Rhino Linings covers more than truck beds
By Ken David
Starting with one product, a spray-on truck bed liner, Scripps Ranch-headquartered Rhino Linings has grown into a worldwide provider of specialized, protective polymer coatings used on various vehicles as well as in many industries and in the military.
The privately-owned company, with corporate offices located at 9747 Businesspark Ave., was started in 1998 by chemist and entrepreneur Russell Lewis, who today serves as chairman of the Rhino Linings Corporation. The bed liner was the original product, with continued development leading to product improvements and creation of new products for other industries.
“Our bed liner is such a strong material that we were able to do develop additional protective coatings that are not just for … your truck but for a tremendous variety of other applications,” said Berena Peña, global marketing manager for Rhino Linings.
Now, in addition to a full line of protective coatings usable on many types of vehicles, boats and aircraft, Rhino Linings also makes chemical-resistant floor coatings, coatings for containment, cured-in-place piping, roof coatings, UV protection and blast protection and mitigation. Divisions within the company include Rhino Vehicle Protection, Rhino Industrial, Rhino Military, Rhino Epoxy and Rhino Concrete.
“We’re constantly in the research and development phase of products, new products and making our existing products better,” Peña said. “If we have a client looking for something specific and don’t have what they needed, we definitely work with the client to try to find something that works for them. There’s a lot of research, development and testing required.”
The company boasts a global applicator network consisting of more than 2,000 independently owned and operated businesses in almost 80 countries. Individual companies offering Rhino Linings products are not franchises, but authorized applicators who remain individual businesses, Peña said.
“We offer to train them, give them the tools to start their own business,” she said. “For some businesses, (applying Rhino Linings) is all they do; for others it’s a part of their business. We provide the training and the product.”
While most of the company’s products are professionally applied, there are also some do-it-yourself products available to coat garage floors or to spruce up an existing bedliner.
“Our new DIY garage kit can be applied in any garage, workshop, basement, and other places, Peña said. “It’s a high-end product created for DIY folks.”
The corporate office in Scripps Ranch is the location of the company’s business, marketing and sales operations, with production of the company’s products taking place at another location in San Diego as well as in Richmond, Missouri and Greenville, Texas, according to Peña. She said the COVID-19 pandemic has had its impacts, but the company has been able to adapt to serve its clients.
“Working in different industries, we’ve been able to sustain businesses,” she said. “It’s affected us, but we consider ourselves fortunate to be diversified because it’s allowed us to be fine.”