When Don Jr. was just seven years old, he vividly remembered his dad, Don Sr., and older twin brothers, Ron and Randy, building an auger in front of his grandmother’s garage. They used a .5”x1” bar stock, heating it with a torch and wrapping it around a pipe (no fancy rack in sight). It was on the ground in the dirt with a 48” pipe wrench to turn it. They worked day and night to stack that bar stock one on top of another and weld it up with an old gas Lincoln welder.
Next thing Don Jr. knew, the group was disassembling dad’s Diamond Reo truck and using the engine to build a hydraulic power pack. That summer, 1974, Stillwell Equipment Co. was born.
Don Jr. spent his days climbing on a bunch of equipment he knew nothing about. One day, his dad noticed he could touch the floor of the old 68 link belt, which happened to be on loan from a good friend of the family’s, Mike Liptac. When Don Sr. reached in and started the machine, the rest was history.
Don Sr. started United Foundations, Inc. in 1984 and Don Jr. went to work as a superintendent for them serving almost 25 years. He was always available as a Labor Driller & Operator or any other position necessary and was key in making United Foundations, Inc. a top competitor in the auger cast piling field.
Sadly, the family lost Ron in 2016, as well as Randy and Don Sr. in 2017, which left Don Jr. and his sister, Toni, to run Stillwell Equipment.