We work hard and Play hard… Tale of Justin’s Massive Crappie

Justin's Big Crappie
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Justin Erkenbrack’s “Catch of a Lifetime”

This last year was a rough one for all of us. Everything was different and we all were left on our own to figure out how to entertain ourselves and our family members safely.

Justin Erkenbrack, SJF Solutions Specialist, had a pretty great weekend of safe entertainment this winter with his fiancé, kids and the wide open ice of a Minnesota lake. Not only did they have a great time, he caught himself a monster!

In Minnesota, we take our fishing seriously. Many people spend half of their life in search of “the big one” (literally, and this is no joke to the serious fishermen!), so to catch this one was a rare moment!

Justin’s 16″ crappie is easily considered “trophy sized” by any fishing expert’s standards (and believe us, there are a lot of self-proclaimed fishing experts around this area). I know this because I fact-checked the info by Googling “What is considered a trophy sized crappie“.

The definition from this highly scientific source, otherwise known as Google, was as follows:

That depends on several things – the body of water you’re fishing, the state in which you fish, how big a crappie you’ve caught before. Speaking in generalities, however, any crappie over 1 1/2 pounds is an exceptional fish, and for most anglers in most waters, a crappie over 2 pounds would be the trophy of a lifetime.

This beast weighed in around 3 lbs. and was caught using a minnow head and a jig given to him by none other than, and I quote from Justin himself, “The legendary fish slayer” and another of SJF’s Solutions Specialists, Tom Moore.

Being true Minnesotans, we were all excited for him and feel he has secured bragging rights for a good long time for this one! Maybe it will give us all something to shoot for next time we take to the lake, whether it be frozen or not.

Guest Post: The Basics of Roll Forming Processing

Today’s post is courtesy of John Hamlin

The roll forming process uses a set of rollers placed strategically to perform incremental bending by feeding long strips of metal continuously. It is a process used to convert long strips of metal into various cross-sections or shapes. The process is performed by sets of mated rollers that change the form until the desired cross-section or shape is attained. This forming process is primarily focused on the cross-section of the metal or material. In some cases, the thickness of the material is being reduced.

Roll formed products do not only have a a high demand on material handling industries, they are also all around us, and below are some of the industries that also use these products:

  • Energy and power industries
  • Construction
  • Industrial
  • Agricultural
  • Transportation/Automotive
  • Other fabricated metal manufacturers

Roll Forming Process Fundamental Steps

  1. Decoiling – This is a process of unwinding and cutting metal from its primary coil. Typically, after the decoiling process, the metal is directly fed to a flattener or a machine that flexes/flattens the metal before proceeding to the next procedure.
  2. Pre-press treatment – This is an intermediate process prior to roll forming proper. It involves a flattened metal piece that undergoes press treatment to add slots, holes, or slits, depending on the product desired.
  3. Roll forming – This is a process by which a roll forming machine progressively shapes the material. The roll forming machine bends the metal using a set of mated rollers to guide the long strip of metal to make the desired bends.
  4. Cut off and discharge process – Subsequent to the roll forming process, the material will undergo a cut-off process, where the material is cut to the desired length while it is in motion. After the cutting process, the material will be discharged to a run-out table to be placed for shipment or undergo another process.

Roll Forming Secondary processes

The whole roll forming process can be either completed as the part comes off the discharge process or completed in other stations.

Secondary processing may include:

  • Punching
  • Tight tolerance forming and straightening
  • Adding other components
  • Minor assembly of parts

Metals Used in Roll Forming

Roll forming is capable of shaping any ferrous or non-ferrous metals. There are variations in the adjustment on the roll forming process’s bending stage, since there are different characteristics of metals, such as ductility and strength. These properties will indicate the amount of force needed to shape the metal.

Another characteristic of metal that should be considered in the roll forming process is the yield point, wherein every metal has its own critical value. A material’s yield point is where the material begins to change its shape permanently.

list of metals commonly used in the roll forming process

Ferrous metals:

Ferrous metals are mainly composed of iron. Ferrous metal can be easily recycled and are rust-resistant.

  • Steel – This material is an alloy of iron and a relatively small percentage of carbon. It contains less than 2% of carbon to improve its strength and fracture resistance. It also contains small amounts of silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, and manganese. Steel can be easily recycled, which is why it is one of the most commonly used types of metal.
  • Stainless Steel – This roll forming material is an alloy of iron with a high percentage of chromium. Stainless steel typically consists of 10-20% chromium. This type of material is very useful because of its high malleability and its corrosion resistance.
  • Galvanized Steel – This material is a heat-treated metal coated with zinc. It has high corrosion resistance due to its zinc coating.

Non-ferrous metals:

Non-ferrous metals have no iron content and have higher corrosion resistance compared to ferrous materials.

  • Aluminum – Aluminum is a very suitable material in the roll forming process because it is malleable, lightweight, and easily formed.
  • Brass – Brass is a copper and zinc alloy and has high machinability, high malleability, and is wear-resistance.
  • Copper – Copper has high electrical conductivity and has a low chemical reactivity.
  • Lead – Lead is very soft, with high malleability, high ductility, and has very poor electrical conductivity. Because of its high density, lead is capable of absorbing vibrations.

