Tioga Air Heaters all began one day when Ernest "Goober" Muckelrath, an oilfield worker in Tioga, North Dakota, grew tired of working in the bitter cold. Goober wanted to stay productive and comfortable no matter what, so he built his first air heater right in his garage. News of a worker with heat on his oil rig spread like wildfire, and the demand for air heaters exploded. This quickly became a legitimate business opportunity, and in 1961 Ernest established Tioga Air Heaters (originally known as Air Heaters Inc.) in the town of Tioga, ND. He knew from experience how to design heaters to work in the extreme cold, and how a heater breakdown could bring operations to a screeching halt. From the very beginning, Tioga heaters were built with safety, ruggedness, and reliability above everything else.
After their debut, Tioga heaters began to grow a reputation for being the air heater you'd want to use on oil fields. The company enjoyed successful operations into the early 80's, when Tioga Air Heaters was acquired by Flame Industries. Soon after, however, oil prices fell, the industry shrank, and Flame Industries went bankrupt. In 1983 Tioga was acquired by Waconia Manufacturing and joined a host of companies who all operated under an investment group called Crescent Industries.
It was under Waconia Manufacturing where the path was set for Tioga to grow to its full potential. Mike Lecceardone, a salesman at Waconia, took particular interest in Tioga heaters and began to sell the heaters in increasing numbers. Around this time a welder and assembler at Waconia, Terry Vos, grew increasingly involved with the manufacturing of Tioga Air Heaters, taking on roles such as installing and designing heater controls. Eventually Terry took on just about every responsibility outside of the office and inside the shop, proving himself instrumental to the growth of Tioga's business over the next several decades.
The demand for heat rose and sales expanded into new industries such as mining and utility power generation. Eventually winters became a hectic time for Waconia's Tioga division, and in 1990 Mike Lecceardone purchased Tioga Air Heaters to make it a standalone company. Tioga entered the rental market a year later, and the next several years continued the trend of success. The entry into the rental market also gave Tioga a unique competitive advantage: the maintenance of a rental fleet provided constant feedback on how to best improve heater performance and reliability. Just like Goober and his first air heaters, design choices were based on what did and didn't work out in the field.
While the Tioga brand grew over time, the 90's were not always so easy on Tioga. Changes between ownership temporarily put stress on the company's performance, but by 1999 Tioga Air Heaters was under the control of Bruce Wallace, the former VP of Sales. At the turn of the new millennium, however, Tioga was running full steam ahead and saw nearly a decade and a half of success and expansion. In 2013 the company was purchased by Mangrove Equity.
Two years after being acquired by Mangrove Equity, Tioga completed bolt-on acquisitions of Reliable Construction Heaters and Mobile Air, dramatically expanding its footprint and equipment availability. Then, in 2017, Resolute Industrial acquired Tioga Air Heaters and renamed the overall company to Mobile Air. Mobile Air would serve as Resolute's rental division, while Tioga Air Heaters became a separate manufacturing division. Today, we continue to design and manufacture heaters to the same standards of performance and reliability that built our reputation since 1961.
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