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Sumter's Caterpillar hydraulic manufacturing plant closing beginning of 2024

The hydraulic manufacturing plant on the corner of North Wise Drive and Jefferson Road will be closing in early 2024, a Caterpillar representative says.

SUMTER, S.C. — A Sumter manufacturing plant is closing. One of the two Caterpillar plants, which makes hydraulics, is shutting its doors. 

The American construction equipment manufacturer has two plants in Sumter. News 19 has learned the Hydraulic Cylinder Group location, on the corner of North Wise Drive and Jefferson Road, is closing.

"When you’re young and you wanna stay somewhere for a while, it’s kinda a bummer," Charlie Franklin explains.

Franklin is an employee at the plant — one of the approximately 150 people who will be impacted by the closure. He says after working there for three years, the news came as a shock.

"They actually came to us one-on-one and let us know what was going on. I mean it’s kinda hard to break news like that to somebody so they kinda just got us all in a room and let us know," Franklin says. "But they’re being very professional about it but it’s just kinda the situation that you don’t know how to go about it."

A representative for Caterpillar says the current employees will be moved to other facilities or offered severance packages. 

"In order to better position ourselves for future competitiveness, we plan to consolidate operations at our Sumter hydraulics facility into other existing facilities early next year," Senior Communications Representatives Brant Watson tells us. "We are also offering severance packages."

Residents who live near the plant like Carol Turner say they’ve seen the company’s impact on the community.

"We had this house built, so we’ve been the only owners," Turner shares about what the area was like when she moved here in 1972. "When we first came in, we had no idea that we were going to have a heavy industrial plant right across the street."

It was a decision that Turner fought because she liked the peace and quiet.

"It was very nice," Turner remembers. "There was no traffic and really people when we were inviting people to come over, they didn’t know where Jefferson Road was."

But when Caterpillar came in, that all changed.

"The traffic — it’s heavy and it’s fast," Turner explains.

Turner tells me now that it’s closing, it might get a little quieter. On the other hand, her neighbor John Myers says he hopes a new business takes its place.

"I'm kinda sad that they’re doing it," Myers says. "And I’m hoping if they do close that they bring another company to bring some more jobs in this area, you know?"

The company says it will close this plant in 2024 by the end of the first quarter. The precision pins facility will not be impacted, according to a Caterpillar representative.

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