On Sept. 6, employees, customers and vendors gathered in Lynwood, Ill., to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Thoesen Tractor & Equipment.
The company was founded in 1969 when Peter Thoesen, who worked as a service manager at the local Caterpillar dealer, struck out on his own. A former customer urged the ace mechanic to purchase a service truck and work on his machines.
With service as its founding principle, Thoesen Tractor, was born and remains an independent service company for all makes and models of equipment.
When Thoesen, who had survived five years as a POW during WWII, suffered a stroke, his sons, Joe and Peter, helped out and together expanded the company to sales, service, parts and rentals.
"At the time, I was pursuing an accounting career, but my mother begged me to come help with the business," said Joe Thoesen. "It was baptism by fire."
The brothers expanded by acquiring other companies, and when his brother, Peter, left the company, Joe took over Thoesen Tractor.
By 2008, when the recession hit, a long-term survival plan was put into place.
"We sold our rental fleet of 130 machines, then helped customers sell their machines so they could survive," said Thoesen. "But survival is not a long-term business plan."
Heavy industry became the company's next pursuit, selling equipment to the steel making, scrap yard, demolition, recycling and environmental cleanup industries in the Chicago-Midwest area. This makes Thoesen Tractor & Equipment a year-round business.
"With the manufacturers we represent, our customers receive a lot of value," said Thoesen. "What has served us well is to always look at local, regional and world-wide trends."
Thosen Tractor & Equipment is an authorized dealer of Terex, Sany, ASV, LaBounty, Stanley and Buffalo Turbine. The company also specializes in component and full machine rebuilding, as well as service for all brands including Caterpillar, Terex, Komatsu, Hitachi and more.
For more information, visit thoesentractor.com. CEG
Helping Joe Thoesen (C) celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary are Bill Collins (L) of R.W. Collins and Brian Kay of B.L. Duke.
Logan Sammons of Doug & Steve’s Construction looks over this ASV RT-75 with a LaBounty MSD7R shear.
Representing Terex Trucks are Greg Gerbus (L) and Corey Leonard displaying the Terex TA400 articulated truck for the customers.
Josh Peddycord (R) of Sany America Inc., shows the Sany excavator line up to Chuck Pielet of Gaby Iron & Metal.
(L-R front): Joe Patrick and Brian Staresina, both of Hasse Construction Co. Inc., say hello to Nick Vermet, GM of Deutz Power Centers, and ask him some questions about Deutz engines.
Joe Thoesen (C), president of Thoesen Tractor & Equipment, shows the LaBounty Hammer line up to Paul Todoroski (L) and Brandon Darger of John Burns Construction.
Thoesen Tractor & Equipment displayed these LaBounty MSD 3000R and MSD 4000 shears.
Joe Thoesen, president of Thoesen Tractor & Equipment, welcomes Bobby Madden of Bigane Paving to the 50th anniversary celebration.
Troy Tate (C) of Thoesen Tractor & Equipment with Phil Moeller (L) and Henry Benoit of Areawide Excavating Inc.
Jim Molenhouse, owner of Aurora Recycling Center, asks Richard Currie of Stanley Infrastructure some questions about the LaBounty shears.
Thoesen Tractor & Equipment carries the ASV line as well as the Stanley Infrastructure line.
Thoesen Tractor & Equipment displayed their Sany excavator line up at the 50th Anniversary celebration.
(L-R): Tom Cera of South Shore Metals stops by the Cummins display to see Tony Priano and Joe Stack, both of Cummins sales and services.
Enjoying the 50th anniversary celebration are Dave Fuss (L) of Chicago Heights Steel and Pat Ebbing of Detroit Edge Tool Co.
Joe Soucie (L) and Lee Wiltjer, owner of Wiltjer Excavating are enjoying the catered lunch at the 50th anniversary celebration.