Aerial view of Knapheide Manufacturing Company facilities in 2018.

Aerial view of Knapheide Manufacturing Company facilities in 2018.

Photo: Knapheide Manufacturing Company/Work Truck

Knapheide Manufacturing Company celebrates its 175th anniversary this year.

Marking nearly two centuries, the family-owned and -operated business is based in Quincy, Illinois.

In 1848, Herman Heinrich Knapheide, a German immigrant, moved to Quincy and opened a wagon-making shop, the Knapheide Wagon Company.

The business was incorporated in 1893 as the “Henry Knapheide Wagon Company.” By 1937, the company’s focus had shifted from wagons to automotive bodies. To reflect the change, the company was renamed “The Knapheide Manufacturing Company.”

Knapheide’s Upfitting Journey

Knapheide began vehicle upfitting in the 1910s with the Ford Model T. The company later became known for its grain bodies, tailored for agriculture.

The crash of the agricultural market in the 1980s forced the company to pivot again, this time towards services bodies, which continue to contribute to the company’s success under H.W. “Bo” Knapheide IV, the sixth-generation leader of the company.

“This anniversary provides us with an opportunity to look back, celebrate our past and appreciate how far we’ve come,” Bo said. “I am proud to be a part of the dedication and determination that has taken place over the decades to get us to where we are today.”

In celebration of its 175th year, Knapheide will showcase its heritage display at the NTEA Work Truck Show in March and host a special company picnic in September.

The Knapheide Manufacturing Company building in 1959.

The Knapheide Manufacturing Company building in 1959. 

Photo: Knapheide Manufacturing Company

Commercial Vehicle Upfitting

Knapheide provides work-ready transportation solutions for truck bodies and provider of commercial vehicle upfitting.

The company’s selection is designed for commercial agricultural, construction, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing vehicles, among other vocations.

Its latest product is its chassis design development for Zeus Electric Chassis electric work trucks. The trucks were upfit with truck bodies for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

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