And they are still in business.
The following note was received @farmjeep.com a few days ago with the subject Stratton Equipment –
“Stratton would sub their work out to a small fabricating shop on Cleveland’s Westside. It was Sedalack Machine then bought out and called E & K Products. I know this because E&K is the family business. My Grandfather, Dad and now my Brother Dave and Uncle Lee run the business today. I remember helping build the implement lifts, paint them red, apply the Jeep Approved equipment decal and then help crate and ship them… I was young but if I remember correctly E & K got the rights for the implement lift when Stratton left the business… Let me know if there is anything I can do to help or if there would be interest in possibly resurrecting some of those Stratton parts. Ernie Klimek III”
Stunned, I read the note twice. Was it really possible that we could finally answer all the questions about the last “Jeep Approved” hydraulic lift? Was it really possible that Stratton lift owners could buy OEM(!) replacement parts? So many questions.
First, I want to thank Ernie and his local Jeep dealer
I immediately responded that we were indeed interested, but I had to know first why Ernie had sent the note. Ernie replied that he had been in his Jeep dealer’s waiting room while having his wife’s vehicle serviced. On the wall were several pictures of vintage Jeeps, including one with a caption stating the “Jeeps were used on the farm.” He said to himself “Yes they were and I helped build the Stratton lift.”
Ernie went home and did a search on farm Jeeps and Stratton. He found our site and our incomplete Stratton history. Evan and I will forever be grateful to Ernie for taking the time to write us. It has ended 5 years of frustration. We knew that there had to be someone out there with knowledge about the Stratton Lift.
What happens now?
Ernie, who now lives near Seattle, has been in touch with his brother and they are looking for documents, including blueprints related to the lift. E&K Products made other products for Stratton, so there is a lot of material to review. E&K is a busy place these days, so it may take a while to determine what components they might be able to produce.
Ernie and I are working on an article that will cover the history of his family’s business and the making of the Stratton Lift. Evan and I will be rewriting our version of the Stratton lift history.
We will also post updates on what and when E&K may be able to produce replacement parts. We just couldn’t wait to share the news.