Gladwin Tank Mfg was founded in 1974 by Larry D. Grove. At that time, Larry was employed by Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mi. During his time at Dow, he was fascinated by all the fabricated steel items around him. He had spent a short time working in the Dow fab shop. After 18 years at Dow, he left to start his own steel fabrication business. The business started as T.C.K. Steel fabrication. Named after his three kids; Thane, Courtney, and Kyle.
Larry rented out an empty building in the heart of Gladwin. That building was the old Gladwin Dairy, which is currently the site of the Ameritech building. Larry started making refuge dumpsters and worked his way up to building tanks. After a few years of cutting, grinding, and banging in the residential area, he was asked to move to a location zoned for industrial work. In 1977 property was bought in Gladwin’s Industrial Park, and by 1978, a new 80′ x 100′ building was built. The ASME code stamp for building pressure vessels was acquired at that time.
Work came in at a steady pace until the recession of the early 80s hit. Although bankruptcy was never filed, the bank repossessed the building and equipment. The bank then sold the building to another local business. It was at that time that Gladwin Tank Mfg was founded.
Under a new name and the economy looking stronger, the business again grew, and the process of buying the equipment back and making lease payments to the new owner of the building began. It was still a rough and bumpy road, but Larry never gave up.
The late ’80s saw a very busy time for the business; by the early ’90s, the small building needed an expansion. The building, now owned by somebody else, needed to be bought back to add to it. Once that was all done, the new addition of 120′ long and 40′ wider was put on. The new building was 140′ wide x 200′ long. A year later, an empty building next door to Gladwin Tank was purchased, formerly a machine shop that closed up. The building was remodeled and made into offices. The old two-story office inside of the old building was demolished to make room for more fabricating space.
Over the years, the business saw many ups and downs. Some years were good, and some years Larry wondered why he ever left Dow. He was starting to see the guys he used to work with retiring from Dow, and he wondered if he had made the right decision.
In early 2000 he decided to start cutting back his hours and enjoying time with his friends and old cars. By 2001 he was fully retired. Larry’s two kids (Thane and Kyle), whom the business had employed for 15 and 12 years, had begun to take over the business. His daughter Courtney came to work during his retirement and is now part of the business.
Larry passed away in September 2003, but his dream remains.
The three siblings, Thane, Kyle, and Courtney, took over the business. They were determined to keep their father’s legacy alive and decided to take over the company.
The three of them worked together to keep the business running and ensure that the company could continue to provide the same excellent service that their father had provided. They worked hard to ensure that all the processes were running smoothly and that the products were of the highest quality. Now the third generation of the family is involved in the business to continue working with that same quality.