The founder of Crysteel was a farmer by the name of, Eldon D. Jones. He enjoyed the mechanics of farm machinery and customized much of the machinery he used to satisfy his special needs as they arose.
Eldon began to design new farm products and apply for patents on these designs. He hoped to sell his ideas and/or patents and enjoy life. Patents were issued on several products but manufacturers were not interested in them or in paying royalties for them.
Therefore, in 1963 Eldon and his wife Helen, decided that if no other company would manufacture and/or sell their products, they would form their own company to produce and market the products. The company was named Lake Crystal Farm Equipment Company. They hired a manufacturer to produce the Lo-Boy wagon hoist Eldon had designed, and sold them through a farm equipment distributor. The Lo-Boy truck hoists were ultimately developed and sold direct to the consumer beginning in 1968.
After years of frustration brought about by hiring another company to manufacture the Lo-Boy hoists, the Jones’ decided to plunge into the manufacturing business, thus Crysteel was born in October of 1969. The first plant was located in Arlington, MN and a year later it was moved to its present location, "the red building" on Highway 60 East, a mile or so East of Lake Crystal, MN.
Expansions at the Lake Crystal location began in 1973 due to the Lo-Boy hoist becoming recognized nationwide for its quality and innovation. Also, more room was needed to accommodate the installation of hoists plus the additional challenges of tag axles, suspensions, and farm grain body sales and installation. This activity was actually the beginning of the distributing business, which grew into Crysteel Distributing, Inc.
Sales by Crysteel Distributing, Inc. to regional truck dealers and end users increased rapidly and resulted in limited space at the manufacturing plant. Therefore, in 1974 Crysteel Distributing was incorporated as a separate business and chartered under the name Crysteel Distributing, Inc. A building was erected east of Crysteel Manufacturing and dubbed "the green building".
In 1976 the Crysteel Distributing building doubled its size to accommodate the large increase in the installation business. At the same time a display area and parts counter, were added and office space was also expanded. Another addition to the Crysteel Distributing building was undertaken in 1978 to house the Beeline frame and alignment shop.
The decrease of the farm market in the early 1980's helped to concentrate more heavily in the industrial market. Sales to contractors and the building trade increased quickly, and soon sales of dump packages had replaced grain bodies as the main line.
The year 1985 brought about a new beginning of sorts for us as they decided to open a branch facility in Fridley, MN to tap into the wealth of business concentrated in the Minneapolis/St Paul area.
In 1995 Crysteel Distributing, Inc. changed its name to Crysteel Truck Equipment, Inc., ownership changed hands and the company which started out as a part of Crysteel Manufacturing was now one of its 400 distributors, although still a special one.
1996 marked another year for expansion. A new building was built to expand the paint and beeline departments. The existing building will now house the installation and repair department and administrative offices.
New product lines continue to be added to the product mix as truck equipment customers needs arise and as we change with the times. The industrial market has helped to stabilize us from the unpredictable variations in the agricultural sector. We look optimistically towards the future and with your help and support will continue to grow and expand for the benefit of all concerned.
REGISTERED CRYSTEEL TRADEMARK
The Crysteel name comes from a combination of two words; Crystal and Steel. "CRYS" for the Lake Crystal location and "STEEL" for the steel fabrication which is such an integral part of the business.
The Crysteel logo was registered on August 2, 1983.