alloy aluminum, which provides inherent corrosion resistance. The result in both cases is a more durable truck body that resists rust and corrosion.

Step 2: Phosphate Bath & Acrylic E-Coat Priming

All bare metal bodies are washed and immersed in a zinc phosphate pre-treat process to provide remarkable adhesion of paint coatings. Aluminum bodies move directly to the finish coat. Steel bodies continue on, immersed in electrically-charged acrylic primer tanks. The primer fuses to the metal, guaranteeing all surfaces are uniformly coated and ready for finishing.

Step 3: Powder Coat Finish

A fine polyester powder is sprayed inside and out of the body using static electricity. Powder coating ensures a smooth, even application, even in corners and around bends and folds. The body is then oven-baked for a hard, chip-resistant finish.

Corrosion-Resistant Products

Reading combines our superior A60 galvannealed steel with an acrylic E-Coat primer and a durable powder coat finish for the most hard-wearing, corrosion-resistant finish available. Heavy-duty aluminum products are washed and immersed in a zinc phosphate bath to prep for superior finish coat adhesion.

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CONTACT NATIONAL ACCOUNTS

We have a dedicated team of national account managers who specialize in understanding the needs of larger fleets.