A Modern Company with humble beginnings...
Innovation: this word has been the touch point of A-OX Welding Supply since its beginning 73 years ago as Dakota Welding Supply. Since the 1950’s, A-OX has been one of the largest, most complete distributors of industrial gas and welding supply in the upper Midwest. Today, A-OX Welding Supply comprises 7 locations in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Iowa with a headquarters and central warehouse in Sioux Falls, SD. We have our own fleet of bulk tankers and delivery trucks that service customers across a 5-state region including South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.
Dakota Welding Supply Company was founded in Watertown, SD in 1944. A year later, Sioux Welding Supply Company was founded in Sioux Falls, SD as an associated business handling the same lines of product as Dakota Welding Supply. In 1954, the businesses merged under the Dakota Welding Supply Company name and continued to serve eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota. By 1956, Dakota Welding Supply had three warehouses in Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Huron, SD, as well as a fleet of 11 trucks and numerous dealers throughout the region.
Harold Elliott founded A & B Welding Supply in 1959 in Rapid City, SD, when he decided to leverage his experience working in a welding garage to begin selling welding supplies and gases from his truck. His two oldest sons, Donald and Robert, joined him in the business, and it grew rapidly. When Harold and his sons had the opportunity to purchase Dakota Welding Supply--then based in Sioux Falls--they took it. Harold passed away in the Black Hills Flood of 1972 while trying to save his business. After his passing, Harold’s sons Donald and Robert owned and operated the businesses; Robert at Dakota Welding Supply in Sioux Falls, and Donald at A & B Welding Supply in Rapid City. In 1994, the name of the eastern business was changed from Dakota Welding Supply Company to A-OX Welding Supply Company, as the business of Dakota Welding Supply had grown greatly and expanded far beyond South Dakota’s borders.
In 2004, Donald’s sons, Thomas and Michael, purchased both businesses from Donald and Robert. Today, Michael runs A & B Welding Supply in Rapid City, and Thomas runs A-OX Welding Supply in Sioux Falls. They are proud to be the third generation to continue the family business. Since Thomas took the reins of A-OX Welding Supply, he has continued the vision of innovation, fully embracing state of the art technology to assure A-OX Welding Supply’s future in the 21st Century.
Thomas’ wife, Linda, has worked hard by his side for the last 35 years and also works at A-OX. Thomas and Linda’s children: Trenton Elliott, Tiffany Anderson, Terran Bergdale, and Tisha Rodgers are the fourth generation to work in the business, and play an integral part in A-OX Welding Supply’s continued growth and success.
In 2014, A-OX Welding Supply moved to its current location on Harlem Avenue in Sioux Falls. We now occupy a beautiful 46,000 square foot facility. The new location features a state of the art ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited specialty gas laboratory, an automated fill plant, and facilities for advanced gas cylinder testing and reconditioning. This exciting new facility allows us to dramatically increase our ability to serve current customers, as well as expand into serving new industries.
Today, our business includes the largest array of medical and scientific gases we’ve ever carried, specialty gases for lasers and other modern manufacturing processes, emissions testing, and robotics. We are the only producer of Purity Plus Specialty Gases in South Dakota--with the ability to serve anyone in the continental United States. We serve all of the major hospitals in Sioux Falls along with their affiliates across South Dakota and surrounding states. Our manufacturing customers include companies that make trailers, signs, paper products, windmills, fire trucks, aggregate processing equipment, livestock equipment, and much more!
A-OX Welding Supply has been a proud member of the Independent Welding Distributors’ Cooperative (IWDC) for years, which allows us to provide a complete line of welding supply, metalworking, medical gas handling, and industrial safety products for our customers at the best prices. We are also a member of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA), American Welding Society (AWS), National Propane Gas Association (NPGA). We are involved in our local communities through the Prairie Family Business Association, local Chambers of Commerce, South Dakota Retailers Association, South Dakota Petroleum and Propane Marketers Association (SDP2MA), and numerous educational partnerships.
The communities A-OX Welding Supply serves are important to us! We enjoy being a part of the communities surrounding each of our 7 stores, and delight in supporting local schools, sports teams, and fundraising organizations. Our first 72 years have been an amazing adventure, and we are looking forward to exploring new directions and continued growth in the future!