Superior Truss and Panel was founded by William Welty in 1997. Mr. Welty is a CPA by training but moved out of public accounting and worked in corporate America for 20 years. For ten of those years he was the CFO of a Fortune 500 company. In 1990, Mr. Welty entered the construction industry by purchasing, along with a partner, Trinity Drywall, Inc. Trinity was a commercial drywall sub-contractor that operated out of Chicago Heights, Illinois. Mr. Welty subsequently became the sole owner of Trinity after his partner left the firm.
As building codes evolved in the 1990’s, non-combustible materials such as steel and precast concrete were replacing traditional wood framing for commercial construction. Mr. Welty became aware of a new product, the light-gauge steel roof truss. It was starting to appear on construction projects in which Trinity Drywall was involved. In the early to mid-1990’s there were few companies who would design and manufacture steel trusses. But in 1993, a general contractor, who was using Trinity as a drywall sub-contractor, approached Mr. Welty about providing light gauge steel roof trusses in addition to their drywall. Not having previously estimated or manufactured a roof truss, Mr. Welty hired an outside engineering firm to engineer the truss roof system. He then estimated the cost to build the truss roof and bid the project. Trinity was awarded the contract to provide the steel roof truss and it was a profitable job. Sensing an opportunity, Trinity began to seek out other truss projects.
Superior Truss & Panel, Inc. is one of the largest fabricator and erectors of light gauge steel trusses, floor trusses and load bearing wall panels in the United States. Our first truss was manufactured in 1993 when light gauge steel trusses were made only of traditional ‘C’ studs and independent structural engineering firms were used to design and engineer the truss system. The truss business continued to grow driven mainly by changes in building and fire codes to noncombustible building materials.
In 1996, we entered into an agreement to become a licensed fabricator for the patented light gauge steel truss system called ‘TrusSteel’ manufactured by Alpine Engineered Systems. Our volume rapidly grew and we became Alpine’s largest domestic fabricator. In July of 1999, after an extensive software technical review and detailed cost comparison between the ‘TrusSteel’ system by Alpine and the ‘UltaSpan’ light gauge steel truss system manufactured by MiTek Industries, Inc., we decided to change to the ‘UltraSpan’ system by MiTek. Our analysis concluded that the ‘UltaSpan’ system is more engineering design flexible, easier to manufacture, easier to install and provided a significant cost advantage to the building owner.
At the outset, Trinity manufactured trusses in a rented 5,000 square foot warehouse in Chicago Heights. As the truss business grew and the jobs got larger, the company in 1996 purchased a 10-acre lot in Markham, Illinois with a 92,000 square foot warehouse. Trinity used half of the warehouse to build trusses and leased the remaining space. Over the next few years Mr. Welty shifted the focus of Trinity Drywall away from installing drywall to the manufacturing of light gauge steel trusses. The truss manufacturing portion of Trinity Drywall was ultimately spun off in 1997 into a new company called Superior Truss and Panel Inc. Superior began manufacturing pre-fabricated light gauge steel wall panel systems in 1997. Trinity Drywall formally dissolved its subcontracting business in 2002.
In 2004, Mr. Welty retired from active management of Superior and his son, Bryce, became president. Bryce Welty has been in charge of the day-to-day operation of Superior for the past 14 years. Bryce, as president, is responsible for all day-to-day operations of the company. He has his construction management degree from Purdue University and has worked in the business with his father since the age of 20.
Prompted by a need for a larger manufacturing facility, the owners purchased in 2013 a nine-acre site in Gary, Indiana which has easy access to interstate roads. The site was cleared, environmentally tested and a new, 60,500 square foot facility was constructed having been designed for the specific purpose of manufacturing and storing light gauge steel trusses and wall panels. Superior relocated from Markham, Illinois and commenced operations in Gary, Indiana in March, 2015. The company changed its state of incorporation from Illinois to Indiana in May of 2015.
Since 1996, Superior has designed and manufactured light-gauge steel trusses and wall panels for over 2,000 building projects. The company has produced more than 500,000 individual roof trusses that range in size from small canopies to large complex roof structures. The company has also engineered and manufactured over 250 load-bearing, light gauge steel wall-paneled buildings. The largest single build consisted of three and a half miles of wall panels.
As of May 2018, our manufacturing function has 65 full-time employees, operating on a two-shift schedule, who manufacture and deliver the trusses and wall panel products required by our customers for their construction projects. Our significant growth and expansion has come mainly from repeat satisfied customers who receive free design and budgeting assistance as well as thoroughly engineered and installed truss and/or wall panel systems. Our primary philosophy is to provide the highest level of technical and installation service at the lowest price in the industry.