History of Wolter Group
Wolter Group LLC, headquartered in Brookfield, WI, is a family-owned and operated group of companies consisting of Wisconsin Lift Truck, Illinois Material Handling, Ellis Systems, Wolter Power Systems, Kensar Equipment Company, Bohnert Equipment Company and Fleet Services.
Wolter Group LLC’s rich history of over 55 years lies mostly within Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp., which was founded by Otto J. Wolter of the Wolter family back in 1962.
Wisconsin Lift Truck began out of a 2-car garage as a simple forklift parts and service shop in Milwaukee and has grown to be a widely recognized powerhouse in the material handling industry covering Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, and Northern Illinois.
Starting from the ground up, Otto Wolter and brother-in-law Joe Weis built Wisconsin Lift Truck into the successful business that it is today – a full-service material handling dealership offering sales, service, parts, rentals, training and so much more.
Throughout the decades, Wisconsin Lift Truck has grown to be among the largest material handling companies in the country, branching into new markets along the way to build our seven brands: Wolter Power Systems, Illinois Material Handling, Kensar Equipment Company, Bohnert Equipment Company and Fleet Services.
Wolter Power Systems started in 1975 as a sole Deutz engine distributor, and as Wisconsin Lift Truck sold many forklifts with Deutz engines, a natural synergy was created between the two. With Wolter Power Systems formed, the business grew steadily each year, empowering us to become the authorized dealer for many new industrial engine lines, along with exchange engines, generators, transfer switches, pumps and mobile light towers from leading manufacturers.
Illinois Material Handling was formed in 1985 as a small service center located in Rockford, IL, previously serviced from Wisconsin Lift Truck’s Janesville facility, however, due to high demand across the state line, expansion was needed to develop physical operations in the area, and have since added a full-service branch in Bolingbrook, IL.
Over the years we have expanded our presence in the Illinois market through growth and acquisition, and have become Northern Illinois’’ trusted source in material handling solutions, providing new and used equipment, service, parts, rental, and training.
Fleet Services was established in 1998 as there became a strong demand for solving warehouse inefficiencies and the need for a solution to reduce costs associated with moving materials throughout their facilities. Following the success of designing and implementing fleet improvement strategies for a variety of the Midwest’s largest companies, Fleet Services built a reputation for quality in the material handling industry, using strategies such as Fleet Studies and Material Flow Studies.
Over the decades, we have become the largest trusted source for fleet management solutions throughout the Midwest and beyond.
Ellis Systems, founded in 1963, has developed a long-lasting reputation in both space-saving and cost-saving solutions throughout the Midwest. Offering both office and industrial storage solutions, Ellis Systems specializes in high-density mobile shelving, vertical carousels, vertical lift modules, facility automation, and robotic solutions, in addition to rotary files, storage shelving, color-coded filing and more.
Wolter Group LLC acquired Ellis Systems in 2016, allowing the Wolter Group of companies to expand its footprint in the rapidly evolving automated material management & storage industry.
Kensar Equipment Company, founded in 1996 and located in Indianapolis, IN, supplies customers all over Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky with new and used forklift options through their robust wholesale fleet of new and used forklifts, aerial lifts, rough terrain forklifts, personnel carriers, and other heavy equipment.
Additionally, Kensar Equipment Company is a full-service dealer, providing parts, rentals and service support to businesses through Indiana, Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
Since merging with Wolter Group LLC in the summer of 2019, Kensar has grown its offerings to include pallet racking, training, automation and much more.
Bohnert Equipment Company, founded in 1956, is a one-stop-shop material handling provider servicing Kentucky, offering sales, service, parts, rentals, and training to businesses throughout. In addition to material handling, Bohnert specializes in engineered systems such as conveyors, cranes, hoists and pallet racking.
Joining Wolter Group LLC in the fall of 2019, Bohnert serves as a strong addition to the company’s growing suite of solutions.
With over 55 years in the material handling industry and 35 years in the power systems industry, we have a strong reputation among business partners and demonstrate exceptional experience and professionalism in the field. Wolter Group LLC takes pride in its knowledge and expertise and sustains its commitment to customer service and satisfaction. As one of the largest privately held firms in Wisconsin, we are proud to serve the needs of our customers. We are a full-service company offering “Solutions of Excellence” in all that we do.
Wolter Group LLC – Our Company Today employs over 450 dedicated employees delivering superior customer service from ten state-of-the-art facilities throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. Our company was built by our people and we are proud to note that the average tenure of our employees is 14 years with some having been here for over 55 years!
With over 55 years in the material handling industry and 35 years in the power systems industry, we have a strong reputation among business partners and demonstrate exceptional experience and professionalism in the field.
Wolter Group LLC takes pride in its knowledge and expertise and sustains its commitment to customer service and satisfaction. As one of the largest privately held firms in Wisconsin, we are proud to serve the needs of our customers.
We are a full-service company offering Solutions of Excellence in all that we do.