Darr The Legacy. The Brand.
Darr Equipment Co has a rich history dating back to January 1954 when founded by entrepreneur, Hal Darr. The company began as a Caterpillar diesel tractor dealership throughout East and North Texas.
During the 50’s, 60’s 70’s and 80’s the company underwent tremendous growth adding locations both through acquisitions and growth. By the mid-1990s, Darr had grown to 16 facilities and over 1,000 employees with locations throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
There was a close connection between the Caterpillar dealership and Caterpillar Inc, the manufacturer, together making history of paving services and paving machinery. Due to the dealership size and proximity, the company became integral in helping Caterpillar develop new products to meet the growing demand of their customer base.
Darr became the first Caterpillar dealer to be awarded a Cat Lift Truck franchise in 1966. That was the company’s entrance into the material handling marketplace. Utilizing the same customer service business principles, the forklift division continued to expand with best in class material handling equipment and services.
The company once again made history in April of 2002 selling the original Caterpillar diesel tractor dealership portion of the company to the South Texas Caterpillar dealer, Holt Cat. The sale made Holt one of the largest Caterpillar dealers in the world. The family has since become known as owners of the 5-time world champion winners of the San Antonio Spurs, NBA basketball team.
In addition, the sale of the paving side of the business allowed Darr to focus on the material handling business. Today Darr Equipment Co is the exclusive authorized dealership for over fifteen leading material handling brands including Cat Lift Trucks, Unnicarrier Forklifts, Mitsubishi Forklifts, Lift King rough terrain forklifts, HubTex industrial trucks, Kalmar Forklifts & Container Handling, Junghenrich Warehouse Equipment, Advance and Factory Cat industrial floor cleaning sweepers and scrubbers, Autocar and Kalmar Ottwa Terminal Tractors, and Taylor-Dunn industrial vehicles.
For over 70 years, Darr has remained privately held. The company has continued to hold true to Hal Darr’s original guiding principle of supporting its markets with best-in-class equipment and services. Today more than ever Darr Equipment Co is a family owned service first company.
The company’s culture, growth and changes through the years have been cutting edge in many ways. Truly committed to bringing cutting edge products to the market to solve business challenges, Darr also had a commitment to its people – long before it was fashionable to do so. Darr Equipment Co has been instrumental in creating employee development and training programs helping all reach their maximum potential. The company also created customer service programs that were picked up by Caterpillar and instituted in dealerships nationwide.
Memoirs found at the Irving Public Library quote Hal Darr as saying, “it’s more than just a family business, it’s a business family!” The company is now under 4th generation of family leadership and Robert Engstrom is committed to taking the company to the next level. In September of 2021, the company has announced a new division called 54 Intralogistics. He pulled together the past of the founding in ‘54 with the future of material handling supply chain logistics.
Due to the evolution of technological advances taking over of the material handling industry, Engstrom had a vision to help customers navigate challenges with advances in equipment technology, automated solutions and warehouse products. 54 Intralogistics will help customers build speed and efficiency into their business literally from the inside out by integrating equipment and technology to optimize the flow of products.
Darr Equipment Co will continue to offer the best new and used material handling equipment with aftermarket parts, service and rental support, while 54 Intralogistics will deliver the most effective, efficient and productive engineered warehouse solutions.
The rich history of Darr has left a long legacy to the industrial business-to-business community. The name Darr has become its own brand known for far more than the world renown brands they represent. Now, with the introduction of 54 Intralogistics bursting onto the material handling scene, the brand will continue to flourish with technological advancements.
To learn more about the legacy and the Darr brand log onto the website www.darrequipment.com or for more information about the future of material handling warehouse solutions view www.54intralogistics.com.