Derek Weaver and Ken Thompson founded the Golf-Lift® division of Derek Weaver Company, Inc. in 1991.
Ken is a veteran in the automotive service equipment field with over 40 years of experience. He is well known throughout the lift industry for his ability to critique the operational functions of lifting equipment and their productive applications for the operator. Among his most significant work includes the introduction of the asymmetric 2-column above ground lift to the United States while President of the Group 10 Import Company. The asymmetric quickly became the productivity standard here in the U.S.A. and is now the #1 seller of all automotive lift manufacturers.
Ken also influenced the beginning of another top seller when he encouraged the design of the 4-column wheel alignment lift to enable alignment service for the longer wheel base pick-up trucks along with 4-wheel alignment capability for cars. This innovation along with 4-wheel adjustable suspensions literally put an end to the wheel alignment pits in the early 80's.
Derek has over 40 years of experience in the automotive service equipment field and 27 years in the turf equipment field. His automotive background includes certifications in both sales and service of computer wheel alignment systems, computer wheel balancing, brake lathes, tire changers, refrigerant management & recycling stations and all lifting equipment above and below ground. His turf equipment background began with the creation of the turf specific Golf-Lift line.
It was Ken who first discovered the need of a lifting system for the turf industry and asked Derek to assist in the investigation. At the time there were only 2 production lifts available to the turf industry for the servicing of turf equipment. Neither unit was designed to perform at a level suitable to their standards. The lifts would only raise a few feet off the floor, had low capacities and many obstacles for the technician to work around. One company even offered a stool to get down on because of the short lifting height. These lifts simply did not come close to providing full coverage of all turf equipment and forced the technician to stay on the ground.
After thorough investigation and with the input of some local superintendents (special thanks to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth and past Superintendent Tom Werner) they both realized that they could offer so much more without increasing the cost. It was at a visit to the GCSAA show in New Orleans (1991) that a decision was made to start the Golf-Lift line. With a cocktail napkin and a few preliminary drawings the first Full-Rise (72" lifting height) Golf-Lift was born.
Many standards have been set by Golf-Lift with others only following. The GL-6 was "The First" production lift to offer total turf equipment coverage with 6,000-lbs of capacity and 6 feet of lifting height. Next came the GL-12 with 12,000-lbs. of capacity and the ability to handle all turf equipment plus trucks up to 172" wheelbase. Now the patented and certified GL-9 with the Tire-Wedge turf arm system is the flagship of the Golf-Lift line (special thanks to Preston Trail Golf Club in Dallas, Superintendent Alan Houdek, Chuck and Gab for their assistance). The GL-9 takes up the least amount of space and provides the most open access to the equipment of any turf equipment lift. The flexibility of the GL-9 remains unmatched with extended capability of handling trucks and utility vehicles by the frame for wheels-free service.
The GL-9's patented design is a great example of the tradition and philosophies shared by Derek and Ken. It is with great respect for the technician and his maximum productivity and performance that gives us the Golf-Lift line.
It is our mission that the Golf-Lifts will make life a lot easier for the superintendents and technicians that maintain the magnificent landscapes that give us pause and that they will continue to gain the respect and credit they deserve.