The founder of Kochel Equipment Co Inc., Douglas C. Kochel Sr., started his business in 1976 after working in the appliance department of Sears for a number of years followed by a few years of working with a partner who got him into pressure washers.
Pressure washers weren’t a staple in most businesses back then but they were gaining popularity. In the early 80s, the German company Kärcher was starting to make their name in the US as a leader in the pressure washer field and approached Doug to be a dealer for them. He split with his partner to be a sole proprietor and took on the brand, which was very successful.
From the beginning, Doug made his business a family affair, which is still strong today. His wife, Bonnie, helped run the business and all six of his children (five sons and one daughter) have been involved in the business at one time or another.
They all have picked up his business sense and are successful in their own ventures. Doug’s second and youngest sons Tom and Jeremy and his daughter Danielle continue to run and operate the business in his absence. His wife still helps out as well.
Doug passed away on March 29, 2016, at the age of 73. His business sense and mechanical ability afforded him to be successful in his business to be able to pursue his passion for cars, local dirt track racing, hunting, fishing, and traveling. He was an avid hunter and went on two safaris in Africa.
Doug was dedicated to customer service, taking the time to help customers by sharing his knowledge and experience with pressure washers to help them with the use and care of pressure washers, whether the customer was a home owner or a commercial user.