Kelderman Manufacturing was founded in 1970 by Gary Kelderman. Known throughout the agricultural industry as a leading innovator, Gary currently holds over 25 patents on such items as rubber track systems for combines and tractors, corn harvesting attachments, hay raking equipment and air suspension systems.
In the 1970s, Gary was dominant in the Tri-State Truck Pullers Association modified class, winning the championship all three years with his Hemi-powered pulling rig, which was nothing short of an “engineering masterpiece.” What started out in Gary’s one-stall “hot rod” shop, has grown into a 30-acre, 100,000 square ft manufacturing facility. Today they are considered a leading supplier of innovative products to the agricultural industry including corn planter hinge kits, planter tools, marker systems for John Deere planters, hay raking equipment and Corn Reels. The company has changed and evolved considerably over the past 40 years and is known and respected for its diverse products offerings.
Two decades after its inception, Kelderman Air Ride came into existence when Gary bought a new Dodge Cummins diesel. Unhappy with the ride, Gary put his mechanical mind to work and developed the first Kelderman Air Ride Suspension System. It didn’t take too long for the news to travel. Practically over night, Dodge trucks all across the country were riding on air. Today, Kelderman provides systems for Ford and Chevrolet vehicles as well as Dodge, and has had 48 magazine features and dozens of television editorial stories covering their amazing air ride kits. Many Nascar racers and Sports celebrities are the proud owners of tricked out Kelderman rides.
Motorcoach platforms such as the F-53 (Ford) and Workhorse (GM) have become very popular, as well as 5th wheel and bumper pull trailers with leaf spring or torsion axle suspensions. Everything from RVs, to horse trailers and race trailers can be up-fitted with an air suspension that improves the ride as well as increases the longevity of the equipment. In recent years, the company has engineered air suspension lift kits for ¾ and 1-ton domestic trucks that offer a fully adjustable lifted look while providing a smoother ride that does not sacrifice load-carrying capacity. The adjustability of the kit not only allows the truck to be lowered to fit easily into a garage, but makes it easier to “climb” in and out of. Once again, leading the way in innovation, Kelderman is the only company in the off road market to offer this type of system.
The company has developed a variety of air suspension lowering kits as well. The GMT900 platform stands out as the trendsetter with the ability to lower the vehicle making entering and exiting the vehicle simpler. This is especially true for those with children or physical handicaps. The system also gives the truck a stronger stance while improving handling and stability by dropping the center of gravity. Kelderman’s ever increasing development has led to the design of 4-link suspension systems for the ambulance market, which has become the company’s fastest growing product market. The systems allow medical personnel easier loading and unloading capabilities as well as providing a smoother ride for patients during transport. The air suspension systems have evolved tremendously since that first Dodge truck and now are available for shipment worldwide.
“While my passion for the industry, and dedication to visibility at nationwide shows and events has helped grow the Kelderman brand, I have to give all the credit to my Dad”, says Jeff Kelderman, Vice President of Kelderman Air Ride. “His vision for creating our one of a kind suspension systems is what got us here today, and I get the fun of keeping it going. People ask me what I do for a living, and I just grin, and say ‘I build kick *!## rides”!
Kelderman Manufacturing was built on Midwestern values and holds true to those values today. Gary also owns several other companies, one of which is Kelderman Lime, located in Des Moines, Iowa, and run by Jeff’s younger brother Clint. From the quality of products each of his companies produce, to the dedication in servicing every customer that walks through their doors, the Kelderman mission is to stay true to these ideals for many years to come. Visit www.keldermanmfg.com to view the full line of Kelderman products and services.
For more information on air ride suspensions, go to www.keldermanairride.com, or call 1-800-334-6150. Kelderman Manufacturing offers a full range of bolt-on air ride suspension lift kits and 4-link suspension systems for light, medium and heavy duty trucks, motorhomes and trailers.
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Kelderman 40th Anniversary Logo
Photo of Gary Kelderman’s pulling rig in 1975. Very few vehicles have ever been built in any racing series tht struck as much fear in the hearts of the competition as the sight of Gary pulling into events with this engineering masterpiece. Three years of competing, three series championships.
Kelderman Manufacturing was chosen to hand build this manure applicaator in 1984 for Karle & Sons out of Crawfordsville, IN. This unit is still in operation and still is one of the biggest and baddest units ever built.