Messer Truck Equipment in Westbrook ME is celebrating 120 years of business.
The company said Walter A Messer opened a one-man blacksmithing shop he named the WA Messer Company in 1899 on Union Street in Portland ME. The company focused on manufacturing wagons, wheels, sleighs and iron work for ships early on but switched to producing open-sided deliver truck bodies, furniture vans and general van body equipment in the early 1900s, when motor vehicles started taking off.
Messer incorporated in the 1940s and moved its four-man operation to a custom-built facility in the bay area of Portland, where operations gradually expanded to include trailer maintenance and repairs. In 1960, the company moved again to a 5-acre plot on Warren Avenue, where it built a 100-foot-by-100-foot trailer repair, sales and service facility with eight truck body bays and soon named a new president, John F Messer.
The company continued to evolve, becoming more of a multi-line truck equipment distributorship, and, beginning in 1987 under John P Messer, it expanded its outside sales staff and introduced a marketing campaign designed to extend its customer base across Maine and into New Hampshire. Under John P Messer, business flourished and the company grew into on of the largest truck equipment distributors in northern New England.
“The success of our company can probably be attributed in part to the fact that we have always been progressive enough to diversify services and product lines at the right time,” John F Messer, who is Walter Messer’s son, said in a 1984 trade publication. “Of course, a successful business is also the result of a lot of long hours and hard work.”
In 2003, Jeffrey W Messer joined the company, becoming the fourth generation in the family business. A year later, the company changed its name to Messer Truck Equipment, and following the sudden death of John F Messer, Jeffrey’s father, in 2008, he was named company president and later purchased the business.
Messer expanded again in 2015, acquiring a tank truck manufacturing branch branded as Messer Petroleum Equipment.
Today, Messer Truck Equipment, with nearly 30 employees, still is located on Warren Avenue. It sells and services more than 35 truck equipment product lines and has a customer base of more than 500 accounts throughout Maine and New Hampshire.
“A leader in the transportation industry since 1899, the fourth-generation, family-owned business enjoys a well-deserved reputation for Yankee value and quality workmanship,” the company said.
For more information, visit messertruckequipment.com.