What started as a family-owned business in 1985 is now the world's number one brand for snow removal equipment: BOSS Snowplow in Iron Mountain.
â??We have several different variations of snowplows; we have everything from an ATV plow up to a 14-foot box plow,â?? said President, Dave Brule II. â??We make 100 different undercarriages for different vehicles. The varieties are countless.â??
BOSS is under the umbrella of Northern Star Industries, which also includes Systems Control. But even as a separate entity, BOSS has seen some tremendous growth over the years, beginning with less than 80 employees to now having close to 250.
â??We added 58 jobs last year and we're looking at a significant expansion which would add quite a few more,â?? Brule II said.
Theyâ??re famous for their signature V-plows, among other types, but those at BOSS pride themselves in the creativity and skill needed in plow technology.
â??The most important part about a snowplow is not pushing snow,â?? Brule II said. â??Itâ??s what happens when you hit things. Weâ??ve developed through our engineering teamâ??weâ??ve got several engineers; a lot of them went to Michigan Tech, so theyâ??re not afraid of snowâ??we have developed technology with our snowplow that protects the plow and the truck from getting damaged when you hit obstacles. When you hit something like a manhole cover or a curb, it can do all kinds of damage to the snowplow and the truck. The engineering prevents that damage,â?? Brule II said.
BOSSâ??s exceptional attention to detail and quality has gained them international success and has put Iron Mountain, Michigan on the global map.
â??We sell plows all over the world. North America is by far the largest market, but we have a very good distributor in Europe, a good distributor in the UK, China, Japan, and New Zealand. In total we're in about 25 different countries, and it's growing every year,â?? Brule II said.
BOSS Snowplow is proud of the fact that all manufacturing and engineering, from start to finish, is accomplished in Iron Mountain.
â??We do all of the design, all of the testing, we have a test track. All of the engineering design work is done here in Iron Mountain and all of the manufacturing.â??
â??Weâ??re always striving to do better,â?? said welding supervisor, Paul Peterson, â??and we're not just building a plow to build a plow, we're trying to be the best.â??
That attitude has the company coining the term "Northwoods Work Ethic" to describe the efficiency and quality of their employees.
â??We have some of the best workers. People here in the U.P. love to work hard, they're willing to do whatever it takes, they have a lot of pride, most of them know how to use a snowplow, they're familiar with it. They know that when youâ??re out fighting a storm in the middle of the night, if it breaks, thatâ??s trouble. They know when you make a plow, you have to make it so it withstands all of the abuse that a plow will get.â??
â??I guess you're kind of creating a piece of art;â?? said leadman Brice Cherubini, â??you're welding a product, trying to make it the best you can make it, just making something out of nothing.â??
And by creating a product of top-quality through safe practices and ingenuity, BOSS has proved to the greater community that they're a company the Upper Peninsula can be proud of.