The Torklift story begins in 1958 when Torklift founder Jon Kay began building the foundation of knowledge in manufacturing, fabrication, and retail that would become a Torklift signature years later at a local hitch and fabrication shop in Tacoma WA. In 1973, an opportunity came up to partner with the owner of that establishment to start a satellite business in Lynnwood. That first year tested both the Kay resolve and ingenuity when the oil embargo hit. Since there wasn't much call for hitches or RV towing products, with extremely long lines at the gas pump and gasoline rationing, Jon quickly shifted focus to auxiliary gas tanks and found a ready market to keep the fledgling company moving forward and expanding. Jon's three sons Jack, Tony, and Max also began learning the family business at this satellite location. By 1976, Jon was ready to sell out his interest in the partnership and start his own company. Torklift Central Welding of Kent Inc. started with one bay, one welder, and one employee in a small building on Central Ave in Kent, WA.
Within 4 years, Torklift Central Welding was thriving and developing a local reputation for exemplary service as the hitch and trailer experts. The 1980's became building years for Torklift. They acquired more real estate, built new buildings, and acquired others. In 1983 Torklift Central Welding moved into the Apple tech age, being among the first companies to acquire the newly released Lisa Mac computer. Today Torklift remains 90% Mac. By the mid '80's, Jon and his team had used their extensive manufacturing experience to create a new Torklift line of hitches, trailers, tow bars, and a wide range of custom fabrication. Customers came asking for the Torklift line from all venues: retail, fellow dealers, municipal and local government agencies, and more. All of these endeavors coupled with a spirit of excellence and a strong focus on exceeding customer expectations swiftly gained the respect of the region. By 1990 the company's rapid growth required the separation of the manufacturing division from the rest of the organization. The mid 90's were a time of continued innovation for Torklift and included the acquisition of new state of the art CNC equipment where revolutionary ideas were designed and saw fruition, many of which patents were sought for. The late 90's saw the manufacturing division of Torklift grow so large that a separate management team was formed.
By the year 2000, the Torklift line of products had become so popular that the manufacturing/product development arm of the company was forced to split off. That branch ventured further into the wholesale world, while the original Torklift Central Welding continued to specialize in local fabrication and installation. Although the Torklift leadership team knew the split had to be made, it was still several years of careful planning and patience before everything was ready to make that leap. Finally, the industry's first lever action turnbuckle was introduced. Like wild fire the Torklift FastGun turnbuckle took the market by storm and provided the boost Torklift International was looking for to break away from Torklift Central completely. The Torklift International administration, packaging and warehouse all relocated, though remaining headquartered in Kent, WA. Most recently Torklift has invested several million dollars towards it's future location on 6 ½ acres and has outlined long range plans for full development beginning in 2008 and carrying years into the future.
Torklift International - Current
Although Torklift International remains wholly owned by the Kay family, today the company has far outgrown the time resources of it's founders and proudly includes a seasoned team of professionals exemplifying the same character, values and stand alone superior customer service that has become synonymous with the Torklift brand and which continues to move the company forward at an ever accelerating pace. Torklift International specializes in working with distributors and dealers around the globe to continue bringing new innovations to the towing, RV, and truck industries. The designers at Torklift International are always busy developing new and unique ways to make their customers lives easier- watch for some more innovations from the Torklift think tank later this year
Torklift is a licensed manufacturer and installer. Our 75,000 sq. ft. location near Seattle, WA. is family owned and operated. We offer state-of-the-art Auto-Cad and High definition CNC plasma technology keeping our engineering and design in front of the rest. Customer service and satisfaction are our first priorities!
We appreciate you, our customer. If you have any questions or comments about Torklift we would like to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.