Professionally, Cory Taylor lives in a catch-22. Success is his reality, but maintaining it can be mentally and emotionally expensive. Especially, with just 25 employees or so.
“The problem with that is trying to keep up with the demand…So if you tell people you’re too far behind, or it’s going to take X amount of time to get something done, you can lose the work,” said Taylor, the owner of Arc-Rite. “But you can also make somebody mad if you’re taking too long. It can be very stressful at times.”
Providing the needs of those requiring vehicle outfitting, commercial or retail, might seem like a straightforward undertaking, but think again. When a multitude of upgrades or changes are requested — for example, heavy-duty air compressors, diesel tanks, headache racks, work lights tied into the headache racks, running boards, tires, leveling kits and bumpers — it’s a monumental task to be sure.
“And when there’s so many moving pieces to the puzzle when the fleets coming in and they’re not taking just one thing, they’re taking 40 things, from electrical to window tint to bumpers to the truck beds.”
And when a customer presents something new to Taylor, something he has never installed, it’s not a simple order.
But Taylor relishes the challenge of a big ask.
“We did one last week. A buddy of mine, a good customer of mine, bought a 2023 Expedition and wanted us to figure out a way to put Starlink on it. So we did an in-motion Starlink system on it. Let’s, give it a shot. It’s either going to work, or it’s not…if there’s one thing that I’ve always said is cool about us is every day is different. It’s never the same.”
Cory’s father, Clay, established Arc-Rite when the first George Bush was in office, as a one-bay muffler shop, before ultimately turning it into welding services for vehicle augmentation and improvement. Clay offered commercial services but primarily engaged the retail market.
While continuing to serve the retail customer, Cory has focused efforts on expanding the commercial side of the business. The growth has been exponential.
“From back then to now, it’s grown tremendously,” Cory said. “And now we’re in manufacturing and distribution. We distribute all over the country…running boards and headache racks and grill guards.”
Commercial fleet outfitting has been a boon for the Del Rio company.
“My thought is, if you become a necessity as opposed to just a straight luxury, then you know, you can be a lot busier,” he explained. “Companies need their trucks. They need them outfitted. They need to get on the road and start working and stuff like that.”
Arc-Rite manufactures and distributes to companies that sell Arc-Rite products.
“So we’ve got our own product line. I mean, we’re blessed. We’ve got trucks coming in from all over Texas to get outfitted…We’ve been very consistent in progress.”
They’ve also grown into CNC plasma cut design as well, retaining an engineer on staff for blueprints and delineation, before fabricating prototypes in-house.
And Clay. “My dad, for sure…I mean, big shoes to fill. All I’m trying to do is fill those shoes and continue to grow it. Make him proud. You know what I mean?”
As far as the company’s growth, does Cory foresee Arc-Rite inhabiting the commercial outfitting space in other cities and regions?
“Absolutely, 100%. I just want to keep expanding. I don’t want to stop expanding either…Recently, I’ve really been sitting back and trying to figure out if you can outgrow an area. So we have been looking into expanding into other cities as well. I just haven’t really taken that leap yet. But no, it’s definitely on the back burner for sure.”