In the fall of 1960, Howard Knaack began building jobsite storage tool boxes in a small, one-room shop in Crystal Lake, IL. Mr. Knaack's main outlet for these boxes was a tool supply distributor owned by his partners named Brock Tool Company.
Knaack L.L.C. was the first to offer national distribution of jobsite storage boxes in Chicago, Detroit, Hammond, Cleveland, Denver and Washington D.C. By 1968 Mr. Knaack moved the company to a 16,000 sq. ft. building in the current location. Along with the move came the purchase of the WEATHER GUARD® Truck Equipment brand from a small sheet metal company in St. Louis.
In 1981, the WEATHER GUARD Facility added a powder coating system for WEATHER GUARD Product lines and became one of the first in its industry to offer the benefits of ARMOR-TUF® Powder Coating. Also in the early '80s, gas pistons were added to the WEATHER GUARD Truck Boxes, making them easier to open and close, therefore being safer to use than previous versions or competitors' models.
Van equipment was added in 1984. To drive innovation and continue to lead the market, Knaack L.L.C. has made significant investments in automation machinery and equipment, and increased capability of our human resources. As a subsidiary of Emerson Electric Co., we are fortunate to benefit from state-of-the-art Emerson manufacturing facilities in China to assist in the timely supply of parts and accessories.
To leverage production capabilities, Knaack strives to achieve lean manufacturing standards by utilizing such processes as Six Sigma, Kaizen Champions and Lean Kaizen Blitzes.
Recently Knaack made significant improvements in manufacturing automation by investing in upgraded fabrication machinery and a completely renovated paint line. These new machines and systems are capable of making accurate, quality parts in both long and short production runs, with the ability to switch between designs being manufactured at the push of a button, allowing Knaack to be extremely flexible in our manufacturing processes.
Our current production line is truly state-of-the-art to produce the finest jobsite and tool storage equipment available. Over the past 42 years, Knaack L.L.C.'s facility has grown from its modest start in a 2,000 sq. ft. shop to its first 16,000 foot facility at 420 E. Terra Cotta Ave., and now to its current 400,000 + sq. ft. plant.
KNAACK® Jobsite and Tool Storage Products have achieved strong growth and industry leadership, and have not stopped introducing new products, like the Steel Underbeds, redesigned Aluminum and Steel Truck Box line, new Sliding Ladder Rack and the 2006 NTEA Work Truck Show Award-Winning Low-Profile Aluminum Truck Box.