Bennett business thrives half a century later

Bennett Truck Equipment began Jan 4, 1954, as a small blacksmith shop at 19 South Division Street in Orlando FL. Randall “Ray” Bennett Sr was an employee of Lester West, owner of this business known as West Blacksmith Shop. Bennett and his wife, Hazel, purchased the shop from Lester and renamed it Bennett's Blacksmith Shop.

In 1965, the business became Bennett's Truck Equipment Co, indicating a shift from a broad range of metal work to a focus on truck equipment. In 1970, the name again changed to Bennett Truck Equipment Inc.

Around the end of 1961, Ray Bennett decided to relocate the business to its present location at 3652 Old Winter Garden Road. Though this location was considered far out in the country, customers proved willing to travel the distance, and Bennett Truck Equipment prospered.

When Ray Bennett first moved to this site, he rented three of six work bays and a small office space at the rear of a building owned by Orange Belt Tractor. At that time, there were three other businesses on this property. Eventually, Ray purchased the Orange Belt property and later some adjacent land to increase the shop to its present size.

On that Monday morning in January 1954, only Ray and Hazel Bennett were working at the company. Though Ray Bennett died in July 1993, his wife is still involved with the company along with Randall Bennett Jr and 34 employees.

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