We solve a problem in England
Steeldeck® platforms were invented in the UK back in 1985 at a scenery company. They were born from a need to have a stage system which could be durable and strong, but easy to set up. Previously, stages had been built from wood frames with plywood tops, which did not have a long life, and so were not suitable for a rental market.
After some design and development, the product as we know it was devised. It has been made in the same way (carefully, by hand) ever since. As the product’s use spread, what started as a small rental stock in 1985 increased to develop a new market nationwide, and customers began buying their own platforms to rent to their own local markets.
Steeldeck stage platforms are made from a steel truss frame with a high-quality plywood surface. The steel truss frame gives a high strength-to-weight ratio, and the plywood surface is the most cost-effective and user-friendly solution. The frames have strong sockets at each corner into which precut interchangeable legs made from common 1 1/2” steel pipe are inserted. The legs are secured in the sockets by tightening a hand knob. The length of these legs determines the height of the stage. They do not have to be the same length, so the platforms can easily accommodate uneven ground and can be made into ramps or anti-ramps to make a level platform over a slope.
By utilizing common 1 1/2” pipe for the leg system, all scaffold accessories function with our product, so stages can be constructed on screw jacks to give infinitely adjustable leveling capability, or on casters, so the stage can be mobile. Bracing for tall stages can be installed wherever it is needed. We focus only on the stage system and only provide the stage, guardrails, and stairs. We never allow ourselves to do what our customers do, only taking care of the simple but heavy work of setting the framework of the event. We do not provide scenery or decoration, truss, lighting, or sound. This business model solves customers’ problems without threatening their respective market niches.
We expand to the US
By 1992, an opportunity arose in the US for the design’s owners to start a new rental company in Los Angeles. In 1993, Steeldeck, Inc was incorporated in Los Angeles, occupying a 3,000 sq.ft. warehouse leased from the Culver Studios, employing two people. After five months, new premises were needed, and the company moved to a bigger warehouse where it continued to grow for another year. In 1995, Steeldeck, Inc moved again, and bought a new truck. Three years later, we expanded into the adjacent building, adding employees and trucks, forklifts and shop equipment along the way. In 2005, Steeldeck, Inc expanded into the remaining available space at the location, totaling 54,000 sq.ft.
In 2018, the building was sold to a new owner, and Steeldeck, Inc relocated to a large warehouse with a yard of matching size in the City of Gardena. The company employs 25 full-time employees and has five trucks and three forklifts. In 2012, we opened a warehouse in Las Vegas, which allowed us to expand our inventory by 50%, while minimizing the amount of money we or our customers spent on trucking the product from Los Angeles. This operation has exceeded our expectations and has performed very well in this highly competitive market.
In late 2007, we continued the process of reinvesting in our company by adding computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines to our shop. This makes our manufacturing even more efficient and keeps quality high and prices low, which guarantees our customers the best value for their dollar.
We continue to manufacture virtually all our equipment in-house, only outsourcing a few machining operations and metal finishing. We have tried to insulate our customers from increases in materials prices by buying in bulk and contracting with suppliers for long-term price stability. We keep a fairly large stock of new product (more than 400 4′ x 8′ platforms), ready to serve even the most severely time-challenged customer, and we sell a large number of used decks (replacing them with new), which keeps both sale and rental customers happy. The rental customers enjoy having units that are less than three years old and the sale customers like the discount on nearly new product. We like to keep our customers happy.
In recent years, Steeldeck, Inc has invested more than half a million dollars in CNC and robotic equipment, which makes more repeatable components and accurate products, while keeping the labor costs as low as possible. The products are finished by hand and inspected by at least two people before they leave the factory to maintain high quality and low rejection rates.
Steeldeck, Inc supplies many competitors with our products, as we have more inventory than most other companies and the most reliable and long-life product. Some competitors own our Steeldeck platforms and rent in more from us to supplement their stock for large jobs, and some just rent from us or other owners. We have found that no one has enough inventory all the time, including us, so there is a very active trade between all owners of Steeldeck stage equipment, and we sometimes have to rent back from some of our customers / competitors.
We are confident that the manufacturing processes we have now are the best for doing what we do at the volume we need to satisfy, and we continue to monitor technological developments so we can adapt our plans to a constantly advancing manufacturing environment. Though we are focused on the future, we are making products that are retro-compatible with the first platforms made over thirty years ago, maintaining our vision of delivering the best value for the customer’s money that we can.
Select client list
Some of the thousands of customers we have been satisfying over the years:
Cirque du Soleil
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
and Many More …