What does chopping livestock feed by hand have to do with your Gehl machine? You might be surprised to find out the brand dates to 1902 and its first main product has a lineage that extends back to 1859. That was the year Louis Lucas opened a foundry in central Wisconsin. His goal was to supply the explosion of new farmers who were arriving from Europe with cultivators, plows and repair services. Some 20 years later in 1880 Louis formed a partnership with a German born Blacksmith M. Silberzahn who eventually purchased the Lucas foundry in 1890. They designed a machine called the Hexelbank. At $11.50 it soon had a following of people who were tired of the mundane and time consuming task of chopping feed for their livestock. This hand-cranked invention simplified and sped up the drudgery of that chore immensely. You see, it was that first product and its popularity which enticed John W. Gehl to acquire part interest of Lucas’s and Silberzahn’s company in 1902. Within a short period of time John invited his brothers to join him in the endeavor and the 4 of them together purchased all the remaining assets. In 1904 the Gehl Brothers Manufacturing Company was born.
A fire in 1906 destroyed everything. The brothers tackled this like they did everything else, by applying themselves and making the best of it. The following years brought growth and changes. The Company was rebuilt, weathered the Great Depression and developed new and successful products like manure spreaders, harvesters, elevators, truck mounted hammer mills and silos to name a few. A second generation joined the Company in the 1930’s and by the mid 40’s they were handling the Operations. It’s interesting that 4 "new" Gehl’s were running the Company at that time. In 1967 the name was changed to simply Gehl Company and all through the next several decades the company enjoyed growth and prosperity.
The first skid loader marketed was introduced in 1969, a HL3030 Hydracat built by Ericsson. The desire was to build a machine of their own though. 1970 had them working on designs and planning ahead. Then in 1973 the first Gehl manufactured skid loader, the HL2500, was produced in the newly erected 260,000sq-ft Madison, South Dakota manufacturing facility.
Design and innovation didn’t slow down. Those early years brought diesel power, hydrostatic transmissions, liquid cooling, roll-back ROPS (Roll Over Protective Structure) and Improvements. The 4610 introduced an operator restraint bar, the 4615 was designed specifically for the construction market and the 6620 and 6625 were some of the largest skid loaders out there at the time.
After a boom during the 1980’s, the 1990’s economic downturn was tough. They stayed strong and kept expanding but did have to scale back and reorganize to some degree. Even so, they still managed to grow and in 1997-98 acquired Mustang Manufacturing Company, another manufacturer of skid steer loaders. Moving into the 21st Century the Compact Track Loader was introduced and a Partnership with Manitou of France was established in 2004. In 2008 the company became fully owned by Manitou Americas. This move truly brought them into the International/Global Market.
Today you can find top-quality Gehl parts and accessories for your machines here. Whether you’re operating a 5625, a 3640E, CTL80, CTL100 or even an older HL4400 we will have the Gehl parts you are looking for. Loader Parts Source strives to be ready when your machine needs parts or service items. Place an order online or call one of our friendly, helpful Customer Service Representatives. Filters, belts, fuel line, tracks, undercarriage parts, hydraulic components..... whatever you might be looking for. Check with us! We will do our best to get the Gehl parts you need. Fast, Easy and Fair.