The Beginning of Royal Mfg's Legacy
A Look Back
(Written by Lisa Tocci, Full Throttle at Royal Manufacturing, featured in Lubes n’ Greases Magazine, June 2009.)
The Mallory family’s involvement with Royal Manufacturing began in the Depression years. “In the late 1930s, my mother Lee started working for RoyalManufacturing, which at the time was a small specialty grease company serving the oil fields,” related Bill Mallory. “They needed day laborers, so she went home at lunch and brought Dad back to work. Later, the company’s owners went toserve during World War II, and the banks took over the company. Soon, my dad Dick Mallory was running it, and then he bought it from the banks.” Like his son, the senior Mallory had apassion for expansion, and in the 1950s he bought the remnants of Tulsa Refined Oil Co. (Troco), a lubricantscompounder in business since 1914, and merged its operations into Royal’s.
“Every year, we saw growth,” Mallory Jr. went on, “and in 1976 we acquired Wright Oil down in San Antonio. Wright supplied the same “outside” businesses that were Royal’s stronghold — off-highway, heavy equipment and farming. Bill Mallory Jr., was able to build its volume by diversifying into new markets, such as railroad engine oil.
In 1983 fire destroyed the Troco plant in Tulsa. Tulsa rebuilt and rebounded, and has seen two expansions since; Wright Oil also has grown, moving into a new plant in 2007 with 10 million gallons of annual capacity.
Another diversification came in 1998, when Royal Manufacturing began selling base oil into Mexico and the Caribbean. By 2000, business had increased enough to build tanks in Brownsville. Royal has added another 30,000-barrel tank last year. Subsidiary RTW Terminal in Brownsville, Texas, now has 36 tanks with 200,000 barrels of space, and truck, railcar and barge-loading capabilities.
June of 2009 welcomed the opening of a new lubricating grease plant at Royal Manufacturing’s subsidiary north of San Antonio. In addition to making mainstream products like lithium complex greases, Wright Oil Co. will produce specialties such as polyurea, calcium sulfonate and aluminum complex greases, and biobased, synthetic and food grade varieties.