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Taylor Machine Works Inc.: Welding Guns, Consumables Reduce Downtime

By Bernard
Taylor’s “Big Red” forklifts, with their distinctive logo, can handle material weighing up to 125,000 lb. (56,700 kg). (All photos provided by Taylor Machine Works.)

Over the past 90 years, Taylor Machine Works Inc., Louisville, Miss., has built a reputation by engineering and producing exactly what its customers need. The company manufactures more than 85 models of powered industrial trucks, including forklifts and material handling equipment for a range of industries.

“We manufactured roughly 750 pieces of rolling stock last year and 40% to 50% of that was highly customized,” said Matt Hillyer, director of engineering for Taylor. “Our job is to build products that answer customers’ needs.”

Taylor’s “Big Red” forklifts, featuring the company’s distinctive “Big Red” logo, can handle material weighing up to 125,000 lb. (56,700 kg)—everything from palleted goods and empty shipping containers in waterfront shipyards to equipment encountering brutally hot or cold environments. Many of Taylor’s customers are small operations, with from one to three pieces of equipment. In those operations, just one piece going out of service reduces production capacity by a large percentage.

“Having high durability, high return on investment and low cost of ownership—those are all imperative for our customers to be successful,” said Hillyer. “It’s important for us not only to make custom products that are advanced in technology or state-of-the-art, but we also have to make products that are simple, easy to work on and have lots of uptime. That’s what our customers are looking for.”

Taylor employs some of the best welders in the business to meet those customer demands, but even great welders can’t overcome the limitations of their tools. When Taylor decided to try Bernard Semi-Automatic MIG Guns and Centerfire Consumables, it discovered its talented team could take productivity up a few notches—and still produce the best quality.

Rather than turning the entire welding gun to get the right position to reach a weld joint, welders adjust just the neck of the Bernard Gun to a better angle.

According to Taylor, it sometimes takes trying a new technology to realize what you’ve been missing. That was the case with the Bernard products. “Before we changed to Bernard welding products, we didn’t really know we had a problem,” said Steve Nazary, quality assurance supervisor at Taylor. “When we started using Bernard [MIG guns and consumables], we found that they were much easier to use and more economical.”

Bernard Semi-Automatic MIG Guns at 400, 500 and 600 A also include savings on repair, good ergonomics and easy-to-use, rotatable necks. “We can replace the liners, the tips and the nozzles,” Nazary explained. “You can replace everything on a Bernard Gun instead of throwing it away and buying a new one.” The previous guns Taylor used could not be repaired and components weren’t replaceable, resulting in increased costs.

“The Bernard MIG Guns have a better handle on them,” Nazary said. “It fits your hand better. It has an easier trigger to pull. It doesn’t get as hot as the guns we were using before. We were using some handles before that got so hot, you couldn’t hold them anymore.”

Guns with multiple neck position options that are easy to adjust let Taylor welders operate comfortably and precisely in more situations. Rather than turning the entire gun to get the right position to reach a weld joint, welders simply adjust just the neck of the gun to a better angle.

“We can loosen those twisty necks, as I call them,” said Craig Callahan, quality control welding inspector, “and change the angle to get in harder places. You can reset them back straight, and turn them on any angle. The employees love them.” Nazary added that it’s also easy to change necks on the Bernard MIG Guns to reach into tighter spaces. “We have multiple necks and it only takes two or three seconds to swap them out,” he said.

When Taylor decided to try Bernard Semi-Automatic MIG Guns and Centerfire Consumables, it discovered its talented team could take productivity up a few notches while still producing high-quality products.

Centerfire Consumables also last longer than products Taylor had used previously, reducing the need to change contact tips from several times per day to just once a day, on average. These consumables feature a non-threaded contact tip that is tapered at the base to seat easily in the gas diffuser. The result is better heat dissipation, longer life and quick changeover, according to Taylor.

“We can change the Centerfire Consumables with ease. We don’t have to have tools. You just twist the nozzle off, pull it off and pop another contact tip in and twist the nozzle back on,” said Nazary.
Centerfire Consumables also provide better gas flow for better welds and less rework. “With the other consumables we were using, you would get different gas flows,” said Nazary. “With the Bernard products, we have consistent flow all the time.”

All the advantages found by using Bernard Semi-Automatic MIG Guns and Centerfire Consumables align well with Taylor’s commitment to quality and meeting customer needs. And the reliability of the products fits with the company’s slogan: “Depend on Red.”

For more information from Bernard, go to or phone 855-644-9353.

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