Key Takeaways

Roll forming is indeed one of the fastest and most cost effective methods of producing sheet metal products of any length with accurate tolerances and dimensions. It is used by many industries due to its versatility where complex and intricate cross sections can easily be produced using ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Crank-Out Cantilever Rack Project for Arrow Gear

Crankout Cantilever RackingOn this project, SJF’s Solutions Specialist Jason Deiter worked closely with customer Arrow Gear and Rack Engineering to provide a crank-out solution that would free up floor space, utilize vertical space with the ability to retrieve from individual compartments, and organize inventory.

Units have four crank out levels with 5,600 lb. capacity per arm, plus a 20,000 lb. capacity fixed top for additional storage. Compartments are 14″ in height and use 24″ length arms.

For more information on crank out cantilever racking, contact Jason Deiter at SJF at (320) 485-4961 or email him at jdeiter@sjf.com. He’ll be able to answer any questions you may have and help plan for your needs!

Function and Style with Racking

If you need racking to match your implements, we can accommodate

A recent SJF customer from Michigan was very happy with both the racking and the slick look of his storage area for his John Deere implements and attachments. SJF Solutions Specialist Kendal Kalamaha listened to his needs and found the perfect solution.

We’re happy to accommodate your needs for storage racking. We offer a wide variety of sizes, configurations, and colors. If you’d like to match it to your implements, we’re ready to customize!

If you need ideas or know exactly what you want, Kendal can be reached directly at (320) 485-4966 or kkalamaha@sjf.com. He has many years of experience and has great ideas!

Lumber Racking Solution for Lake Russell Building Supply

Lake Russell Building Supply Cantilever Set Up

Lucas Brady, President of Lake Russell Building Supply in Elberton, GA, had a need for storage solutions for a pole building they were enclosing in order to protect their product from the elements and better service their customers. In October 2019, Lucas contacted SJF via their “live chat” feature (that is, in fact, answered by a real live professional). Solutions Specialist Jason Deiter answered the chat and began discussing the application.

They wanted to rack out 2 walls of their pole building to allow for storage of treated lumber in various unit sizes. For this application, we chose 5′ brace sets to accommodate the various unit lengths and 4′ heavy duty arms that would work for dimensional and sheet goods. The result was positive and it has really changed and improved the way that they handle materials.

Knowing that they would need more, in February of 2020 Lucas reached out to add on another 90′ section to store yellow pine, tongue and grove, staged loads and special orders.

Lucas writes: “These racks have made such a big impact on every aspect of handling lumber. We will definitely be adding more in the future. Thank you. I’m as happy about having them as you were in selling them.

Jason and our other solutions specialists are available to help you find the best solution for your individual space. They are trained to “think outside the box” and have excellent ideas to help solve your problem.

If you have a project that you’d like help with, feel free to call Jason at (320) 485-4961 or email him at jdeiter@sjf.com. He’d be happy to help with your project!

Employee Spotlight – Tom Moore

Tom Moore, SJF Solutions Specialist
Tom Moore, SJF Solutions Specialist, recently caught this 17+ lb. Northern. That's quite a fish!

Today in our Employee Spotlight is Tom Moore, Sales & Solutions Specialist here at SJF. He’s been with SJF for several years, so he knows the material handling business inside and out.

Tom is a relatively quiet guy… until he has something to say. I think he likes to save his daily allowance of words for important stuff, not just random chatter.

Even though Tom isn’t a big talker, he is, however, well known around the office for his clever remarks and interesting theories. It’s not unusual to hear him say something that stops everyone in their tracks and cracks them up. He keeps us laughing, often when we least expect it!

There is one major exception and that is if you ask him about fishing. Then he’s got a wealth of information and things to say about one of Minnesotan’s favorite pastimes. He and his wife enjoy spending time on local lakes or at their cabin, enjoying nature in search of “the big one.


Name: Tom Moore

Title: Sales/Solutions Specialist

When did you start working at SJF? July, 2014

What do you like most about working at SJF? The people here at SJF. We have a great team!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work? Fishing. If I am not at work, I am either fishing, planning to go fishing or thinking about fishing.

What’s your favorite day? Mondays. I’m ready to get back at it after the weekend.

Biggest pet peeve? Driving slow in the fast lane.

Name something about you that people would be surprised to know: I’m an open book so if you want to know something, just ask.

What question would you like to answer that you didn’t get asked? What’s my favorite lake to fish? Long Lake.

Cantilever Rack for Vehicle Storage

Cantilever Solution for Car Storage

Justin Erkenbrack, Solutions Specialist at SJF, has been working with Lee C. Parts out of Massachusetts to come up with a solution for storing cars that are being parted out. The customer needed a way to keep the cars out of the way and off the floor, while still making them easily accessible. With Justin’s help and expertise, a great workable solution was found… Cantilever racking.

Justin and the rest of our solutions specialists will work with you to find a solution to your problem. Whether it’s storage or more complex warehouse operations and automation, they have the training and experience to help.

If you have a problem or need some ideas, feel free to contact Justin directly at (320) 485-4962 or jerkenbrack@sjf.com. He’s happy to help!