Many of the most high
tech and automated
in the world depend
on a ubiquitous, and
object: a bicycle.
Many of the most high tech and automated manufacturing facilities in the world depend on a
ubiquitous, and seemingly mundane object:
Or more accurately in most cases, a tricycle. Or even a tricycle built for two.
In an old-school, three story, brick factory in Queens, NY, you’ll find Worksman
Cycles. The building looks much like it did
generations ago, aside from the murals covering the exterior. Original blue glass windows filter the light, and massive doors and
windows keep the facility cross-ventilated,
even on a hot July day.
In this unassuming facility, the team
behind Worksman Cycles builds industrial
bikes and trikes that are used in some of the
largest plants in the world, including Ford,
Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
The company grew from humble beginnings, when in 1898 Morris Worksman
opened a dry goods shop, located on the
very footprint of the World Trade Center.
Bicycles, at the time, were a new technol-
ogy, and in 1902 Morris got into the bur-
“Morris Worksman made an alternative
form of transportation, because horses were
expensive to buy, maintain and left unwant-
ed byproducts,” says Bruce Weinreb, direc-
tor of marketing and design at Worksman
Cycles. “And here we are, 115 years later,
and we want to replace powered cars inside
factories because they are expensive to buy,
maintain and create unwanted byproducts.”
The technology that Worksman Cycles
is replacing has changed drastically, but
what they are using to replace it has stayed
almost the same.
These industrial bikes and trikes are
found in the largest factories. “Our customers look like the Who’s Who of all of the
big companies you’ve ever heard of. The
bigger they are, the more they need us,”
says Wayne Sosin, president of Worksman
In general, a manufacturing facility
needs to be at least 100,000 square feet to
really consider the benefits of a trike, says
Sosin. They are used to transport workers
and materials around massive facilities in a
By Tia Nowack