Rod at the age of 12 while watching the news took notice that copper went to $1.12 a lb., which at the time was the highest price it had ever been. After saving pennies for several weeks, Rod's father explained that a penny would always be worth only a penny and that to make money off of copper it would have to be stripped out of old motors and such.
Rod's first shop
Rod's first truck, a 1968 Ford, Rod Traded 3 welding machines he bought at an auction and then fixed up for this 1968 Ford that had a blown engine. He then traded some welding machine repair work with one of the St. Louis vocational schools and they in turn overhauled the engine and painted the truck.
Rod with his 6th truck in 1985
What started as taking copper out of household fan motors graduated into stripping welders and generators. By dismantling equipment on a repetitive basis, a knowledge and understanding of the theory of operation developed, opening a new avenue of repairing equipment. From his father's basement to 4 years later moving into his first shop and incorporating his business at the age of 15 in 1976, Rod has grown the business into one of the premier contractor and industrial supply and rental houses in the St. Louis area, offering a wide variety of equipment supplies and technical help, including one of the largest, most varied rental fleets in the Midwest. A combination unmatched in the St. Louis market. Rod's Service has been involved in almost every major project in the St. Louis area since 1976.
A growing fleet
A few of the many notable jobs where Contractors picked Rod's Service over others to supply or service their jobs:
- Interstate 70 Bridge expansion to St. Charles
- Metropolitan Building (St. Louis)
- Lock & Dam 26 Pipe and Pumping Stations and gate Fabrication
- Space Shuttle Launching Pads
- 367 Clark Bridge (Alton)
- Harrah's Casino (St. Louis)
- Ameristar Casino (St. Charles)
- Kiel Center
- Edward Jones Dome
- Poplar Street Bridge Repair
- Creve Coeur Lake Bridge
- 370 Bridge into St. Charles
- Boeing Test Flight Fighter Simulator Building
- Master Card Headquarters
- Union Station Renovation
- St. Louis Mills Mall
- West County Center
- St. Louis Center
- St. Louis Science Center
- Mercantile Bank Building
- 364 Bridge into St. Charles
- World Com Facility
- New Stadium for the St. Louis Cardinals
In 1991 in the middle of a down turn in the economy Rod once again using his instinct and intuition went against the advice of bankers and accountants and bought his 2nd building at 1413 Pennsylvania Ave which has since become a very successful location and has also become our headquarters. At the same time Rod's Service reached a size in the market where the people who were trying to keep us out of the gas and cylinder business were falling all over thereselves to set us up to sell these products.
As sales grew customers expected even better service. As the footprint for the customer base grew it was obvious more locations were needed to allow customers convenience of pickup from their neighborhood. To fulfill customers wishes a 3rd location was added in Wood River in 1997. In that same year Rod to become even more competitive and to control his own destiny started building his bulk gas and filling facility starting first w/ a bulk liquid oxygen tank and a 48 station filling manifold. Since then the filling facility has continued to expand becoming a state of the art multi million dollar facility where almost all straight gases, mixes, and cryogenic liquids can be filled, mixed, or made with current state of the art technology.
At the same time, our reputation has outgrown the St. Louis market. From supplying rental equipment at Cape Canaveral to build the space shuttle launching pads, to shipping burning tables to South America or overnighting rental equipment to Alabama, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and so on, Rod's Service has proved we have what it takes to deliver to people in the field who need action, not words.