History

It all began in a small blacksmith shop in West Bend, Wisconsin. From these humble beginnings, Gehl Company has grown to be a major force in the compact equipment industry worldwide.

In the past 150 years, the small blacksmith shop has given way to a state-of-the-art research and design center, and Hexelbanks have been replaced by the world's largest skid loader.

But despite changes in technology and an ever-expanding product line, Gehl has always remained true to its reputation for ingenuity, innovation and reliability.


  • Louis Lucas Starts it All

    Louis Lucas settles in West Bend, WI and builds a foundry to supply the local area with farm implements and machines.
  • Revolutionary Cutter

    The Hexelbank Ensilage Cutter revolutionized the way in which farmers made food for their livestock.  The Hexelbank retailed for $11.50.
  • Lucas Foundry purchased by Charles Siberzahn

    Charles Siberzahn purchases the Lucas Foundry and renames the business Siberzahn Manufacturing Company.
  • John Gehl Purchases Silberzahn Manufacturing Company

    John Gehl purchases Silberzahn Manufacturing Company with business partners Henry Thoma and Peter Beres. 
  • John Gehl is Joined by his Brothers

    John Gehl is joined by brothers Nicolaus, Michael, and Henry in ownership of the company. The brothers change the name to Gehl Brothers Manufacturing.

    In the photo: Seated from left to right - John W. Gehl, Henry Gehl, Charles Silberzahn; seated in center - Mike Gehl and Nick Gehl.
  • The 1921 Salesmen

    Hardworking salesmen travel the countryside spreading the Gehl brand name and its products. Gehl Bros. Manufacturing introduces the silo filler.
  • Auto-Steering Manure Spreader

    A line of manure spreaders was introduced with auto-steering. This allowed for better maneuverability.
  • Second Generation Joins Company

    The second generation of Gehl brothers, Dick, Mark, Al, and Carl, join the company throughout this decade.
  • Gehl - The First Name in Forage Harvesting

    The forage harvester was introduced as a labor-saving way to harvest corn and silage.
  • Company Name Changes

    Gehl Brothers Manufacturing changes its name to Gehl Company.
  • Skid Loader Manufacturing

    Gehl manufactures skid loaders and self-propelled machines. Gehl forms a marketing subsidiary in West Germany to sell the Gehl line in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Gehl opens a plant in Madison, South Dakota, to produce skid loaders and round balers.
  • Gehl Aquires Dynalift®

    Gehl aquires the Dynalift® telescoping-boom forklifts, adding to their ever-growing construction product line-up.
  • Asphalt Pavers

    Asphalt-paving equipment is added to the line of light construction equipment. The Scavenger sludge spreader is selected as one of 50 most innovative products of the year.
  • Gehl Acquires Mustang Manufacturing Company

    Gehl Company acquires Mustang Manufacturing Company, Inc., providing a stronger presence in the skid loader market.
  • Gehl Enters into Partnership with Manitou BF S.A.

    Gehl Company enters into a strategic partnership with Manitou BF S.A. to sell their telescopic loaders. Manitou sells Gehl telescopic handlers under their brand name.
  • Gehl and Manitou

    Gehl company becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manitou BF S.A.
  • New Facility and Headquarters

    Gehl moves into a state-of-the-art research and design facility and corporate headquarters in West Bend, Wisconsin. 

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