A History of Innovation & Loyalty

Like many innovative products, the story of Gray Manufacturing begins with necessity. While operating a tire shop in St. Joseph, Missouri, J.H. Gray encountered the daily challenge of quickly and efficiently changing or repairing a tire. Before long, the innovative mind of J.H. Gray was hard at work, and he secured his first patent in 1921.

In 1952, J.H. Gray and his son, Joe, founded Gray Manufacturing, offering an air end lift jack that would change the automotive repair industry. Their brand quickly gained recognition as Gray lifting equipment became a fixture in service stations, car dealerships and auto repair shops. They soon included truck lifts for heavy-duty trucks in their product line.

Legacy & Leadership

You’ve heard that America runs on oil. It may be more accurate to say that America runs on trucks, and those trucks run on Gray Manufacturing. Since 1952, Gray Manufacturing has supported the truck repair and maintenance industry with the highest quality service equipment.

Now a third-generation family-owned business, Gray Manufacturing was started by J. H. Gray and his son, Joe Gray. Their simple, yet reliable air end lift jack quickly became an essential for car dealers, service stations, automotive repair and tire shops. A revolutionary “try it before you buy it” approach ensured that Gray Manufacturing soon had a reputation for quality and innovation.

Gray Manufacturing’s products eventually included the service of heavy-duty trucks, and the company became known for quality equipment for the heavy-duty truck service industry. An investment in a Gray Manufacturing product guaranteed that truck service shops could offer uninterrupted, excellent service to their customers.

The company’s ongoing success is managed by the grandson of J.H. Gray and son of Joe Gray: Pete Gray, CEO. In his role at the helm of Gray Manufacturing, Pete Gray continues the legacy of its founders, providing high-quality equipment with a focus on unparalleled service after the sale.

Joe Gray Founder

Joe founded Gray Manufacturing in 1952 with his father, J.H. Gray. Currently, he serves on the company’s Board of Directors as Chairman Emeritus. Joe has numerous product patents to his name, the most recent awarded in 2014, and he continues to help guide the company with his entrepreneurial vision.

Pete Gray CEO

Pete Gray serves as the third generation of Gray family ownership and leadership. Starting in the family business in 1989, Pete has held many different roles, to include CEO since 2003. As CEO and an involved owner, he assures the continuity and consistency of the Gray heritage that continues to make the customer successful.

Sterett “Stet” Schanze President

Stet Schanze has been with Gray Manufacturing since 2001 serving in various capacities and has over 25 years of executive level management experience. As President, since 2003, he oversees the overall day-to-day operations and leads the strategic direction of the company. He is the immediate past Chairman and current member of the Board of Directors of the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) which pursues a mission of promoting safe design, construction, installation, inspection and use of automotive lift products.

Todd Michalski Vice President - Sales and Marketing

Todd Michalski came to Gray Manufacturing in 2008 with over 15 years of heavy duty truck facility operations, marketing and sales experience. As Vice President of Sales and Marketing he oversees all sales efforts to include direct, distribution, export and private label. He also directs all tradeshow activity, internet commerce and company marketing functions.

Michael Hurst Vice President - Manufacturing

Mike Hurst has been with Gray Manufacturing since 2002. Mike has over 20 years of manufacturing operations management experience, serving in several different capacities. As Vice President of Manufacturing, he oversees all plant manufacturing activities to include production planning and purchasing functions as well as all facilities maintenance duties.

Raymond Karleskint Vice President - Engineering

Ray Karleskint started with Gray Manufacturing in 1979. Ray has served Gray in many capacities during his tenure. He has been instrumental in Marketing, Customer Support and Product Development. As Vice President of Engineering, he oversees Gray’s Engineering and Quality departments.


We have had three of the high-rise transmission jacks for over 40 years. They are used several times a day and very dependable. The only service they have required is seal replacement as maintenance to keep them in like-new operating condition. I highly recommend Gray products.
- Steve Lambert, Reliable Chevrolet

Our Mission

To design, manufacture, sell, and service with pride innovative, high quality, and reliable professional service equipment for the automotive, truck and service vehicle industries.

Our Vision

Gray Manufacturing, the ultimate choice globally for value, service and innovation in the lifting and service equipment industry.

Our Values

  • Exist to serve our customer.
  • Pride in our USA manufacturing, workmanship and ingenuity.
  • Family-owned, operated and oriented work environment.
  • Encourage and provide an environment which fosters trust, teamwork, and personal growth.
  • Involvement and leadership within our community.

At Gray Manufacturing, your ability to offer your customers the highest level of service is the first priority. From the initial purchase to service after the sale, Gray Manufacturing takes pride in providing high-quality, innovative service equipment supporting all sizes of transport and service vehicles

Gray Manufacturing equipment is an investment in a dependable, quality product. This means that while you may pay a little more initially, you’re investing in a premium product. Gray Manufacturing products are designed to endure year after year of harsh conditions in your shop environment, providing years of uninterrupted productivity.

Gray Manufacturing is proud to offer products that are made in the United States, celebrating American ingenuity in the manufacturing and workmanship of quality lifting and service equipment. That pride extends to a personal level, where an environment of trust, teamwork and personal growth are hallmarks of the Gray Manufacturing work experience.