Our History - Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc.
Our Beloved Pat Hagenbuch 1942 - 2021

Our History

PHIL's accomplished tremendous things over the past 54 years! Through the hard work and dedication of the Associates of Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. and Welarco Fabrications, we have helped countless organizations move mountains since our founding in 1969, as we Simply Make Haul Trucks Better!


  • October 31, 2023 - Majority ownership of Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. is now controlled by Danette Hagenbuch Swank, the third generation of the founding family of Philippi-Hagenbuch. Danette is appointed Chief Executive Officer on November 1, 2023.


  • Philippi-Hagenbuch rolls out "PHILanthropy" initiative to help first responders during the Covid-19 pandemic by making and distributing thousands of "ear protectors" made with our 3D printers.


  • Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. kicks off yearlong 50th Anniversary Celebration: 1969 - 2019.
  • PHIL debuts new "Coil Carrier" product to its product line for steel mills, providing the ability to haul steel coils of up to 40 ton in size on the back of standard articulated off-highway trucks without the necessity of purchasing a specialty piece of equipment to do the job.
  • PHIL debuts new "Block Handler" body to its product line for marble and granite quarries. This new product provides a flat, non-skid surface for a fork-mounted loader to place blocks of up to 60,000 pounds each onto the rear of an articulated off-highway truck for transportation to loadout site from within mine.
  • Our new "Positive-Seal" Autogate® Tailgate is adapted from containers to off-highway trucks with three separate versions engineered and built for 100-ton off highway trucks. This new version of our tailgate is an evolution of our "Compression Tailgates" designed to contain 100% of liquid materials.


  • PHIL invents new version of Autogate® Tailgaet for use with standard roll-off containers to be used with the PHIL J-Hook system. The new tailgate provides a positive-seal, keeping the tailgate closed when raising or lowering the container onto and off of the chassis, while opening wide during dumping without driver-required intervention at the dump site.
  • PHIL begins offerin chassis extensions for articulated off-highway trucks.
  • PHIL delivers multiple custom HiVol® Rear Eject Bodies into power plant operation in Colorado to specifically haul flyash at a coal-fired power plant.
  • PHIL delivers first Rear Eject Body on a Doosan DA30-5 to a landfill in Laredo, Texas.


  • PHIL attends ConExpo-Con/AGG in Las Vegas in March 2017. Since our founding, PHIL has exhibited at every ConExpo-Con/AGG to take place and we're proud that we're a part of both the NSSGA and the Association of Equipment Manufactures, the associations that own and operate the expo.


  • Pat Hagenbuch was awarded the "Community Service Award" on May 17 at the Women to Women Luncheon sponsored by the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.
  • The PHIL Stemming Attachment has been designed for assisting mines in filling blasting holes with stemming material quickly and safely. The attachment goes onto the back of a PHIL Rear Eject Body and can be removed so the body can be used independently.
  • PHIL attended the MINExpo tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada in September 2016 marking attendance in every MINExpo to have ran since PHIL's founding in 1969. As an active participant in the National Mining Association, PHIL is happy to give back to the industry and association that works tirelessly to support mining activities in North America.


  • The first in a series of new Rear Eject attachments was built and shipped to a Gold mine in Canada - the PHIL Material Spreader attaches to the rear of a PHIL Rear Eject Body and spreads material of 2" < onto haul roads for additional grit in winter climates for traction, or to build and maintain haul roads with road conditioning material in the warmer months
  • Danette Swank, daughter of LeRoy Hagenbuch named President of Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. LeRoy Hagenbuch, P.E. to focus efforts on R&D and remain Chief Engineer. Hagenbuch family is happy to be able to have a third-generation family member continue to lead PHIL moving forward.


  • Sweden flag 2 PHIL Rear Eject Bodies began operating in Sweden.

  • nz flag PHIL Rear Eject Bodies began operating under the kiwi skies of New Zealand.

  • PHIL celebrates its 45th anniversary: 1969 - 2014.


  • Mexico flag PHIL begins delivery of a multi-unit Bottom Dump Trailer order to a premier salt harvesting operation in the Yucatan penninsula of Mexico.
  • An update was undertaken to revitalize the interior of the PHIL corporate office building in Peoria, IL in preparation of its 45th anniversary in 2014. New carpet, computers, workstation layout is among the updates to the inside of PHIL.
  • In preparation for PHIL's 45th anniversary in 2014, Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. invests in expanding and updating its manufacturing facility. WIth the additional utilization of approximately 15,000 square feet and the installation of a 2,000 ton brake press, PHIL is prepared for the manufacturing challanges of larger mining equipment and greater volume is needed.
  • September 18 - PHIL and Volvo CE signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement for PHIL to create custom truck bodies, trailers and other products including PHIL's patented Rear Eject Body for Volvo CE chassis. This global agreement allows PHIL to work with Volvo engineers and dealers to accomodate end users specific needs for their Volvo articulated haulers.
  • July 1, 2013 - Danette Swank was appointed President of Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. and Welarco Fabrications, Inc. She succeeds her father, LeRoy Hagenbuch in this role.
  • LeRoy Hagenbuch, P.E. remains active at PHIL as an Advisor to management, the Co-Founder and Chief Engineer.
  • Patent Numbers 8,457,833 and 8,442,715 were received; these inventions have to do with the diagnozes and health of a vehicle in addition to the collection of information to improve vehicle operations.
  • PHIL licenses its Water Tank designs and patents to Trinity Mining & Construction out of San Antonio, TX.
  • PHIL receives the trademark for the term Oil Sands® in relationship to off-highway truck and mining equipment.
  • The Hagenbuch family purchases an additional 23 acres of land connected to the original 29 acres of the PHIL campus achieving 52 acres. At the same time, the Village of Bartonville was looking for a location to build their new Central Fire Station. Being civic minded and wanting first-responders as close to PHIL as possible, the Hagenbuch family largely donated five (5) acres of the property to the Village of Bartonville for the new fire station. The new Central Fire Station is expected to be completed in early 2014. 


