The Wiggins Story
Wiggins Lift Co., Inc. is a fully integrated manufacturer of rough terrain and industrial forklifts. With state of the art design capabilities the company satisfies customer specific material handling needs using a Customer/Wiggins Team concept to uniquely design and configure the right material handling system for the user.
The company, a family owned and operated corporation located in Oxnard, California, had its beginning just after World War II. During the war Mel Wiggins had worked at the Long Beach shipyard using his natural mechanical ability and his skills as a master welder, metal fabricator and machinist to help build ships for the war effort. When the war ended Mel and his wife, Hattie, decided to move to Ojai, California where there were employment opportunities for Mel’s skills in the oil fields and farming business.
After moving to Ojai, Mel began supplying the oil industry and the agriculture community with various mechanical services. As Mel’s capabilities became better known, he found it advantageous to move to the neighboring city of Oxnard, California. In 1953 the business was incorporated as Wiggins Welding and Machine, Inc and continued to grow by providing services to the construction trades as well as the oil industry and agriculture businesses. Mel invented, designed and manufactured many material handling innovations for the farmers and ranchers in Ventura County. The company was frequently asked to service and repair many different types of equipment, particularly forklifts. Mel often remarked that much of the equipment was so poorly designed that “you had to turn them upside down to work on them”, particularly the forklifts. This led to the design of the first Wiggins forklift – a rough terrain forklift that was powerful, versatile, durable and easy to service – ideal for applications in construction, agriculture and the oil fields. The first unit was manufactured and sold in the mid 1960′s and the name of the company was changed to Wiggins Lift Co., Inc. With this new direction, Mel coined a company slogan that is, in effect, a brief, simple but powerful and complete mission statement… “Engineered for the owner, designed for the operator”.
Using this statement as its creed, the company has continued to grow and expand the products it offers. Now, under the leadership of Mike Wiggins, Mel’s son, assisted by Hattie Wiggins, his mother, Paul Hurbace, his brother-in-law, Michele Wiggins – McDowell (Hattie’s granddaughter) and other family members, Wiggins Lift Co., Inc. is one of the most innovative and versatile designers and manufacturers of marina, rough terrain, industrial and special application forklifts. Anywhere a unique material handling system approach is needed, Wiggins, uses its “state-of-the-art” engineering design and manufacturing capability, to quickly provide a unique, cost-effective solution. The results of the company’s Wiggins + Customer Design Team philosophy is seen in many industries — boat handling, stevedoring, agriculture, construction and mining.