Fred Taylor, founder of aerial lift and off road wheel and tyre manufacturer OTR has died, he was 70. He passed away peacefully on Monday December 13th
An entrepreneur and innovator, Taylor was born in Pontiac, Michigan, and grew up in the north western Michigan town of Ellsworth, he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. And returned home to worked in his family’s business. But in 1982, he and his wife moved to Rome, Georgia, to start his own business.
While he was responsible for several start-ups, he is best known for founding OTR Wheel Engineering in 1987. He managed the company as chief executive until earlier this year when he handed over to Tom Rizzi, while he became chairman.
Taylor was the driving force behind the creation of serval innovative tyre and wheel assemblies, securing numerous patents along the way, including the outrigger tyre.
He summed up his business philosophy when he said: “The characteristic I strive for in my family of companies is to build customer relationships. After all the contractual and product negotiations are over, it is the relationship between OTR and our customers that sustained the business over many years.”
Aside from business he had a passion for outdoor activities including hunting and fishing, but in recent years his greatest love was doing things with his grandchildren, from dancing, nigh time walks, and storytelling.
He leaves behind his wife of over 51 years, Mary daughters, Kelly, and Elisabeth, sons Chadwick, Eric, and Andrew, plus seven grandchildren.
Tom Rizzi of OTR said: “We have lost a great innovator for our company and the industry as a whole. His passion for taking care of customers and establishing partnerships is a legacy that will be long-lasting, and it will continue to drive the company forward for many years to come.”