HOTSTART celebrating 75 years

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Spokane, Wash.-based HOTSTART, a leading developer and manufacturer of diesel engine block heaters, is celebrating its 75th anniversary throughout 2017.

Over the past 75 years, HOTSTART has grown from a small, local start-up to a global supplier to some of the largest manufacturing companies in the world. The company was established in 1942 as Kimberlin Manufacturing, with the original patent for engine coolant heating. It was originally owned and managed by Wayne Kimberlin, a former school bus driver who developed the engine heater to help school buses start up on cold Spokane mornings. A few years later, Kimberlin partnered with Stanley Power, who began to promote the “Kim Hotstart” engine heater across the U.S. In 1944, Power purchased the business and changed the name to Kim Hotstart Manufacturing Company. In 2009, the company name was shortened to HOTSTART for easier brand recognition around the world.

“Today, HOTSTART engine heaters are still found on school buses and many other applications, including heavy duty trucks, forklifts, machinery, locomotives, marine engines, power plants, natural gas compressors, standby generator sets, residential generators and industrial generators,” the company notes. “In addition to expanding into new markets and developing new products, the company has also expanded geographically with offices in Katy, Tex.; Siegburg, Germany; and Tokyo, Japan to better serve customers in those regions. Today, the HOTSTART product line includes coolant heaters, oil heaters, battery pads and wraps, controls and complete systems. These products are used on engines to provide easy starts, immediate full power, reduced engine wear, reduced emissions and reduced fuel consumption.”

“We are excited to celebrate our 75th anniversary,” says HOTSART Chief Executive Officer Terry Judge. “It is a big milestone. This company has been very successful because of all the talented, dedicated employees who work together as a team and constantly improve. We also have had great support from our customers, suppliers and owners. We will spend some time in 2017 to thank these people, and we look forward to an exciting future together.”