On September 8, 1974, Evel Knievel attempted to leap across the mile-wide chasm of the Snake River Canyon atop his steam-powered X-2 Skycycle. This ultimate daredevil move was unsuccessful until Knievel fan and Hollywood stuntman Eddie Braun took on the same jump over 42 years later and nailed it.
“We’re the guys that fabricated an exact copy of Evel Knievel’s ramp for Eddie Braun to jump across the canyon,” said Gary Palmer, owner and vice president of K&T Steel Corporation in Twin Falls, Idaho. “We like to be involved in unique projects here.”
Fabrication of All Shapes and Sizes
K&T Steel develops high quality, steel fabricated products. Their projects include small commercial developments like the canyon rim strip mall in Twin Falls, to high-volume industrial projects at processing plants including Jerome Cheese, Glanbia Foods and McCain Foods.
“We were involved in the new Twin Falls visitor center and we did about 90% of the structural steel work at the Magic Valley St. Luke’s,” said Gary. “It seems like almost anything that’s been built here, we’ve been involved in.”
In addition to structural steel, K&T Steel also provides rebar fabrication services and manufactures above-ground storage tanks capable of holding up to 30,000 gallons. The tanks and hoppers fabricated by K&T Steel are used in the petroleum and fertilizer industries, as well as by agriculture processing plants in the Magic Valley.
“A lot of people think that all we make is steel tanks because they’ve always had a presence in the Magic Valley,” said Gary. “But the truth is that the majority of our volume is done in structural steel here and across North America. We’ve fabricated steel structures for mines in Mexico and Canada, shipped steel up to Alaska and fabricated steel for cheese plants in Michigan.”
Steel fabrication for schools, bike racks, hospitals, stores and more is a process requiring a significant amount of space. The K&T Steel facility in Twin Falls boasts a campus of nearly 45,000 square feet, including an indoor sandblast facility, a three-bay shop, a heated paint building with an overhead crane, a heated plate and clip building, and nearly 15 acres of laydown area and various material storage structures.
“We’re currently in the process of expanding,” said Gary. “We’re bringing in more equipment and automation to handle more volume. The plan is to have the expanded facility fully up and running by the end of 2020.”
Growth at Home
As K&T Steel continues to grow, the company has no intent to abandon its Twin Falls roots. It’s history began in the 1900’s when businessman and inventor G.H. Self provided innovative farm implements and machinery throughout the Magic Valley. Self later sold his business to W.G. Koch and Lavear Thornock in 1959 – the birth of K&T Steel.
“We grew up here and so did our employees,” said Gary. “We have multiple generations of employees – fathers and sons. Once we bring them in to the family, chances are they’ll stay for a while.”
Gary emphasizes that doing business in the Magic Valley offers benefits far beyond its high-quality workforce.
“This is a place that’s not full of big crowds,” he said. “It’s a great place to live and a great place to raise a family. That’s the benefit of having a company here.”
Companies like K&T Steel recognize that as the Magic Valley continues to grow, so does the competition for employees, but it’s not the cold business world many outsiders may be used to.
“If you’re coming from a larger market, be prepared for a small community feel,” Gary said. “The Magic Valley is a family where everybody knows everybody and everybody cares about one another. Conduct yourself with respect and you’ll do just fine.”
To learn more about K&T Steel, visit https://www.ktsteelcorp.com.