Dick Mountz joined Mountz, Inc., in January 1975. Much discussion occurred within both families regarding Dick joining his brother’s business. The company required an experienced toolmaker and machinist to help meet the demand of customer specials as the “Customizing” part of the business was rapidly growing. Dick had acquired excellent machining skills from an early age working for several different companies either as a journeyman machinist or toolmaker. Lorna Mountz may have convinced Dick to join the company after a dinner meeting with Dick and his wife Shirley.
During his career at Mountz, Dick developed a number of tool designs and tooling fixtures. Our hexagon bit making machine, which we still use daily, was fully developed by Dick. Along with using a lathe, Dick modified the device to cut, machine and assemble the hexagon screwdriver bits. Mountz is well known for creating custom special bits to solve the fastening requirements for many, many customers. Dick had a multitude of design abilities that ranged well beyond machining or tooling. In the early 1970’s, the Bay Area had several expanding truck assembly plants. One critical torque application involved the requirement of properly assembling U-bolt joints. It was a high torque fastening application that was never adequately addressed with assembly operators using impact wrenches. The truck industry wanted these to be two or four spindle units that would simultaneous tightening the bolts. Dick perfected a method to make these multi-spindle tools and we provided them to Mack Truck, International Harvester, Peterbilt, Freightliner, Kenworth and other similar truck and trailer makers. We were quite successful in selling this design and soon became known for solving this tough torque fastening problem.
Another significant contribution was the high torque calibration benches that Dick designed, machined and assembled. These benches have a name within the Mountz Company called “The Sarge”. Mountz uses these benches in our accredited calibration labs for torque calibrations up to 25,000 foot-pounds. Many customers wanted the same capability and Dick was instrumental in organizing designs that were functional and affordable.
In addition, Dick was also an important contributor to our present design of TB break over torque wrenches and interchangeable head wrench designs.
Dick helped design, fabricate and assemble many customer specials. He was one of the most talented toolmakers and special designers in the torque tool industry. His talent was similar to art as the end product was user-friendly, aesthetic and functional. Dick and his brother Don were often at odds over how things should be done, often arguing as brothers over whom was right. It is told that Don fired Dick at least three times for throwing cigarette butts on the shop floor and never cleaning them up and that Dick quit at least as many times because Don tried to make him change his ways.
It cannot be overstated that the contribution of Dick Mountz helped grow and expand the reputation of Mountz being the torque tool specialists. Sadly, the past two years brought the deaths of both Dick and Shirley Mountz.
Don is still a hawk for stray cigarette butts. Stay tuned for more of the stories behind Mountz…. click here to go to all the Mountz 50 Year Anniversary blog posts.
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