A Brief History of RILCO

RILCO started as Rock Island Fuels Company in 1927. Steve Wagner purchased the company in 1979 and began operations as Rock Island Lubricants or RILCO. Unexpectedly, Steve passed away in 1995. Just 18 months later in 1997, a devastating fire destroyed the company’s main office building and packaging distribution center. During the very next business day, RILCO continued to operate delivering product to their customers. In 1997, the office and packaging building was rebuilt. In 2001, RILCO opened their Peoria sales and distribution center. In 2002, a new distribution, packaging, and bulk plant was built in Rock Island, IL. Also in 2002, RILCO started RILCO Fluid Care (RFC) to offer environmental Preventative Maintenance and Field Reliability Management services. In 2004, RILCO opened their third distribution center in Des Moines, IA. In 2005, the company added new sales and administrative offices on the grounds of the Rock Island property. These expansions have allowed us to expand direct delivery service to the states of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri and Minnesota.

Timeline: After the fire

1997Rock Island Lubricants Inc. rebuilds its office and packaging building.
1998RILCO begins its private label business for Vermeer. Today, its private labels are distributed to 20 companies and shipped worldwide.
2001RILCO begins oil reclamation project on-site — recycling and refining oil back to its original specification for industrial customers.
2002The first new 15,000-square-foot warehouse is built at 1305 1st St., Rock Island, on land purchased from the city.
2004The company opens a third distribution center in Pella, Iowa.
2005Company purchases Rock Island property near its home office that had housed Greenleaf Construction.
2007RILCO purchases multi-million-dollar distribution facility in Peoria, Ill., from Shell Pennzoil.
2009The company begins co-packing for several area businesses, including Kone and Atlas Copco.
2010A third warehouse is built at 1301 1st St. in Rock Island, IL.
2012Launch of RILCO Services Division
2013New Facility in Pella, IA opens.
2016Rilco opens new aftermarket distribution center in downtown Rock Island, IL
2019Rilco opens new distribution center in Romeoville, IL

RILCO has grown to be one of Shell Oil’s largest National Wholesalers and has the distinguished honor of being recognized as a Shell Alliance Distributor. RILCO’s ever growing product lines, partnerships, and services offerings includes lubricants, chemicals, metal working fluids, environmental services, predictive maintenance, custom blending and packaging. RILCO has won many customer, supplier, and industry awards for outstanding sales, quality, and service.

RILCO continues to grow adding new products and services for its customers carrying award winning products from Shell, Pennzoil, Quaker State, Total, Royal Purple, and many more.