Force Behind the Lift: Jeff Owen

IMG_3806.jpgIt’s not just our lifts. It’s 90+ years of experience and an obsession for quality that sets Rotary Lift apart from the rest. By having the best, brightest and hardest working people in the industry, Rotary lifts have set the standard for quality, ingenuity and value for anyone who owns or works in a light- or heavy-duty vehicle repair shop. So, to us it’s more than just a lift. And around here, “good enough” doesn’t cut it. To the men and women who work here it’s about reputation. We’re craftsmen who take pride in our work, so you can take pride in yours.

Today we talk with Jeff Owen, a longtime employee of Rotary and to call him a car guy, might be a bit of an understatement. So, let’s take a few minutes to get to know the people who make Rotary Lifts legendary.

How long have you been with Rotary Lift? 

Jeff: This July will mark my 31st year at Rotary Lift. Funny story on how I became to work here: I was putting in a driveway for Ed Youngblood (2nd shift supervisor at the time) and I asked him if Rotary was hiring. He said “yes, did I know someone interested?” I told him I was looking for a career. I think he asked me 3 times if I was serious, after the 3rd time I was starting to wonder if I was or not. I think he had been burned before by people not willing to work. Before I got home that evening my wife said that Rotary had called and wanted me to interview the next morning. The interview went well I guess, because by the time I got home they had called and told me to get to the clinic for a physical and I start the next morning.

What do you enjoy most about your job? 

Jeff: Over the years I have worked with some great people and made a lot of lifelong friends. Rotary has been a great place to work.

What is your work background in?

Jeff: I worked in rolling bridge and runway assembly for several years then, about 2 ½ years ago I moved to the controls group. This job is very challenging, learning the electronics and hydraulics that control our Heavy-Duty lifts. Since I have been in the area I have had the opportunity to work on several prototypes including the recently launched the V-Rex.

During your work career or personal life what are you most proud of?  jeff owen car 1.jpg

Jeff: When you grow up on a dairy and tobacco farm there is little time for a hobby. About 10 years ago, we decided to get out of the farming business, which has now given a chance to work on some fun projects. In our spare time we have restored my father’s 1928 Model A Ford. My great grandfather bought this car new in 1928 and it has been in our family ever since. When I was a kid we rode in several parades and had a great time with this car. When we moved to the dairy farm the car set for about 30 years and needed a little TLC. The car looks better now than it did when it was new and will be preserved for future generations. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the excitement on my grandson’s faces (4yrs and 6yrs) when I tell them that someday it will be theirs.

What do you enjoy doing in your time away from work? 

jeff owen motorhome.jpg

Jeff: We love to go camping. It has always been a cheap vacation when money was tight and we have a great time with the family. We started out with a little pop-up, then in 2013 we bought a new “class A” motorhome which we plan to spend a lot of time in when we retire.

If you purchased one Rotary Lift product what would it be? Why?

Jeff: I would love to have a Smart Lift in my shop. I like that they are recessed in the concrete and you do not have to work around the columns like that of a 2-post.

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