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Third Generation of Voss Equipment Celebrates 75 Years in the Material Handling Industry

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The family ties within Chicago-based Voss Equipment are as strong as the lift trucks, specialty industrial vehicles and storage rack systems provided by the material handling industry leader.
As the company celebrates its 75th anniversary, third-generation President, Peter Voss, III., reflects on over seven decades of family-driven service.
“My grandfather (Peter Voss Sr.) launched Voss Equipment in late 1934 with a modest investment,” says Voss III. “I’m honored that, 75 years later, his vision of providing superior product, service and investment in our employees, is still thriving.”
Voss III has had time to nurture that vision, literally growing up in the business. He worked high school and college summer breaks pulling parts orders, arranging shipments and making deliveries himself. He then spent the next 20 years learning the intricacies of the company that bears his family name. Working in sales, product support, rental and used equipment and operations, Voss III was named President of Voss Equipment in 2008, succeeding his retired father, Peter Voss, Jr. Voss III also follows his father’s journey outside of Voss Equipment, as both have served as officers in The United States Marine Corps.
The family spirit that has driven Voss Equipment for 75 years is reflected in the employee climate as well. 
Two generations of the Bannerman family are cultivating their careers at Voss Equipment, with a combined tenure of 50 years. Brothers, Kirby and Kent, serve as general manager and VP of trackmobile operations, respectively. Kent’s son, Jamie, is an increasingly successful account manager. Many staff have spent their entire careers at Voss Equipment including 54-year tenured saleman, Martin Szekely. He was hired by founder Peter Voss Sr. and has remained ever since. The result? A partnership climate. Long-term staff serving long-term customers who are treated like family.
This synergy has positioned Voss Equipment as a leader in the material handling industry. Peter Voss III oversees a team of 65 employees, over 100,000 square feet of warehouse space and close to two tons of materials handling product.
The company offers an inventory of progressive products & services including:

  •  Authorized distributor for Yale Materials Handling, Cushman vehicles and Landoll narrow aisle lift trucks
  • Distribution and servicing of TrackMobile rail car movers, offering easy on/off track mobility for industrial railcar switching
  • Voss Electric - a state-of-the art in-shop service center where expert technicians rebuild AC & DC electric motors
  • Field and shop service for equipment that includes yard spotters and steel coil handler trucks.

A first-generation descendent from Holland, Peter Voss Sr. studied at Chicago’s Pullman Tech High School before joining Automatic Lift Trucks. He soon became the largest Midwest distributor of Yale Lift Trucks and Voss Equipment was born.
A true engineer, Voss Sr. studied equipment and how it was built and what it could do. His son, Peter Voss, Jr. joined the company in 1961 and brought sales strength to the company.
Yet, the company’s strength remains in its relationships — with customers and employees.
“Our greatest business success lies in how we treat others,” says Voss III. “Both my grandfather and father instilled that in me. They always listened and asked questions, and I intend to carry this simple, respectful practice to the next generation of Voss Equipment.”

Learn about this unique third-generation business by calling 866/867-0659 or by visiting

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