Thornel believes in “State of the Art Technology”, but feels nothing substitutes for human interaction. We will provide a reliable, trustworthy, and competent sales staff to personally handle all of your material handling and storage equipment needs. We will make a complete effort to satisfy your requirements and complete your project on time.


Now celebrating over 60 years, clients have trusted Thornel for their material handling needs since Thornel started in September 1955. Founded by Carl Thorkelson and Garth Owen, they wanted a material handling equipment sales agency representing a variety of manufacturers and specializing in industrial material handling containers.

The first salesman they hired had been selling pallets and had both sources and customers, so they decided to finance his pallet sales and they could work on the development of the rack and shelving sales. After several years passed, Thornel grew to four salesmen selling containers and four salesmen selling racks and pallets.

Tony Wichhart

Tony Wichhart

In 1983 Garth became the sole owner of Thornel, which he sold to Thomas Wichhart and Thomas Church in 1987. Tom and Tom continued to grow Thornel into the “State of the Art” company it is today. They added product lines such as: Conveyor, Palletizers, Lifts, etc. Tom Wichhart became the sole owner at the retirement of Tom Church in 1998. Then in 2003, Tony Wichhart assumed the role as president and leads the company today.