Born in Chicago
Since 1952 Tallman has been setting the standard for Linemen
At Tallman Equipment, we are an employee-owned company that provides tools, equipment, and services for the construction and maintenance of Electrical Transmission and distribution infrastructure. Whether it’s a large, multi-state construction project, managing a storm, or providing power to a single home, Tallman Equipment has the equipment and expertise to make it all happen.
Tallman Equipment was formed in the mid-1940s when John Tallman returned from World War 2 and teamed up with friends from the Army to provide tools and services to the electrical construction industry. The company was officially incorporated as Tallman Equipment by John’s son Warren Tallman in 1952 and had its first office on 31st Street in Downtown Chicago.
The original company consisted of Warren, a sales representative, one shop worker and an accountant, and remained in that form until the mid-1990s. Warren always focused on helping the customer rather than growing or expanding beyond the company’s capacity at the time. The team could average about 8 orders a day, many of which were done by hand or on a typewriter, as Warren had no interest in introducing computers.
In the mid-1970s, the company relocated to the western suburbs of Chicago, settling in Bensenville, Illinois, next door to O’Hare Airport. The property consisted of a dilapidated pole barn where products were stored and a converted old two-car garage that was used as an office. At that time, the business consisted of selling and renting tools and repairing stringing blocks in-house. One of the company’s first innovations was a formula developed by Warren Tallman for relining Stringing Blocks called Tallurine. This “Secret Formula” is still in use today on some products.
Fast forward to September 1995. Tony Bozell, a lineman and general foreman working for an electrical contractor in Chicago, begins working for the company. Tony eventually purchased Tallman Equipment and became sole owner in 1996, after Warren’s retirement. Tony served as President from Tallman Equipment until 2017 when he transitioned to CEO, a role he still holds today. Tony saw a great opportunity to do more and grow the company while maintaining close customer relationships.
One of the first growth opportunities for Tallman Equipment was to become a Stanley Hydraulics distributor. Tallman Equipment quickly became one of the top distributors of Stanley Hydraulics, despite operating in only two states. This was just a taste of the growth that was to come under Tony’s leadership.
The next major milestone for Tallman Equipment was the introduction of the DDIN product line. While Warren Tallman had already developed tools under his direction, Tony’s field experience was instrumental in expanding and creating quality tools that workers needed. The focus of the DDIN product line is to produce a better quality product for our lineman. When a product is brought to market, it goes through “Lineman Proof” testing and quality control. The idea is that DDIN products are built with the highest quality possible because they are exposed to the field conditions that linemen must work in.
Under Tony’s leadership, the company continued to grow, developing more products and improving the services offered by Tallman Equipment. In the early 2000’s the company added its tool repair department as many of the larger customers requested this service.
Due to continued growth, Tallman Equipment was forced to move to a larger facility in Bensenville. Even with this move and the larger facility, there was still not enough space to accommodate the rental equipment. In addition, the operations and sales teams were continuing to expand and space was quickly running out. Tony, a native of Columbus, Indiana, purchased an old schoolhouse in Columbus, Indiana, with the intention of moving the rental, tool repair, and assembly operations to that location in 2006.
By 2008, two more buildings had been constructed, and yet the Columbus location was still too small to accommodate the growing company. A joke among employees was that it wasn’t just full, it was “Tallman full.” On many days, the driveway was full of all the equipment that had to be removed from the building just so the employees could have room inside to do their work and then shoved back in every night.
In 2014, Tony Bozell sold Tallman Equipment to employees and formed the ESOP.
In 2015, construction began on a new location Tallman Equipment Headquarters, now located at International Drive in Columbus, Indiana. With this expansion, the rental department and rental inventory moved to the new facility. Operations continued to be located in the original Columbus facility and sales continued to be handled out of the Bensenville facility. Finally, in 2017, the second phase of the headquarters expansion was completed, consolidating sales, rentals, and operations under one roof.
In 2016, Tallman Equipment expanded its manufacturing capabilities with the acquisition of Bradley Machining in Addison, Illinois. Bradley Machining continues to run its own operations. This expands the reach of the Tallman ESOP.
In 2020, Bradley Machine expanded its manufacturing capabilities by moving into a 53,000 square foot facility in Addison, Illinois. Tallman Equipment also moved operations from Illinois Sales into a portion of the same facility and opened the first Tallman Equipment showroom.
Tallman Equipment is still a small company focused on customer service. When you walk into the Tallman facility in Columbus, you see a sign that says “Do the Right Thing.” This is a motto that drives much of the company’s philosophy. Our goal is to help the lineman in the field so they can get the lights back on for customers.
With an external focus on customer service, we maintain the same high level of relationship with our employees. Tony’s vision was to build a company like no other place anyone has ever worked. We take great pride in our employees taking ownership in their respective departments and finding new ways to improve workflow and productivity. Our employees care about the products they make and have a vested interest in them. They know a lineman’s life can often be on the line.
Tallman Equipment currently operates 11 different departments: Tool Sales, Tool Rental, Shipping, Receiving, Stringing Block, Small Tool Repair, Cable Assembly and Preparation, Rope, Fiberglass Tool Testing and Preparation, Rubber Goods Testing Lab, and Stress Testing.
We continue to expand the DDIN line of tools which now includes over 250 different tools. Some of these are designed to solve specific customer problems. From design and prototyping to manufacturing and testing, Tallman Equipment has the in-house capabilities to handle most projects.
Although we are currently based in the Midwest, Tallman Equipment is looking to expand our operations across our great nation and far beyond. Our people make all the difference. As long as there are still storms and linemen answering the call, Tallman Equipment will be there to support them.
Tallman is Founded
Tallman Equipment was formed in the mid-1940s when John Tallman returned from World War 2 and teamed up with friends from the Army to provide tools and services to the electrical construction industry. The company was officially incorporated as Tallman Equipment by John's son Warren Tallman in 1952 and had its first office on 31st Street in Downtown Chicago.
Tallman Adds Tool Repair
Tallman Moves Again
Tallman Expands Again
Tallman Becomes an ESOP
Tony Bozell sold Tallman Equipment to employees and formed the ESOP.