By Amy Lennex, NTEA Communications Specialist
This article was published in the August 2018 edition of NTEA News.
NTEA recently caught up with PAFCO Truck Bodies Inc., a Distributor member in East Peoria, Illinois.
The company traces its beginnings to Ernst Pfaffmann, a wagonmaker from Germany who came to the U.S. in 1929. After more than 15 years of refining his craft with another firm, Pfaffmann started his own business in 1946 — E. Pfaffmann Manufacturing Company, a commercial van body and component parts manufacturer for the mining industry. In the early years, Pfaffmann made canopy tops for Caterpillar dozers and other products. During World War II, he built pontoons for floating bridges on the warfront.
The company continued to thrive in the central Illinois market for the next 25 years. In 1954, Pfaffmann bought property and built the current facility’s original building in East Peoria. The business has expanded since but still resides at the same location. Years later, two of Pfaffmann’s sons joined the team; Max started in 1964, followed by Robert in 1970. In 1971, the company was incorporated as PAFCO Truck Bodies. Located on 7 acres with approximately 21,500 square feet of space and 12 employees, it maintains bays for service work and new equipment installation.
The work truck industry has changed dramatically in the last several decades, and PAFCO Truck Bodies has evolved to meet demand. In the 1970s, Max and Robert assumed leadership positions, and the company’s focus gradually shifted from exclusively manufacturing its own products to distributing products from leading manufacturers. It still provides van bodies (its original product line) but now offers service bodies, van equipment, cranes, flatbeds, liftgates, air compressors, and more, adapting to specific customer needs.
In 2017, Robert’s sons Joshua and Micah Pfaffmann took on leadership roles. This third generation is continuing the family legacy, running a high-quality, solutions-based company. If PAFCO Truck Bodies suppliers don’t offer something a customer requests, the team will build it in-house. For example, the business produced a number of scale house trucks for Caterpillar’s global mining division.
PAFCO Truck Bodies has been an NTEA member since 1968 — and was acknowledged as a 50-year member during the President’s Breakfast at The Work Truck Show® 2018 in March. In addition, the company is part of NTEA’s Member Verification Program, which recognizes eligible companies in the work truck industry for outstanding business practices and successful implementation of quality standards.
PAFCO Truck Bodies in East Peoria, Illinois.
For more information, visit pafcobody.com, call 309-699-4613 or visit 1954 E. Washington St. in East Peoria.