COLUMBUS – What started as a simple idea to move corn easier, has since turned into an international manufacturing company, that is celebrating 75 years in Columbus.
DUO Lift Manufacturing celebrated the landmark with the community, during a Something GOOD on the Go event, put on the by the Columbus Area Chamber on Monday.
Jim Hellbusch says DUO Lift was founded in 1943, after his father Arthur Hellbusch hurt his back shoveling corn, and decided while lying on his back in recovery, to come up with a trailer system that would dump the corn for you.
“He thought, there’s got to be someway to get that corn off that wagon besides scooping it. So to our knowledge, I got to qualify that. To our knowledge he was the first guy to invent the idea of taking a wagon box, tipping it up, and letting it run out the back end. He did that with a series of pulleys, a cable and a big crank,” says Hellbusch.
This new invention was created in the Hellbusch family milk barn, located near 26th Avenue, near where North Park Elementary School currently sits, said Hellbusch.
The business continued to grow as more people heard about the high quality trailers Arthur was producing, and Jim wanted to take it to the next level when he graduated from college and joined the company in 1969, says Hellbusch.
“I graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and told [my wife] Connie, we weren’t married yet, and I said I’m going to see if I can’t turn my Dad’s hobby into a business, and I’ll give myself three years. If I can’t I’ll fall back on my degree, and the good Lord just blessed us tremendously,” says Hellbusch.
The business has now grown to have an international reach with a plethora of new products, and Jim and Connie’s two sons Ben and David returned to DUO Lift after college, to help grow the business further into the future. The two both earned degrees at UNL.
DUO Lift has grown since it’s days in a family milk barn, and currently resides on 38th Street in north-central Columbus.