Area resident Thomas Dauterman founded Thomas Welding & Machine, Inc. Located in Chico, California within the agriculture rich Sacramento Valley, in 1970. With a humble beginning in a small rented shop, the business of fabricating and repairing farm equipment flourished and soon outgrew its facility. In 1974 property was purchased and the first building erected at its current location. Throughout the years, Thomas Welding has expanded its facilities and product line to keep pace with demands of the agriculture industry. In 1976 Thomas Hydraulics & Hardware was established to better serve the needs of area farmers. In addition to portable belt conveyor systems Thomas has developed and manufactures one of the most efficient and innovative nut harvesting systems in the industry: `the bankout system.` Today, employing approximately 65 people with nearly 78,000 square feet of shop area located on 6 acres, Thomas runs and maintains one of the largest machine shops north of Sacramento.
Although the agriculture industry continues to be a major source of revenue, Thomas continues to experience growth in the fabrication and repair market, servicing utilities, municipalities, and commercial businesses of all types.
While the primary source of business and sales continue to be within California and several western states, including Hawaii, Thomas also enjoys a growing export market with sales in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Chile.