BOUTON, Iowa — After manufacturing Headhunter combine header trailers in the Perry area for 15 years, including the last 11 eleven years in Bouton, Dose Steelworks is moving to a facility four times as large in Story City.
Brett Dose, owner of Dose Steelworks, said the 30,000-square-foot Bouton factory at 104 W. First St. should be largely empty by the first of the year, when the company will be operating out of the 126,000-square-foot building in Story City, the former Vanity Fair outlet mall at 324 Factory Outlet Dr., which closed in 2018.
“We tried to stay in Bouton,” Dose said. “We tried to buy two farms but couldn’t get either one of those bought that already bordered up to us, so my hands were tied.”
That was when Story City stepped in and proposed the $4.7 million capital project, which included tax abatements from the city and tax credits from the state. Dose plans to bring his current staff of 15 workers with him to Story County and to hire an additional 10-15 people, including six positions at $27.67 an hour, which qualified the project for tax credits through the Iowa Economic Development Authority High Quality Jobs program.
“We appreciate the responsiveness and assistance provided by the state of Iowa, city of Story City, Story City Economic Development and the Ames Economic Development Commission,” Dose said.
Dose Steelworks makes combine header trailers, corn reels, detachable rear hitches, rock boxes and Insane Impact LED trailers. The new plant will lie right across U.S. Interstate 35 from the EBY Trailers, which makes aluminum trailers and truck bodies. EBY is also expanding its production, and together they promise to make Story City the trailer-making capitol of central Iowa.
Dose himself lives in Ankeny and has a daughter attending Iowa State University, so “at the end of the day, it just works to come this direction,” he said.
He opened the business in 2006 in Perry in the old Asgrow building 235 Willis Ave., now the home of RS Trailer Supply. Most of the Bouton equipment will be moved out by the end of December, “but it will probably be the middle or end of the first quarter before we’re finished,” Dose said.
Plans for the warehouse and three quonset huts abutting the High Trestle Trail in Bouton are still up in the air.
“I own that building, so I’ll just keep it for now,” Dose said. “I don’t know what the future holds, to be honest with you.”