DENVER – Tired of listening to your tools rattling around in your truck bed? Digging through a pile of tools to find that wrench you need? Parking next to the café window to keep an eye on your stuff? Then it’s time to outfit your rig with custom-fitted Weather Guard® toolboxes from Knaack, LLC and O.J. Watson.
Knaack has been making top-of-the-line tool boxes, ladder racks, vehicle shelves, racks and bins, and bulkhead accessories since Howard Knaack built his first worksite tool boxes over 50 years ago. He initially sold them through a distributor owned by his business partners, but soon began building a nationwide distribution network through contractor supply houses.
As the business grew, Knaack’s company, now known as Knaack, LLC, bought the rights to build Weather Guard® Truck Equipment, a truck toolbox line consisting of 10 different designs. Knaack doubled its manufacturing capacity in 1971 and in 1973 redesigned the entire Weather Guard line with features tailored to the contractor markets they traditionally served. These innovations soon became the industry standard.
In the early ’80s, Knaack added powder-coating equipment at its facility making them one of the first in the field to offer the benefits of a TGIC polyester coating to add durability to their Weather Guard product line. They also began incorporating gas pistons to their truck boxes, making them easier and safer to open and close.
During this time period, Knaack made major additions to their Truck and Van Storage Equipment lines. Saddle boxes, super lo-side boxes, super side boxes, and more underbed boxes added versatile storage options that grew in popularity with operators of municipal, utility, and corporate fleets.
As the company continued to grow in the next decade, they introduced saddle boxes made of lighter-weight aluminum and added features to improve security, safety and durability, including high-quality automotive-style locks and latches, continuing to set Weather Guard Truck Equipment apart from the competition.
Today, Knaack’s Weather Guard line includes not only tool boxes, but ladder racks, cab protectors, drawer units, sliding platforms and transfer tanks, as well as a full selection of interior racks, bins, and drawers for vans.
O.J. Watson has been fitting Weather Guard tool boxes and accessories to pickup trucks and service vehicles pretty much ever since they were available on the market. Truck tool boxes need to stand up to all sorts of weather and abuse, and that’s why Weather Guard is our box of choice. They’re built to last with the latest technology and toughest materials that have made them the choice of serious professionals for over 50 years.
Because each municipality, contractor, or individual user has its own requirements, O.J. Watson’s staff meet with each customer to determine precisely what those needs are. They then design the truck body to meet them. Once the design is approved, custom fabricators at Watson’s full-service facilities in Denver and Greeley, Colorado install the equipment and accessories on the vehicle that will carry it.
“Our goal is always to go beyond simply selling our customer a truck,” says Mark Eckrich, O.J. Watson Equipment’s senior vice president and member of the ownership family. “We create business solutions by matching the customer with the equipment configuration best suited to their needs.”
If that means finding a specialty manufacturer like Knaack to work with on a custom design, that’s what O.J. Watson does. “We’re only as good as the last truck we made,” Eckrich adds, “and we keep that uppermost in mind on every project.”
O.J. Watson’s relationship with customers doesn’t end with the sale, either. “We build trucks to do a job, and that job continues long after the sale,” says Eckrich. “Service isn’t just a department to us, it’s a commitment. We stock spare parts and supplies for the trucks we sell to keep our customers up and running.”
O.J. Watson Equipment was founded in 1912 and is now entering its second century of meeting the needs of working Americans. It was launched in Wichita, Kan. by Oscar J. Watson, an entrepreneur whose friends and business associates included American icons Henry Ford, Clyde Cessna, Walter Chrysler, William Coleman, John Willys, and David Sarnoff. He launched his business by taking early Ford and Willys passengers cars and pickups and turning them into purpose-built vehicles, which remains the core competency of the firm to this day. O.J. Watson expanded to Denver in 1974 and in 1988 the company was purchased by Richard Eckrich, who has carried on the tradition of family ownership. The firm also maintains a full-service operation in Greeley, Colorado.
O.J. Watson builds Service Body Trucks, Crane Trucks and Mechanic Trucks, Platform Trucks, Aerial Bucket Trucks, Hook Lifts, Dump Trucks, and a wide variety of Snow & Ice Control equipment. O.J. Watson trucks and equipment are on the job throughout the Rocky Mountain West for private businesses, municipal and city operations, state workers, airports, and federal work crews performing everything from the smallest tasks to heavy-duty demands in a full range of industries. For complete information call 303-295-2885 or 800-332-2124.