Much more well known for their suspensions, Hendrickson actually started as a truck manufacturer and built their own trucks for several decades, but would eventually sell off that aspect of the business. Though somewhat renamed and specializing in different vehicles now, the name lives on...
I've occasionally run across photos of Hendrickson trucks over the years, and happened to run across one at a show a couple years back, and now I've dug into the (rather sparse) history. I've always liked oddballs, and Hendrickson definitely fits the bill, being a small sort of defunct manufacturer.
The History -
Henrickson was started in 1913 by Magnus Hendrickson in Chicago, as the Hendrickson Motor Truck Company.
Magnus would build and sell trucks for the next 13 years, but in 1926 his son, Theodore Hendrickson I would develop the first tandem suspension, the "walking beam" suspension. At first, the Hendrickson walking beam was exclusive to them and International Harvester, from whom Hendrickson would buy parts to build their trucks (the truck in the photo has an IH cab).
Hendrickson would relocate to Lyons, Illinois in 1948.
The suspension business would take off for Hendrickson, and they would expand by acquiring suspension companies all over the world.
In 1978 they would be acquired themselves by the Boler Company.
They would continue building trucks and suspenions until 1985, when the truck manufacturing division was sold to the Antonne Group of Wyoming, Michigan.
Hendrickon would continue as a leading suspension manufacturer, and the Antonne Group would rebrand the truck manufacturing division as HME (Hendrickson Mobile Equipment). HME would start exclusively building custom fire trucks, which they still do today.
HME would introduce a couple innovations to the fire apparatus sector - the tilt-cab cabover chassis (which is standard on all fire trucks now), and the first CNG fire truck.
Not a particularly long history today - there's typically very little historical knowledge available on truck manufacturers, specifically the smaller defunct companies. What is available is often spread around in bits and pieces. But I hope you enjoyed what I was able to gather here - I certainly enjoyed learning about it!