Today, Jerr-Dan is an Oshkosh Corporation [NYSE: OSK] company and a leading manufacturer of towing and recovery equipment. But that is a far cry from what it looked like in 1972 when Jerry and Dan started the company.

When Jerry Pool and Dan Reynolds founded Jerr-Dan in 1972, the company made parts for other companies’ equipment. They opened their first plant in Greencastle, Pennsylvania.

Jerr-Dan's first plant in Greencastle, PA

Later that year, Jerr-Dan purchased Grove Manufacturing Company’s agricultural industrial products division. As part of the purchase, they acquired their first rollback carrier technology. Although the Grove division they purchased mainly made farm trailers and related equipment, Grove had developed a flatbed rollback carrier just to be able to deliver their main product. From 1969 to 1972 Grove had even experimented with selling a small line of their rollback carriers. They decided that this was too far outside the scope of their core business, prompting the sale of the division to Jerr-Dan. While the carriers were the focus of Jerr-Dan’s interest even then, there are still some old pieces of farm equipment out there with the Jerr-Dan name on them.

With the company faring so well, the founders decided to tackle new challenges, each selling their interest in Jerr-Dan and founding their own new companies, Dan in 1973 and Jerry in 1992.

The next couple of decades shone a spotlight on innovation, leading to significant growth.

Part 2 will take up the next part of our story!