Industrial Lubricant History
75 years pioneering lubrication for heavy industry.
Since the early 1940s, Industrial Lubricant Company has been providing lubricants, pumps, equipment and services to mines, railroads, contractors and heavy equipment users.
Our early years actually involved selling and servicing International Harvester trucks, tractors and refrigerators. Our founder, Jerry Hoolihan, started the company in 1943, selling products and doing service work while his first employee – his wife Alice – did the office work.
As the country geared up for World War II, the Iron Range of Minnesota was an important source of ore, which was needed to make the vast supply of steel required by the war. The growing company developed an expertise in shovel and drill lubrication service with Whitmore and Lincoln SKF.
Operating as Industrial Lubricant Company, our company pioneered automatic lubrication methods for heavy mining equipment. The cold weather of Northern Minnesota challenged the company to successfully develop innovative cold-weather methods for servicing pit equipment.
Spreading Our Wings
Industrial Lubricant literally spread its wings as Jerry's brother, Dan Hoolihan, joined the business and flew his 1947 Stinson airplane throughout Western Canada and into Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. Routine trips included landings on mine haul roads. Trucks had to stop in order to let Stinson take off. In the summer, they added floats to the aircraft to call on Canadian mines near lakes.
Industrial Lubricant began designing and manufacturing specialized lubrication equipment, like the ILCO Electric Sprayer and the ILCO Electric Knife. These products were used for lubricants that needed to be heated in order to be applied.
Territories and Railroads: Lubricant Warehouse and Delivery Improvements
Territory expansion and the addition of facilities outside of Minnesota were the focus of our growth during the eighties and the nineties. Careful expansion was accomplished in Wyoming, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Texas, and lubrication warehouses and service centers were added to better serve the railroads and coal mines located near each new Industrial Lubricant location.
During this period Industrial Lubricant again brought innovations to the mining industry. As we focused on lubricant delivery directly to mining equipment, expenses related to our lubricant warehouse and delivery solutions were drastically reduced. Additionally, we developed consumption histories and data for different kinds of mining equipment, pioneering flat per-hour consumption and cost arrangements.
Class I Railroads require safe, reliable service intensive on value verified lubricant services during the early 2000's.
Industrial Lubricant Today
Today, Industrial Lubricant Company has warehouses and offices in Wyoming, North Dakota, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa and Saskatchewan Canada.