History of Wolter Group
Wolter Group LLC, headquartered in Brookfield, WI, is a family-owned and operated group of companies consisting of Wisconsin Lift Truck, Illinois Material Handling, Ellis Systems, Wolter Power Systems, Kensar Equipment Company, Bohnert Equipment Company and Fleet Services. Wolter Group LLC’s rich history of over 55 years lies mostly within Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp., which was founded by Otto J. Wolter of the Wolter family back in 1962.
Wisconsin Lift Truck began out of a 2-car garage as a simple forklift parts and service shop in Milwaukee and has grown to be a widely recognized powerhouse in the material handling industry covering Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Northern Illinois. Otto Wolter and his brother-in-law Joe Weis built the business from the ground up and are still actively involved in the full-service material handling dealership it has become today offering Sales, Service, Parts, Rentals, Training and more.
Throughout the decades, Wisconsin Lift Truck proved great success and has grown to be among the largest material handling companies in the country; branching into new markets along the way with brands: Wolter Power Systems, Illinois Material Handling, Kensar Equipment Company, Bophnert Equipment Company and Fleet Services.
Wolter Power Systems started in 1975 as a sole Deutz engine distributor, as Wisconsin Lift Truck sold many forklifts with Deutz industrial engines. This created a natural synergy among Wisconsin Lift Truck and Deutz. With Wolter Power Systems formed, the business grew steadily each year allowing us to become the authorized distributor for many new industrial engine lines as well as exchange engines, generators, transfer switches, pumps and mobile light towers from leading manufacturers.
Illinois Material Handling was formed in 1985 as a small service center located in Rockford, IL. This area was previously serviced from Wisconsin Lift Truck’s Janesville facility, but due to high demand across the state line it was necessary to expand physical operations into this area. We’ve since added a full-service branch in Elk Grove Village. Over the years we’ve expanded our presence in the Illinois market through growth and acquisition and have become the trusted source in material handling solutions throughout Northern Illinois offering new and used equipments, service, parts, training and rentals.
Fleet Services was established in 1998 as there became a strong customer demand for solving warehouse inefficiencies along with ways to reduce costs associated with moving materials throughout their facilities. After much success implementing fleet improvement strategies at some of the largest Midwest companies, Fleet Services built a reputation for quality in the material handling industry using strategies such as Fleet Studies and Material Flow Studies. Over the decades we’ve become the trusted source for fleet management solutions throughout the Midwest and beyond.
Ellis Systems, founded in 1963, has developed a long-standing reputation in both space-saving and cost-saving solutions throughout the Midwest. Office & Industrial storage solutions include high density mobile shelving, vertical carousels, vertical lift modules, rotary files, storage shelving, color-coded filing and much more. Wolter Group LLC acquired Ellis Systems in 2016, allowing the Wolter Group of companies to expand its footprint in the rapidly evolving automated material management & storage industry.
Today, Wolter Group LLC has over 450 employees providing superior customer service from ten state-of-the-art facilities throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Our company was built by our people and we’re proud to note that the average tenure of our employees is 14 years with some having been here over 55 years!
With over 55 years in the material handling industry and 35 years in the power systems industry, we have a strong reputation among business partners and demonstrate exceptional experience and professionalism in the field. Wolter Group LLC takes pride in its knowledge and expertise and sustains its commitment to customer service and satisfaction. As one of the largest privately held firms in Wisconsin, we are proud to serve the needs of our customers. We are a full-service company offering “Solutions of Excellence” in all that we do.