Torklift founder Jon Kay celebrates his 75th birthday today

torklift story

Torklift International began nearly 40 years ago under the guidance and expertise of Jon Kay. He started Torklift with the goal of providing careful and attentive customer service and innovative fabrication services.

It began with ONE MAN.

The Torklift story starts in 1958 when Jon Kay began working at a hitch and tow shop in Tacoma, Washington. Through his experience, he decided he wanted to open his own shop someday.

After several years of planning and accumulating equipment, he opens his own shop in Kent, Washington: Torklift Central Welding. Upon opening the doors for business, he begins fabricating his own line of products.

Torklift Central Welding grows in success, doubling in size with the addition of two bays.

1988 - 1992
The expansion continues with the purchase of additional buildings and the demolition of the original building to make way for a larger shop.

True Frame-Mounted Tie Downs are invented. They are the first product manufactured by Torklift and the first of their kind in the world.

Torklift Central Welding purchases their first CNC plasma cutter. Jon Kay still continues to develop innovative products at Torklift International to this day.

Torklift International is born. While Torklift Central Welding is still around today, they continue to conduct business as a separate company. Torklift International manufactures parts that are sold all over the world. But it all began with Jon Kay’s dream to open a small hitch and tow shop.

Torklift International ships their first SuperHitch and SuperTruss.

The FastGun Turnbuckle is invented. It is the first turnbuckle of its kind with a quick-disconnect handle.

Torklift International purchases their first dual-head, high def. CNC plasma.

The SuperHitch line expands to include the SuperHitch Magnum.

rainier-jonJon Kay (left) and son Jack Kay (right)
after Torklift's Mt. Rainier climb

Torklift International moves to a new facility in Sumner, Washington to meet expansion needs.

Torklift International opens a distribution center in Australia.

Torklift International and Torklift Central continue to develop products and programs to further the RV and automotive industries. They maintain their commitment to customer service by being available 24 hours a day and living up to their Legendary Lifetime Warranty. Total operating space of Torklift is more than 75,000 square feet between the original location in Kent, Wash., and the latest location in Sumner, Wash. Torklift Central celebrates 40 years of business next year.


Happy Birthday Jon Kay!

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Curtains up! Torklift Jen


The office smells like sulfur today. This is uncommon because normally it smells like a combination of muffins and cookies.

Today is unlike any other day at Torklift International because today we had permission to use fireworks. Okay I am over exaggerating. While they were technically fireworks, they were just Party

Confetti flew through the air as we jumped for joy with the unveiling of our new website.

We’ve given our digital presence an upgrade. Go to, I dare you. You will not only see a new look, some great features for navigating the site but also something that we hold near and dear to our hearts:

In the navigation bar you will see a button that says “About Us.” In that area of the website, we are sharing our story of how we came to be. It is pretty interesting. It began with one man named Jon Kay.


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After both working at and running a few fabrication/hitch shops, Jon Kay decided to open his own shop in 1976. Out of that hitch and tow shop grew Torklift International. It’s truly a great story of how we became and I hope you check it out:


That hitch and tow shop is still around today, in fact, it’s right down the street from me and you know what? Jon Kay himself still works with Torklift International dreaming up new products and making them reality.

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