Gehl Enjoys 150 Years of Success

To thrive in business for 150 years takes product innovation, sound business decisions, strong leadership, and first-class customer service; but most of all it takes dedicated employees and dealers.

The Gehl Company history began in 1859 in a blacksmith shop in a small Wisconsin community located at the westerly bend of the Milwaukee River. Since then, Gehl Company has been led by three generations of Gehl family members and still operates in the same Midwestern town where it began 150 years ago.

Beginning with the development of agricultural implements for small farms, a best seller was created in 1880 called the Hexelbank Ensilage Cutter, a predecessor to the modern forage harvester. John W. Gehl acquired the business in 1902, becoming the first Gehl family member to lead the implement company. A second generation of Gehl brothers took control of the business in the 1930’s. In the 1940’s the Gehl brothers developed innovative new agricultural products.

In 1973 Gehl began manufacturing skid loaders for agricultural customers, necessitating a second manufacturing plant, in Madison, SD. The popularity of these machines grew quickly into the expanding construction markets, as well as the European market. In 1987 Gehl Company began manufacturing the Gehl Dynalift telescopic handler in Yankton, SD.

A third-generation Gehl, William D. Gehl, began managing the company in 1992. Under William Gehl’s leadership the company diversified into multiple markets world-wide, including the acquisition of Mustang Manufacturing in 1997. Gehl began manufacturing more compact equipment than ever before, advancing technology throughout all their product lines.

Today Gehl Company provides an extensive line of compact equipment, including telescopic handlers, skid loaders, track loaders, compact excavators, all-wheel-steer loaders, articulated loaders and asphalt pavers.

Gehl recently opened their new research and development center in West Bend, WI, next to where the business began 150 years ago.

To commemorate their 150-year milestone, Gehl Company has published an illustrated hard cover book that details the events of the company’s evolution. Copies can be ordered on the Gehl website,, on the “Gehl Gear” page. 800.628.0491,

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