COMPANY

About Us

Our Story

KNAACK® provides maximum security against theft 24/7. No one has a better track record of proven protection.
Well beyond traditional tool storage and security, KNAACK's innovation takes jobsite protection to the next level.


Some mornings back in 1960, Howard Knaack would interrupt his milk route deliveries for Cary Dairy to have breakfast with two friends. These friends needed a reliable source for "ready-made" jobsite boxes. One morning they decided it was time to talk Howard into a business opportunity in the sheet metal fabrication business, in order to supply their construction supply house with the jobsite boxes they needed. Together they formed Knaack LLC. 

Knaack LLC was the first to offer national distribution of jobsite storage boxes in Chicago, Detroit, Hammond, Cleveland, Denver and Washington D.C. By 1968 Mr. Knaack moved the company to a 16,000-sq.-ft. building in the current location. Along with the move came the purchase of the WEATHER GUARD® Truck Equipment brand from a small sheet metal company in St. Louis.

In the early 1980s, the entire line of KNAACK® tool boxes was redesigned to offer contractors a more secure, durable and safer-to-use tool box. Gas pistons were added to the KNAACK® Gang Boxes and WEATHER GUARD® Truck Boxes making them easier to open and close, therefore being safer to use than previous versions or competitors' models. The company, product lines and distribution grew steadily. Mr. Knaack watched his building grow to almost 10-acres under one roof. Distribution grew, reaching all 50 states in the U.S. and Canada, and van equipment was added in 1984.

Since the 1960s, Knaack LLC's facility has grown from its modest start in a 2,000-square-foot shop to its current 400,000+-square-foot plant at 420 E. Terra Cotta Ave. The KNAACK® brand name is known in the industry as "The most trusted name in jobsite security."

Werner Co. acquired 100% ownership of Knaack LLC in 2012. This joining of forces has created a mutually beneficial product portfolio that collectively leverages the broader company networks in manufacturing and distribution, in addition to sales and marketing.

 

Manufacturing Process

A great American success story!


Howard Knaack first started making history when he began building jobsite storage tool boxes in a tiny shop in Crystal Lake, Illinois in the fall of 1960. At the time, his main outlet for said boxes was a tool supply distributor owned by his partners, Brock Tool Company. His boxes were received so well that they had a national audience by 1962 and pretty soon after that, it was time to move up -literally. Knaack LLC officially moved to its current location at 420 E. Terra Cotta Avenue in 1968, going from a one-room shop to a 16,000-square-foot facility.

The new facility was extremely modern and included not only the first ever system to clean steel, but also an oven for baking enamel paint. Mr. Knaack devoted himself to creating a plethora of distinct boxes, specifically designed to best serve various types of contractors. His attention to detail paid off, as many of the innovations became industry standard and, of course, then copied by other manufacturers. 

From being one of the industry's first to offer TGIC Polyester Powder Coating to adding gas pistons for safety, even the arrival of the 80's couldn't slow KNAACK's roll. One of the most notable changes was switching from steel to aluminium. Furthermore, they continued to diversify, manufacturing additional truck boxes under the WEATHER GUARD® brand. It was this product expansion that enabled the company to proudly count municipalities and utility fleets to its base of users.

Perpetually redesigning products to optimize user-friendliness and efficiency, it's no wonder that KNAACK® truly stands apart from the competition.

 

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