Polar Corp. Hires Hundreds, Keeps Growing

The company, which manufactures and repairs tank trailers, said that a boost in demand from the oil industry has helped it hire more than 600 employees in the past nine months-and it has plans to add another 70 to 80 workers in the next couple of months.

St. Cloud-based Polar Corporation has seen significant growth during the past nine months-including the hiring of roughly 620 employees across its three subsidiaries-spokesman Tim Kelly told Twin Cities Business on Monday.

The company-which operates Polar Tank Trailer, Polar Service Centers, and Quality Trailer Products-also plans to add another 70 to 80 workers in the next couple of months.

Of the approximately 620 new hires, Kelly estimated that about 300 to 325 were added to the company's Minnesota facilities. Some of the workers joined the company when increased demand for Polar's tank trailer products led to the addition of a third production shift at its Holdingford plant.

Polar Corporation, which employs about 1,600 people across its three businesses, has an estimated 650 to 700 workers in Minnesota, Kelly said.

The company also boosted its number of service center locations, going from 20 to 29 during the past year. Kelly said that Polar intends to add more locations in the next couple of years, and the company is considering expanding its Inver Grove Heights service center.

Polar Tank Trailer manufactures steel and aluminum trailers for a variety of uses, and it operates manufacturing plants in the central Minnesota towns of Holdingford and Opole, as well as Springfield, Missouri. Polar Service Centers provide access to parts, technicians, and trailer service. Quality Trailer Parts business manufactures and distributes components and accessories for trailers.

Kelly said that Polar's recent growth can primarily be attributed to increased demand as a result of domestic crude oil exploration, especially in North Dakota and Texas. He said that a new technology involves sand that is pumped into the ground to help extract natural gas and crude oil. Polar's trailers are used to haul the sand to the drilling sites, and they also carry the oil once it has been extracted.

The period of growth comes after the company was forced to scale back and lay off some employees during the recession. Kelly said that the total cuts involved fewer than 100 employees.

But as the economy rebounds, many trailer owners who had previously made do with older products are now starting to buy new trailers, causing a further uptick in demand for the company's products, Kelly added.