Specialized truck and heavy equipment company Custom Truck One Source recently celebrated two major milestones: 25 years of business, and 65 years of its Load King subsidiary. These anniversaries are a testament to the engineering excellence and innovation the brands have worked hard to achieve over the years.
Based in Kansas City, MO, the publicly-traded company is headquartered on 125+ acres with more than 37 locations across North America. A storied history led Custom Truck One Source to where it is today as the largest single-source provider of commercial trucks and equipment.
Founded in 1996 by Fred Ross and eight of his siblings, the company started out as a small shop customizing used trucks with specialized equipment. Thanks to Ross’s clear vision, the business quickly began to grow. After a decade of expanding its workforce and offerings, the company moved to its current Kansas City headquarters in 2005. The following decade brought continued expansions to the facility, rental fleet and geographic footprint of the business.
In 2016, Custom Truck One Source purchased Load King, which was a world-class trailer manufacturer at the time. Founded in 1956 by Oscar Duane Hansen Jr. in Elk Point, SD, Load King has maintained a reputation for integrity and superiorly crafted equipment throughout its history. Today, Load King is a key part of the Custom Truck One Source family of brands, offering standard and custom trailers, vocational equipment, and a full line of boom trucks and truck cranes.
The acquisition kick-started several years of rapid expansion and industry recognition for Load King. Over the last several years, the company has spent millions on rehauling its production facilities, with most production work now being done in-house.
The company’s Signature Lowboy trailer received consecutive Construction Equipment Magazine Top 100 awards in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, Load King expanded its offerings with the Voyager® series of service and mechanic trucks. This series was also recognized by Construction Equipment Magazine.
In 2019, Load King acquired Terex’s North American boom truck and truck crane product lines. Named Stinger, in reference to the crane's original RO Stinger Crane Kansas City roots, the line was launched as the redesigned, reimagined and rebranded North American boom truck and crane product acquired from Terex.
This was the culmination of years of a strong connection with Terex, as Custom Truck One Source had been a Terex dealer since 1998. Custom Truck One Source also hired Terex employees after its Olathe, KS plant shut down in 1999, establishing the roots of today’s boom truck business.
One of many recent highlights for Load King came in 2020, when it unveiled the Stinger 80-160 boom truck at ConExpo, introducing a 160' full-power boom. This was the first modern innovation in the boom truck market in more than a decade.
Last year, the company introduced three new Stinger boom truck models: the A92.2 PL180 Aerial Device, the Utility-Focused Stinger 50-155, and the Forestry-Focused Stinger 40-127RS. The PL180—the first machine designed specifically to the A92.2 standard—was awarded Construction Equipment Magazine’s Top 100 New Products in 2021.
Looking ahead, Load King is continuing to invest in ready-to-work boom trucks, with a focus on top notch product development, design engineering and manufacturing. With end-users in mind, Load King is poised to keep building on the foundations of its history with an eye toward the innovations of the future.
For more information on Custom Truck One Source and Load King, visit www.customtruck.com.