Growler Makes Mining Vehicle at Robbins Plant
Robbins may be growing out of its mill town past, but it remains a mining town.
Standard Mineral Co. ships tons of its pyrophyllite products around the world, digging ore at its original mine on Talc Mine Road and its other site just above Glendon, and processing at its rail-side plant on Cabin Creek.
The original underground mine is long gone, but underground mining will soon be served by a new piece of equipment manufactured in Robbins.
American Growler is going into mining with the production of a new vehicle that will transport mine workers deep beneath the Earth with greater speed, safety and efficiency. Production has already begun on a revolutionary transporter it calls the Growler 10.
It can take a crew in and out of a deep mine on a single charge, something current transporters cannot manage. With its four-wheel independent suspension, heavy duty coil-over shock absorbers, four-wheel disk brake system and four rubber-tired wheels, a Growler 10 doesn’t shake miners to pieces on their way down rough-floored mine shafts.
Three rows of backed bench seats rest in a lower section between its 10-horsepower rear motor and its front steering wheels. Options include 48 or 72 volt systems and dual batteries. All components are military grade.
The mine transporter is to be produced at the company’s eight-acre Green Street plant in Robbins. That converted textile plant now has 50,000 square feet of dedicated air-conditioned and heated manufacturing space, its own test track for vehicle shake-down cruises prior to delivery, in-house heated paint and drive-in sandblast booths, an engine clear room and test facility where engines can be operated outside vehicles.
The corporation is owned and operated by a pair of veterans, Terry Crews and Bill Crisp. Crews is a retired Marine Corps colonel with many years of experience with all types of military vehicles, and Crisp is a retired GE executive. They have been building vehicles with similar suspensions and drive trains for more than 10 years, with 98 percent of vehicles produced to date for export.
The first products were military jeep-like vehicles for use by the U.S. Marine Corps in its V-22 Osprey aircraft. A modified version, for civilian use, is the Carolina Growler produced at the company’s plant in Star and sold through Gene Gibbons’ Carthage company, Carolina Growler Motor Sports.
Crisp and Crews also make an elevated hunting platform for use by handicapped hunters.
They bought and maintain a wounded-warrior hunting preserve just north of Robbins. Recently, Crisp completed work on a hunting lodge there, complete with ramped entry, stone fireplace, and full porches front and back.
The Growler 10 isn’t the only new ride being built in Robbins. Crisp and Crews introduced something recently with an unusual name. It’s called a HOOT — a reliable, easily maintained vehicle for off-road use they can market at a very reasonable price.
A HOOT is a long way from a Jeep. For one thing, a HOOT has six, not four, wheels.
For another, it loves water. HOOTs are fully amphibious. At 25 mph top speed, a HOOT is not a race car. It bounds through open water, swamps and deep snow.
Crisp calls their HOOT an ETV — extreme terrain vehicle — and says it can turn on a dime, has all-six-wheel drive for superior traction, no gears to shift other than forward, neutral and reverse. It can fit in a standard pickup bed. A HOOT can even travel just fine with two flat tires.
“The more mature buyer will especially love the smooth steering, remaining dry and clean when going through mud and water at full speed, the ease of maneuverability provided by the skid steer steering, and the comfort of the suspension mounted seat,” Crisp said. “HOOT can get you there, and bring you back.”
With its Fiberglas body, a HOOT is light, employing a skid plate to protect the underbody. Its 429cc Kohler gas engine burns half a gallon an hour in fuel.
Controls are all hand-operated, glove box and all switches weather-proofed, has a dual braking system and comes with a two-year warranty on the engine and one year on parts for less than $9,000.
Contact John Chappell at email@example.com.
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