When Craig Hess finished his first few days of hoof trimming, working beside his future father-in-law Bryce White, he declared “I will never do that for a living.” That was 1976 and he was working on his White’s state-of-the-art upright chute.
In spite of his bold declaration, he ended up buying White’s chute and business and has spent the past four decades working in the hoof trimming industry. He worked as a hoof trimmer and eventually as a hoof trimming instructor. He spent 17 years as an active professional trimmer and trainer while innovating, experimenting and improving his chute and until he realized that he could build chutes for other trimmers and Appleton Steel was born.
Together with his wife Becky they started manufacturing chutes for his other trimmers out of his own two-car garage. As they say, if it is worth building, it is worth building in your garage! Craig soon discovered that trimmers loved innovation, so Craig carefully listened to ideas from other trimmers and made improvements on existing designs.
One of these designs was the Appleton Steel elevator chute. He later reconnected with his old friend Jeremy Smith, the original chute designer, to create many of the one-of-a-kind features on Appleton Steel chutes today.
From the family garage to a 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility, Appleton Steel continues to grow, expand and innovate every day. Today Appleton Steel continues to research and develop new technology and features largely based on the comments received from active professional trimmers. Armed with these ideas Appleton continues to build an even better chute with each passing year.