Sun Machinery Company began in November 1980 when David Gray, the late Donald “Bud” Chase, and the late J. Chris Swift co-founded the company in Columbia, SC. Starting out with the RAYGO WAGNER Company in Portland, OR, the company rented a facility in Columbia and opened its doors. Starting out with 4 employees and Product Support as its hallmark, the company outgrew its original facility in less than 8 months.
The company soon found and purchased a 10 acre tract with buildings near Lexington, SC. Moving in September 1981, the company continued to grow in the new site by adding additional employees.
Sensing a need to improve Product Support, the company invested in a new building addition and equipped that building with a dynamometer to run and load power shift transmissions. Later, the company added a new shop facility to make room for needed parts space in the existing building.
Sun Machinery has continued to grow by completing 5 more buildings to house parts inventory, engineering, cab rebuilding, machine shop, paint facility, slag blasting/metal preparation facility, and in 1998, a new 11,250 sq ft shop facility that includes a shop office building and shop supply storeroom.
When Mr. Swift passed away in October 1996, the two remaining owners formed the SMC Employee Owned Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). This allows the employees of the company to share in the profits in the form of stock ownership for their retirement.