Roofmaster Celebrates 50 Years
Admit it: You, as a typical roofing contractor, sometimes don’t think ahead about ordering supplies. When you do finally realize that you need a critical tool, piece of machinery, etc., you need it now. Lucky for you, Roofmaster can help. And it’s been there, helping contractors who need product, for 50 years.
“Dad used to always say to Aeroil, ‘We need more product,’” says Jimmy Yundt, current president and CEO of Roofmaster, Monterey Park, Calif. He is referring to his father Deryl Yundt, who, from 1948 to 1952, was the West Coast manager for Aeroil, the now defunct equipment company. Deryl left Aeroil in 1952 to pursue his vision of bringing contractors what they needed. He found some backers and started a company called Roofmaster. Making its way in the booming post-war American economy, the company put forth its mission as: “bringing new labor saving equipment and innovative products to a nation that is building its future.”
Roofmaster continues this mission today. The company began as a distributor for built-up roofing products, and has introduced innovative, proprietary products along the way. “Contractors need many different types of tools and equipment,” says Yundt. “(Dad) saw the need for an expanded company. At first, there were only a couple of products we made; the majority of products sold in the early years were primarily distribution.” The company has, naturally, grown along with the industry. “In the beginning, everything was hot roofing,” Yundt continues. “Then EPDM, modified bitumen, metal roofing – we’ve expanded to accommodate what roofers need in whatever style of roofing they’re working.”
Yundt began full-time work at Roofmaster in 1968, having worked part-time for the nine years prior to that. When asked why Roofmaster has had continued success for the past 50 years, Yundt says, quite simply, “Availability of product.” Roofers may wait until the last minute to order something, but Roofmaster, with its ample warehouse space, can usually accommodate same-day shipping.
InnovationWhat’s in the warehouse is also important, and over the years, Roofmaster has shown that it is adept at innovation. “Contractors have problems that need to be solved,” says Yundt. “Often we hear them say, ‘wouldn’t it be great if …’ Sometimes, contractors approach the company with an idea.”
Yundt then mentions some of Roofmaster’s more innovative products. To name just a few, there is MopMaster™, a 20-gallon mop cart; Pri-Master, a primer spray-pump system with a 60-square-per-hour capacity; and Special Pri-Master, a spray-pump system designed to spray a variety of cold coatings, including certain types of primers, emulsion, aluminum, cutback and acrylic.
Yundt also highlights Warm-Master®, an in-line heat exchanger that heats up cold-process, petroleum-based materials and/or other fluids that are pressurized and pumped from the material pump to the roof spray equipment. LaddderMaster™ is a ladder-mounted hoisting wheel that mounts on any two rungs of a ladder and stays in place. And finally, the Universal Aluminum FeltMaster is designed for 36-inch and metric rolls. The product allows a roofer to efficiently apply up to 10 squares of material at a uniform 30-pound asphalt mopping. The machine has competitive advantages, for example, a quick release rear axle and wheel to facilitate removal or cleaning. Also, the machine is made of heavy-gauge aluminum throughout, so it won’t buckle at the lids or fall apart at the seams.
Commenting on Roofmaster’s innovation, Greg Clements, national sales manager, says, “We figure out how to solve a problem. We see things out in the field, then tweak and fine tune.” Clements has been with the company since 1982. He came from Mechanical Systems, the company that designed the original aluminum felt layer. “We redesigned the product by hiring the original engineer. It’s the best one on the market.”
Experience and ServiceClements sees additional reasons for Roofmaster’s success. For one thing, though Clements will have been with Roofmaster for 20 years this September, others have been there even longer, including welders and shop foremen who have worked for 25 yeas, and a sales person who has been with the company for 30 years. The average amount of experience in the industry for a Roofmaster employee is 15 years. Such long tenures bring a depth of knowledge that is respected throughout the industry. “We get calls from all over, with people asking ‘Where can I find …,’” says Clements, “and then they describe some kind of tool, and we can find it. Professionalism and staff knowledge set us apart.”
Clements also cites product quality as an element of Roofmaster’s success. “We help our customers maintain their equipment,” he explains. The company has a complete service department, capable of repairing most makes of asphalt kettles, spray pump systems, single-ply welders and small gasoline engines used by roofers. “Also, if someone, say, in Michigan has a problem, we can provide them with parts and tell them what to do,” says Clements. “We make equipment that lasts. We maintain a full parts department, three to four repair guys, and a painter.”