Winco Generators - American Made Generators
In 1927, John and Gerhard Albers from Cherokee, Iowa, developed a wind generator called “The Wincharger” to charge a six-volt storage battery which was used to power radios. At that time, the radio was as important to people as the internet and television are important to us today. The Albers brothers were soon building Winchargers for their neighbors and friends.
In 1935, Wincharger was incorporated and manufacturing was moved to Sioux City, Iowa. Zenith Corporation purchased a controlling interest in Wincharger in late 1935. Purchasers of Zenith radios were able to buy a six-volt Wincharger for $10. In 1937, Zenith Radio Corporation purchased the remaining shares of Wincharger stock. The 12-volt, 32-volt, and 110-volt generators were developed to provide additional lighting capacity. Soon the company was known internationally for the unfailing dependability of the Wincharger.
The company played an important role in World War II by developing the Dynamotor which was used in military aircraft and ships. The company received five Army-Navy “E” awards for excellence as a quality supplier. The Dynamotor is the predecessor of Winco's two bearing generator known today as the 2FS. This rugged generator is still sold today for applications in punishing environments such as pressure washers and man-lift machinery.
Wincharger continued to expand their product line by developing improved designs of Dynamotors, inverters, alternators, Winchargers, engine-driven generators, transistorized converters, ground electrical support equipment, and radio receiving sets.
In 1950, the WINCO line of Power Take-Off (PTO) generators was born. The PTO generator was designed to run off of the power take-off drive of a tractor. In 1952, commercial and industrial portable engine-driven generators were produced. Research and development continued to produce important innovations. Wincharger set the industry standard for portable generators in 1955 by introducing the first automatic idle control (conserver) for portable generators. The key benefits of this invention included extended engine life, fuel conservation, and reduced engine noise. The Maxi-Watt and the Full-Power generator designs were introduced in 1964. These unique designs vastly improved performance with superior heavy-duty motor starting applications and provided usable full capacity output at 120 volts, 240 volts, or both simultaneously. Switchless full power is still a usefull feature many of our competitors have yet to produce.
In 1968, Zenith sold Wincharger to AMICOR Corporation. Wincharger's name was then changed to WINCO. In 1970, WINCO introduced a complete line of packaged standby generators called the Automatic Power Systems. The Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) made it possible to automatically start the standby generator when normal electrical power was interrupted. The ATS played a key role to the success of the packaged standby systems. There were a lot of changes for WINCO in the 70's. The company moved from Sioux City, Iowa, to Le Center, Minnesota, and WINCO became a major supplier of generators to the rental and construction markets.
In 1978, WINCO began producing water-cooled generators and the first ever switchable voltage Mobile Power System. The Mobile Power System was used to supply temporary and emergency power needs in the construction, industrial, and government markets. The Dynamaxx generator line was developed in 1982. The generator included a Quick-Link voltage reconnection board and advanced technology microprocessor controls designed to efficiently provide standby and prime power for industrial and commercial needs. The Dyna Pro series, the Pro-X series, and the Tri-Fuel portable generators were introduced to the WINCO family in 1987.
During the 1990s, a new line of consumer-oriented portables called the Dyna series was born along with a full line of Honda powered portable generators geared towards the construction market. The 90's also brought a number of new products to consumers along with new improvements on the current products offered. WINCO's Package Standby Systems (PSS)were redesigned with models starting at 6,000 watts and topping out at 75,000 watts.
In the most recent ownership change, WINCO was purchased by Ralph Call in 1996. He oversaw the company through the Y2K boom as well as the Year 2000 bust. Ralph brought with him immense experience in manufacturing with his 20 years spent at Coleman. The company has operated debt-free since 1998 and has only had one unprofitable year since 1992. Even through poor economic times, WINCO has not laid off an employee since 1990. Ralph’s motto is good employees shouldn’t be disproportionally punished because of poor management.
Since 2000, a number of new products and updates have been added to the Winco line of quality generators. The Dyna series introduced the DL6000I/IE called the “Advance Power.” These lightweight, reliable, and very affordable portable generators are perfect for homeowners. The HPS12000HE was added to the tri-fuel line. The Winco Industrial Series released the “Big Dog Series” which included the new WL18000VE, the largest portable that Winco currently offers.
In 2009, WINCO became a family affair with Daniel Call coming on board. He is the current President and COO (Chief Operations Officer). In 2014, Peter Call joined WINCO as the Sales Manager. Dan and Pete came on with the understanding that WINCO was not to be sold and would remain committed to American manufacturing.
Since 1927, Winco's commitment to quality, dependability, and innovation has produced the broadest line of generators among any manufacturer in the industry. Winco will continue to supply superior generators to our customers for decades to come. Generators are what we do and we do them well.
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