WERTS Welding & Tank & Tank Service Inc, Wood River, Illinois, threw quite a party at the beginning of August as part of its 60th Anniversary celebration. An open house at the main office in Wood River included a barbeque, vendor exhibits, and presentations by vendors and local officials.
Despite being a nationwide tank trailer parts distributor with two “R” stamp certified code tank service shops (one in Wood River and the other in Birmingham, Alabama), the company has never lost the family touch. Customers still receive personal service.
Werts Welding was recognized during the open house as one of the oldest businesses in Wood River, and the Werts family was applauded for its community involvement. An impressive turnout offered testament to the strong community ties.
Eighteen vendors represented by Werts Welding had displays in the parts warehouse where lunch was served. An exhibit reviewed the history of the company, displayed memorabilia, and offered examples of how the parts catalog has evolved. A range of tank trailers and tank trucks were on display in the parking lot.
Over its 60 years in business, Werts Welding has grown from a two-person business to and enterprise with more than 80 employees working out of eight locations. Today, the company designs, assembles, and sells tank trucks and tank trailers for the petroleum, lubricants, waste oil, and vacuum industries.
The business was founded in 1957 in Wood River by Robert and Verna Werts, the parents of current president Dwight Werts. Dwight’s son Nick now makes it three generations of family involvement in the company.
Robert started out operating a repair shop with a small inventory of tank parts on hand for local customers. Soon word got out that Werts Welding has the specialized parts needed for serious cargo tank repairs.
Customer demand drove the need to expand the parts business. Couple this with the reputation Robert developed as the man who could weld or fix anything, and it was just a matter of time before the business was booming and Werts Welding was expanding and shipping parts all across the country.
By 1991, expansion was well underway. “Expansion benefitted our customers with shorter lead times and lower shipping costs,” said Bruce Cornelius, Werts Welding parts and sales manager.
Werts Welding bought a Texas company and expanded the operation into San Antonio. Werts Welding purchased another company in 1997 with locations in Tampa, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama; and Atlanta, Georgia. In 2003, the company opened a parts store in Des Moines, Iowa. Next came a branch in Billings, Montana in 2011, followed by another in Denver, Colorado in 2013.
Currently, Werts Welding is a tank trailer dealer for Heil in much of the Midwest and western states, and other select locations. More recently, Werts Welding became in dealer for Mac Trailer in the Southeast. The tankwagon division sells Westmor and Mid-State cargo tanks.
The parts department stocks parts from more that 60 manufacturers for industry applications such as petroleum, dry bulk, chemical, sanitary, crude oil, vacuum, propane, and anhydrous ammonia.