Kent, WA (March 7, 2019) – Torklift International has launched their Retail Product Development Center (RPDC) in Kent, Washington to continue to put escalated emphasis on new product development.
“The RPDC is a separate location from our manufacturing unit,” explained Torklift President Jack Kay. “It houses our engineering, design, marketing and technician teams. We actually meet with retail customers in person and talk with them about their various product needs and design custom products for their vehicle or RV. We even work with customers to develop all-new product lines that don’t exist on the market, and from there we mass produce them in our manufacturing unit.”
New Product Development Director Darrel Hagglund has been overseeing the RPDC program since last spring. He began with Torklift in 2010 and has worked in various departments including sales and customer service. He was promoted to customer service director and now serves as new product development director. During his career he developed the PowerArmor DH which is a locking battery box mass produced by Torklift. The DH stands for Darrel Hagglund. He has been in the RV and automotive industries for more than 30 years.
“The opportunity to imagine a concept, talk it over and ultimately see it come to life each step of the way is the most unique part of heading up new product development at the RPDC,” said Hagglund.
He seeks out solutions to problems that customers encounter with a goal of making sure all new products solve their problems and are simple to install and easy to use.
“Darrel has a unique experience with Torklift that makes him exceptional for his new role,” explained Kay. “He has worked one-on-one with customers to develop products and help them solve problems they face at the campsite, and he even developed a successful product line.”
Since executing the RPDC program several new product lines have been expedited to the market including the Cannon extension, which is the industry’s only hitch extension that works with the 3” receiver opening that comes standard on 2017-19 Ford Super-Duty trucks, was developed at the RPDC and there is even a front receiver line is in the works, Kay added.
“What we are most excited about is the retail customer reaction of our RV step offering in the GlowStep Revolution line which is what is ultimately driving OEM adoption of this patented step system,” said Kay.
Celebrating 43 years in business, the Kay family opened Torklift as a one-bay shop in Kent, WA in 1976. Today Torklift is a manufacturer with over 3,000 dealers worldwide. With a manufacturing facility housing over 130 employees in Sumner, Wash., Torklift produces aftermarket and factory parts for the RV and automotive industries. Torklift has been named Manufacturer of the Year, Exporter of the Year, Best Place to Work and Best Family Business. To learn more, please visit www.torklift.com.