American State Equipment has come a long way since founders Bob Kraut, Bill Kueht, and Paul Kutz opened the company’s doors over half a century ago in 1957.The three equipment-industry veterans, who had worked together at Boehck Equipment Co. before leaving to start their own business, worked from a truck-repair shop behind a gas station on the corner of Highway 100 and Oklahoma Ave.
Within two years, the rapidly growing company needed more room to handle its increasing volume of work. So in 1959, American State Equipment purchased a larger building with ample surrounding property for future expansion located at 2055 S. 108 St. Fifty-six years and several major renovations later, the site is still the company’s headquarters, today.
To serve the needs of its growing family of customers throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, American State Equipment established a branch office in Eau Claire in 1962 and a branch office in Appleton in 1970 The changing market conditions of the 1980’s led American State Equipment to examine closely how it could best serve its customers while improving its own operating efficiency.
By 1985, after in-depth analysis and planning, American States Equipment had closed the Eau Claire branch and consolidated its Madison and Appleton operations into a brand new, fully equipped facility in Wausau. Centrally located about a two-hour drive from western and north central Wisconsin, the Fox River Valley, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Wausau has proven ideal for providing responsive support to its lifting, excavating, general-contracting, material-handling, paving, and industrial customers throughout the company’s territory.
Although American State Equipment had been supplying high-quality aggregate-production equipment to crushing and screening customers for many years, the late 1980s saw the company strengthen its focus on those products. Steadily increasing requests from aggregate producers prompted American State Equipment to establish a crushing and screening division dedicated solely to recommending, supplying and supporting the rock crushers, screens, wash plants, conveyors, classifiers, and other equipment needed by the aggregate industry. The new division was set up in Little Chute, where it is still located today.
In 1994, American State Equipment once again expanded its number of locations, to four, when it purchased Finkbiner Equipment Co., Chicago, which provides paving and other construction equipment to northern Illinois’ vigorous construction industry.
Today, American State Equipment operates six locations: Its Milwaukee headquarters, which contains the corporate offices and also serves lifting, material-handling, and paving-equipment customers in southeastern and south-central Wisconsin; the Wausau branch office which serves the customers in the rest of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, locations in St. Paul and Duluth, Minnesota, the crushing and screening division in Little Chute; and a wholly owned subsidiary, Finkbiner Equipment Company in Chicago.