For J.H. Fletcher and Co. General Manager of Rock and Industrial Mineral Products Billy Goad, the best words to sum up his company come from its mission statement. “I think that says it best: ‘Our goal is to manufacture equipment for underground mining that increase safety and production through engineering innovation, quality control, experienced service and ownership stability,’” says Goad, quoting Robert Fletcher, the son of company founder James H. Fletcher.
James H. Fletcher founded the company in 1937. The following year, he unveiled its first products – a rubber-tired tractor and drop-bottom conveyor for use in underground coalmines. The company in conjunction with A.L. Lee rapidly developed the first shuttle car for underground use. After moving to Huntington, W.Va. in 1940 Fletcher began designing and manufacturing rubber-tired timbering machines used to cut and set the timbers used to support mine roofs.
“The timbering machines were the primary means of ground support for many companies in the early days of mining,” Goad says.
Underground mining equipment remains the company’s focus more than 70 years later. About 75 percent of its equipment business is still focused on coal mines.
“The Fletcher legacy as a solutions-based engineering and manufacturing firm grows stronger every year,” the company says.
Fletcher also produces equipment for use in the production of aggregates and industrial minerals such as salt, potash, copper, lead, zinc and platinum. The company produces both explosion-proof electric-powered equipment and diesel-powered equipment.
J.H. Fletcher’s machines can be found in mines throughout the United States and the world. The company’s international markets include coal, platinum and manganese mines in South Africa, coalmines in China, and copper mines in Poland, Goad says.
International markets are a focus of future growth for the company. “We envision continued growth overseas and in other markets besides coal,” he adds.
Variety of Products
J.H. Fletcher’s top seller is its line of roof bolting equipment. The roof bolters can secure roofs up to 40-feet high and can be operated both by an operator at the drill station or remotely in a secured cab , Goad says.
Other equipment produced by the company includes drill jumbos, scaling machines and diesel tractors.
All of J.H. Fletcher’s equipment is customizable. “We customize our equipment based on our customers’ needs and help our customers find the right mix and the right type of equipment,” Goad adds.
Leading J.H. Fletcher’s customization efforts is an experienced engineering staff. Its staff also offers customers extensive post-sale service. The company has OEM-authorized new parts distributors in Alabama, Colorado, Illinois,
Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming in addition to its home state of West Virginia.
“Fletcher machines are engineered to use only the most precise, dependable systems and components,” the company says. “When customers call on Fletcher or one of its authorized parts distributors, they know they’re getting genuine Fletcher-approved products.”
J.H. Fletcher enhances the knowledge level of its staff through an extensive training program that emphasizes worker and product safety, Goad says.
“Since our founding, J.H. Fletcher and Co. has operated with a singular vision to work with a vigilant focus on finding ways to improve mining processes and reducing risk for the people who work there,” the company says.