The family business has been customizing boxes for coins and cash since 1947
By Richard Tackett
Diamond Manufacturing, North Kansas City, MO, is a family-owned business that includes the manufacture of transit fareboxes and donation boxes. The company has been producing its round farebox for coin fares since 1947. The product, made entirely of brass and aluminum, requires little to no maintenance.
Sandy Cull purchased the company 25 years after its founding in 1972 and expanded the farebox line. She managed the day-to-day business until her passing in December, leaving her son Todd Cull to run the family business and serve as general manager.
Today Diamond has customers in every U.S. state, as well as Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Bermuda and Guam. Cull says the next step is working with companies to incorporate smart technology into Diamond fareboxes.
“We still service and sell the round-style units, made for coins only, that date back to our purchasing the company” Cull says. “Their average lifespan is around 30 years. We get units back that date back to the 70’s that we actually refurbish. We repair and replace locks and send them back out for further use. The longevity of the product is very good.”
Cull says Diamond originally developed its rectangular fareboxes to accommodate paper currency. Additionally, he says that Diamond produces a very small unit that its customers and distributors designed.
“We deal with every bus manufacturer,” he says. “They tell us what they need to fit their application. We’re more purpose-driven and customer-driven. We find out what they need, we figure out the specifications and we go build it.”
Diamond’s fareboxes operate very simply. A rider drops the cash or coin fare through the top and the driver depresses a lever to deposit the money into the unit’s money vault designed with level 4 security locks custom-made for Diamond. To remove the fares, an agent representative inserts a key, removes the vault and replaces it. The empty box is ready for more riders.
According to Cull, Diamond’s real strength lies in its ability to customize fareboxes for any operation. For example, the company’s donation boxes come in three standard models, but are easily customizable and often made to more exacting customer specifications.
“As a small company we have the ability to make those changes cost-effectively and keep the unit’s cost down,” he says. “Quite simply, I hand one of our guys the instructions. They create the print and make the part. This is not a very difficult process for us.”
He says such capabilities keep Diamond awash with customers. An agency that cannot afford a complicated fare infrastructure knows it can turn to Diamond for customized boxes specifically for their needs.
“We’re just a small family business and we’re pretty quiet,” Cull says. “We’ve been around a long time with old fashioned values of service and quality. If we put our name on it, we stand behind it.” BR