Opened in June 1970, the U-Haul Technical Center in Tempe, Arizona, is the source of many of the Company’s product innovations and advancements. In its early days, 84 people occupied the Tech Center, which was designed to be a headquarters for the Company’s shops and manufacturing facilities. Today, there are more than 300 Tech Center Team members with the mission to research, design, test, manufacture and sustain U-Haul products and equipment.
In 1977, to further our extensive product testing, a 1.25-mile test track was opened at the Tech Center. The track included various sections engineered to measure equipment performance in areas including braking, durability, stability and maneuverability. Equipment was rigorously tested under conditions simulating the most severe conceivable conditions of customer use and road environments until later in the 1980s when the land was sold.
One of many research tests conducted at the Tech Center in 1981 assessed the strength of the U-Haul coupler. As you can see by the photo, the connection was very secure. (Also, it’s just a really cool picture!) Tests like these are vital to the design of reliable and durable U-Haul equipment, and still happen to this day.
Since its start, the Tech Center has added a repair shop, rental center and manufacturing plant, making it truly unique. In addition to that, the Tech Center has masterminded many products and tools specific to making moving easier for our customers.
In fact, U-Haul currently holds 74 patents in the U.S. and Canada, 55 of which were Tech Center inventions. In addition to that, the Tech Center currently has 15 pending patent applications.
Fun fact: The first U-Haul patent was awarded in 1961 for the Posi-Lite Wire Connector.
This constant drive to improve our equipment is central to our primary service objective: To provide a better and better product and service to more and more people at a lower and lower cost.
What do you want to know about U-Haul? Let us know in the comment section below.