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|THE HISTORY OF MONASHEE
Over the years, our commitment to quality custom metal fabrication has allowed us to confidently offer a wide range of products and services, from our early days as Kelowna Machine Shop, to our current level of manufacturing and repair services, to our own line of truck snow plow assemblies.
Monashee was originally started in 1935 by George Sexsmith, and was located in the 400 block of Lawrence Avenue behind an industrial supply store. The original name of the company was Kelowna Machine Shop. In the 1940s the company moved to what was then out of town to its present location at 1247 Ellis Street. The name was subsequently changed to Kelowna Machine Works around 1960, and then again in 1967 to Monashee Manufacturing Corporation Ltd.
In the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s the company provided repair service and manufacturing to the local economy. The majority of the work was for farms, sawmills, the City of Kelowna and most of the local businesses. One project of note would be the construction of the Athens 10 meter diving tower that was the hub of the Kelowna International Regatta.
In the mid 1950s Kelowna Machine Shop started manufacturing Fork Lifts by modifying International Trucks. By 1960, new International Trucks were purchased for this purpose. In 1961 Kelowna Machine Works started manufacturing 4, 6, 8 and 10-ton Fork Lift trucks from scratch including all hydraulic and steel components.
In 1965 Kelowna Machine Works started making the famous Timber Toter Skidder. At that time, some purchases were made direct from Detroit Diesel and Clark Equipment in the USA. This would be unheard of in todays markets because of such low volumes. It may be noted that a 4-53 Detroit engine or a 17600 Clark axle was purchased laid into Kelowna for $1,100 each! We shipped skidders to Alberta, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California and as far away as Malaysia and Australia. Also in 1965, we started manufacturing Mobile Cranes of which the local Western Star plant purchased one of the first units.
In 1968 Monashee started manufacturing Root Rakes for northern BC for use in primary land clearing. In 1980 through to 1982 we manufactured approximately 200 Inland Mobile Platforms (IMPs), a product similar to the Girette used in the orchards for pruning and picking fruit.
In 1982 we stopped making mobile equipment and concentrated on secondary manufacturing for the trucking, agricultural, construction and forestry industries. We have provided parts and service for Western Star Trucks, Newnes Machine, Pacific Truck, Riverside Forest Products, Rogers Foods, Gorman Bros., Doppelmayr, Stanco, Strongco, Hook Up, Kelowna Industrial Plastics, Slimline Manufacturing, Similkameen Steel, Pacific Safety Products, Emcon, Northside Steel and Kelowna Flightcraft to mention a few. Some of the products manufactured were scanners, Class 8 truck parts, ski lift towers, structural steel, railings, hydraulic cylinders, concrete mules, slipforms, troughs, fifth wheel saddles, railway wheels and storage tanks.
In the 1990ís Monashee started actively producing its own line of truck snow plow assemblies. To date we have produced over 400 Under Body Plows for highway and urban snow removal. Our heavy duty under body scraper-plow survives the most demanding and punishing highway use and is still efficient for use on urban streets and rural roads. Featuring long life and low maintenance costs, our truck snow plow assembly has a proven track record of success.
Monashee has invested in new equipment and upgraded facilities in 2005 to expand our capacity and capabilities. Our new CNC shop features a dual pallet four axis horizontal machining centre and turning capability with live tooling and automatic bar feeding with the state-of-the-art PUMA CNC lathe.
In early 2008 we acquired a HyDef plasma table, with an 8 x 24' bed.
The company has supplied and serviced local, provincial and export markets from its present location in Kelowna since its incorporation and is the oldest established machine shop in Kelowna.
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