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While working as a driver with a road construction contractor, Jesse Bonnell saw a need for a welding service dedicated to repairing broken axles on heavy-duty trucks. As a result, on October 15,1960, Jesse founded J. L. Bonnell's Welding Service. During the first two years of operation, he operated out of his home in Dixon as a portable welding service. In 1962, Jesse rented a building from where he began manufacturing the forerunner to our current road maintainers. Side plate snowplow hitches were added as a manufactured product in 1963. The company soon outgrew that facility and moved to a larger site in 1964.
The present 4-1/2 acre location was purchased in 1972, and an 8,700-sq. ft. shop as well as a 1,400-sq. ft. office was completed in November of that year. A warehouse was constructed in 1973, the same year that the company name was changed to J. L Bonnell & Sons Welding. The Bonnell Industries, Inc. name was adopted in 1979. After several severe winters in which it was difficult to obtain product from suppliers, 1980 saw the introduction of Bonnell snow plows into the marketplace. The original shop was expanded by 8,700-sq. ft. in 1982.
When Jesse retired in 1984, Bob Bonnell purchased the company from his father. Bonnell became a full-time truck equipment distributor in 1985. 1987 brought the addition of 2,300-sq. ft. to the original warehouse. A modern downdraft, oven-bake paint facility was added in 1994. Snow and ice control spreaders were added to the list of manufactured products in 1995.
In 1997, the original office building was demolished to make way for new state-of-the-art corporate offices and a 2,000-sq. ft. display showroom. At the same time, an additional 4,600-sq. ft. product warehouse was built on the eastern edge of the property.
Today, Bonnell Industries is one of the leading truck equipment distributors in Northern Illinois. Through our nationwide distributor network, we are also a major supplier of snowplows and spreaders for municipalities throughout the country. Our current establishment includes 46,000-sq. ft. of floor space and is one of the most modern facilities within our industry. We take great pride in the quality of products and services we offer to our customers. The dedication and loyalty of our employees is a major factor in our past success and will ultimately pave the way for continued growth and expansion in the future.