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Made Right Here: KME-Kovatch

By Amy Unger, Reporter, AUnger@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 24 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 25 2013 06:08:26 PM CST

Some of KME-Kovatch's most satisfied customers are clad in camouflage.

NESQUEHONING, Pa. -

Some of KME-Kovatch's most satisfied customers are clad in camouflage.

"They say, 'we felt good being over in Afghanistan and seeing Nesquehoning, PA on a mud flap of one of the trucks on our base,'" explained John Kovatch, IV, grandson of company founder John “Sonny” Kovatch.

But you don't have to travel all the way to Afghanistan to climb into a Kovatch creation. The company has been churning out heavy-duty vehicles on its sprawling campus in Carbon County for decades. Garbage trucks, plow trucks, fuel delivery trucks- you name it, and Kovatch can probably build it. And to think, this powerhouse that now employs 700 people in Pennsylvania started as a two-man operation.

"In 1946 my grandfather and his father started a two car repair shop," said Kovatch.

The company entered the specialty vehicle manufacturing business in the 1970’s. Its first clients were military based, but soon it was time to branch out. Kovatch started manufacturing firetrucks in 1984. It takes about nine months just to make one truck.

Once the trucks are completed and inspected, they'll be sent to fire departments everywhere. Some are right down the road, some are on the other side of the world.

"There's a lot of pride in ownership and in our employees that we're sending our products anywhere overseas," said Kovatch.

From Kabul to Dubai to Allentown, when the job at hand requires a dose of "heavy duty," KME- Kovatch is up to the challenge, right here in Nesquehoning.