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F3 MFG of Waterville’s Trafton Road Repeats Rank as 3rd-Fastest Growing Company in Maine

WATERVILLE — F3 MFG is proud to sustain its ranking as Maine’s third-fastest growing company according to Inc. 5000, a ranking it first achieved in 2017. Nationally, the automotive body and accessory manufacturer rose from no. 1,317 to no. 868 on business magazine Inc.’s annual report of the top 5,000 fastest-growing businesses in the United States. Rankings are based on revenue growth rate over a three-year period; F3 MFG has achieved a 490% revenue growth rate over three years to reach $17.2 million in 2018. Of the fastest growing companies in Maine, F3 MFG has the second-highest revenue.

“Our success is due to the F3 team and the dedication the three of us have to remain the leader in the market,” Bill Cleaves says of his two co-founders, Tom Sturtevant and Joyce Galea. “Our industry was stagnant – we came in and changed the status quo.”

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Joyce Galea
2019 BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR: LARGE COMPANY

Joyce Galea finds new and growing markets for Waterville-based truck-body manufacturer

Joyce Galea, co-owner of F3 Manufacturing in Waterville, has been instrumental in the company's explosive growth.

F3, maker of aluminum bodies and accessories for trucks and vans, was founded in 2016. The privately held company doubled its sales from 2018 to 2019, to $34 million. Employment skyrocketed from 14 employees in 2016 to 230 today. Facility size has gone from 5,000 square feet to 180,000 square feet. In 2018, F3 was ranked in the Inc. 5000 as Maine's third-fastest growing company.

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THE ALUMINUM REVOLUTION

There’s A Market Change Taking Place

For anyone buying or selling truck equipment, there’s a market change in action that impacts us all. There’s a significant shift away from heavy steel to strong, lightweight aluminum. This is a transition that we’ve witnessed for the last 10 years in aluminum trailers and one that we’re watching play out now with Ford trucks and in the truck equipment industry with many truck equipment manufacturers. Dealers and end users that anticipate this change will benefit the most.

The interest in Aluminum comes from many different angles. Ultimately, what drives it at the truck upfitter level is demand. Through increased education and street-level exposure, end users are asking for aluminum, and they’re asking for a multitude of reasons.

Near the top of the list is that the premium for aluminum isn’t what it used to be. The combination of engineering and manufacturing efficiencies have allowed aluminum bodies to be priced similar to, and in some cases even better than, steel.

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