Pruitt Machinery, Inc. was established in 1971 by Howard Pruitt in Hickory, North Carolina as a woodworking machinery sales company. Operating from the basement of his house, Mr. Pruitt employed one service man and focused on selling new American built machinery lines to the local furniture industry in Western North Carolina.
Pruitt Machinery’s main office, showroom, and service building, (2000 to present)
Pruitt Machinery’s Hickory warehouse facilities, (2000 to present)
Pruitt Machinery’s showroom
Mr. Pruitt moved operations from his basement to a “Sales” trailer, and in short order, hired additional staff to cover all of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee, and expanded his machinery offerings with imported machinery lines from England, Japan, Germany, and Italy, and later out of necessity began trading, selling, and servicing second-hand machinery.
In 1975 Howard purchased and moved operations to a 15,000 square foot warehouse/office facility below to become a true “brick & mortar” comprehensive full-service woodworking machinery dealer.
Pruitt Machinery’s office and warehouse facility, (1975 to 2000)
Prior to establishing Pruitt Machinery, Mr. Pruitt, a North Carolina State graduate, worked as a machinery sales representative for Noscoe Lewis Woodworking Machinery and when Noscoe passed away in 1965, Howard and fellow sales representative Johnny Johnson partnered to form Tri-South Machinery to continue offering the machinery sales lines from Nosco Lewis Woodworking Machinery in North and South Carolina. Tri-South operated for several years until Howard and Johnny decided to part ways and form their own machinery sales companies. Howard’s Pruitt Machinery focused on new machinery sales and Johnny’s J&G Machinery focused on second-hand machinery sales. Both businesses still thrive today as a testament to both men!
Pruitt Machinery at the IWF & Greensboro Woodworking Machinery Shows
In 1992, Howard extended a minority partnership to Jeff Gilchrist, a Western Carolina University graduate and 15-year salesman with Pruitt Machinery, who purchased the company outright in 1995. Jeff moved operations to larger facilities in 2000 and operated the company until 2017, at which time, Kip Place, an Appalachian State graduate and 20-year employee, purchased the company and currently serves as President.
For over 50 years, Pruitt Machinery has adapted to accommodate the ever-changing needs of the woodworking industry.