Family-Owned Hochstetler Welding Is a Reliable Option For Your Welding Needs
Writer / Angela Cornell
Brian Hochstetler’s custom welding business Hochstetler Welding has been going strong for 20 years. Over the years, the business has outgrown a 25-by-40 ft. shed into a 6,512 sq. ft. workshop.
The kind of projects that come through the front door span a gamete from mending broken spoons to fixing semi-truck repairs. The wide variety keeps the work from getting too monotonous.
“[I like] the physical work with welding — making the steel do what I want it to do,” Hochstetler says.
One of Hochstetler’s favorite parts of the job is the custom-made projects.
“I like being out there and literally figuring out the challenges,” he says.
Ever since he was young, Hochstetler knew he wanted to be a business owner, especially since his father owned a small engine repair shop.
“As a young man, you don’t know what your dream is, or what God will lead you to,” he says. “I knew I wanted to have my own business, but I didn’t know what.”
Eventually, welding presented itself as a viable option.
“I always enjoyed welding, but I didn’t know it until I started working at the factory. That sparked my interest that this is what I love doing,” Hochstetler explains.
So, he turned it into a side business for custom and repair welding. It wasn’t until 2008 that Hochstetler decided to go full-time after being laid off from his factory job.
“I took it as, this was God telling me, ‘It’s time,’” he says. “It was a hard decision. There was still that fear of what’s going to happen. But I prayed, ‘Well, if you want me to, you’re in control.’”
It was on the principles of faith and stewardship that he started the business, and those are characteristics that still define him and his work, which he does with his wife, Sarah, daughter Lori, and son Lonnie, as well as a couple of other friends and relatives. “This is not my business. It’s God’s business,” he adds.
About 50-60 percent of Hochstetler Welding’s custom work orders are clientele personal projects. When a project comes off the street, there is no telling what it might be. Perhaps it will be an ornamental windmill or a gardening tool that needs to be mended.
“No job is too small,” Hochstetler says. “[We offer] steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and cast iron welding.”
Other times, it’s a custom build project, like a wrought iron banister or mailbox post.
The rest are projects for local businesses.
“We do help out some other shops that are busy,” Hochstetler says.
His welders also do emergency repair work for local businesses, which typically takes precedence. Some examples include Farmer’s equipment, trailers for a wide variety of service providers like lawn care and carpenters.
“When something like that comes in, we do that soon because they use that to make a living,” Hochstetler adds.
Over the years, Hochstetler has expanded to include other customizable products that fit under his brand. In 2006, he purchased his neighbor’s business, Durable Designs, that makes toy wagons and tricycles. Like all of their work, these items are made with durable, heavy-duty steel alloy and polyvinyl wood. On top of that, these toys are made to last for generations. Although Hochstetler and his welders are heavily involved in making these toys, this leg of the business is now owned by his brother, James, who assembles the toys.
Hochstetler Welding also makes custom swing sets. The basic design is sturdy and heavy-duty, but otherwise, the features are customizable. Some of the options include a slide, teeter-totter, glider, among others.
One of his most popular pre-made items is a campfire ring and grill that comes with a winch and cable to make cooking over an open fire that much easier. Another tool they have for grilling is the EZ Hook, a sharp hook-ended tool available in four sizes that was designed to facilitate flipping meat, whether on the stove, grill, or over an open fire.
“It’s a very handy tool to have,” he says.
Hochstetler Welding is located at 7262 W. 1350 N. in Nappanee. To schedule a time for your custom welding project or to order a brochure/catalog call them at 574-773-0600. Order a Durable Designs wagon or trike, call James Hochstetler at 574-773-2835.