  • flag-canada We like Canada, eh! PHIL delivered multiple ultra-class 400 ton payload capacity PHIL HiVol® Bodies into the Canadian Oil Sands as well as Iron Ore mines.
  • Josh Swank was promoted to Vice President of Sales & Marketing and was inducted into the 40 Business Leaders Under Forty.


  • Danette Swank was inducted into the 40 Business Leaders Under Forty.
  • Applied for the following patents:
  • Patent Pending PHIL Body Lifting System debuts.


  • An order was received for the industry's first custom designed truck body exclusively for use in an Oil Sands mine of Ft. McMurray, AB Canada. With this order came PHIL's further expansion into the oil sands with the delivery of our patented HiVol® Oil Sands® Body.



  • flag-estonia Multiple Rear Eject Bodies were designed and built for Mercedes Benz 10-ton truck chassis used in an underground oil shale mine in Estonia. 



  • Despite the tragedies of 9/11, we are proud that PHIL equipment was choosen to help clean up the World Trade Center site in NYC. PHIL Auotgate® Tailgates on Cat D400E Series 2 articulated haulers helped to clean up the debris throughout the clean-up process.
  • Philippi-Hagenbuch introduced their own unique Water Tanks designed to be a safer alternative to the water tanks currently available on the market. The design maximized the tank size without overloading the truck chasis, minimized water surge, and offered an industry first: access doors from the outside of the tank to the inside, thus allowing free air and natural light to flow through the tank during maintenance. 


  • Danette Swank took on the challange of expanding the Welarco manufacturing plant by approximately 30%. Throughout this year, the facility grew from 40,000 square feet to just shy of 60,000 square feet.


  • Philippi-Hagenbuch re-introduces Rear Eject Bodies for ADT's to the industry. PHIL's unique design got rid of the rollers and bearings that bound up during their first foray into ejector body design and introduced a revolutionary chromium-carbide track and sled design that is simple to maintain and required no ongoing lubrication.


  • Philippi-Hagenbuch establishes its first motto: "Helping You Move Mountains®" which becomes a registered trademark officially in 2004.


  • The industries first Rear Eject Body was produced by Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. on a Volvo VBM articulated haul truck. Two units were made when LeRoy declared "Technology is not yet available to design and build a rear eject body simple to maintain. This product will go back onto the shelf until materials evolve that makes it feasible." Materials did evolve and the next Rear Eject Body built by PHIL was in 1999 and we've been building them and customized sizes and trailers utilizing PHIL designed rear eject technology since then.


  • Welarco Logo 4-09 PHIL welcomes Welarco Fabrications, Inc. to its campus on Plank Road with the opening of their new fabrication facility. This facility was custom-built to be able to fabricate all PHIL products from raw steel plate, thus minimizing the need for future outsourcing of cutting, forming or fabrication. The new 40,000 square foot facility is located adjacent to the PHIL corporate office.


  • A fire from a neighboring business severely impacted the original manufacturing facility of Welarco Fabrications, Inc. in Pekin, Illinois (a wholely owned subsidiary of Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc.) prompting PHIL to begin planning a new manufacturing facility closer to the new PHIL campus.


  • The administration building was completed on the newly purchased property located at 7424 W Plank Road, Peoria, IL. This building was designed to house the PHIL Administration, Sales, Marketing, IT, Intellectual Property, Installation and Engineering departments. Plans were under way to build the manufacturing facility across the parking lot.


  • Twenty-nine (29) acres of industrially zoned farm land on the south west corner of Peoria was purchased for the future campus of Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. and Welarco Fabrications, Inc.


  • L.B. (Phil) Philippi passes away. LeRoy Hagenbuch takes full charge of Philippi-Hagenbuch and his wife Pat takes an active role in the firm; Phil's wife Gladys continues to assist at PHIL on a part-time basis.


  • flag-australia PHIL goes "down under."  Our first product was sold into Australia through a partnership with Haviland Industries out of Knoxfield, Victoria Australia. While the Haviland family is no longer representing PHIL in Australia, we work together to this day on various projects. It was through this early partnership that PHIL received its entry into the Australian mining environment.


  • L.B. (Phil) Philippi and LeRoy G. Hagenbuch start Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. with a goal of building equipment for off-highway haul trucks. Originally headquartered in the basement of LeRoy's house, their first product, an invention of L.B.'s, was the Autogate® Tailgate.

Page updated August 27, 2019

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