Polar Corp. (St. Cloud, Minn.), which grew from a small welding shop in Opole, Minn. into North America’s largest manufacturer of aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon steel tank trailers, celebrated its 65th anniversary.
The company started as the Opole Blacksmith Shop owned by brothers Vince, Roy, and Frank Warzecha, skilled welders who built high-quality stainless steel tanks for bulk milk distribution. Today, Polar employs more than 1,700 and is comprised of three companies, all leaders in their respective markets: Polar Tank Trailer, Polar Service Centers, and Quality Trailer Products.
With three manufacturing plants, Polar Tank produces custom tank trailers for oil and fuel, food products, asphalt, chemicals, corrosives, and pneumatic bulk cargoes, as well as vacuum truck bodies. Polar Service Centers is the tank industry’s only factory-owned repair and parts network, with 28 locations in 17 states. Quality Trailer Products manufactures and sells parts and components for the light-duty trailer industry, including fenders, axles, brakes, and wheels.
Polar continues to make capital improvements to modernize design, production, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Recent investments include 3D mechanical design and digital prototyping tools, precision manufacturing tools, and plant-footprint expansions. New ERP systems streamline the flow of information about costs, quality, product specification, and delivery among Polar Tank, Polar Service Centers, customers, and suppliers.
“As we celebrate this milestone, it’s a great time for Polar and our customers,” said Ted Fick, Polar CEO. “We’re combining advanced technology and production techniques with a legacy of innovation, engineering, and customer support. At 65, we’re more nimble than ever.”