2024 Cornwell Tool Rally celebrates its 105th anniversary

March 7, 2024
The Cornwell Tool Rally was filled with crowds of distributors from the first kickoff meeting till the final day, with over 600 distributors in attendance.

New tool storage colors, plans for a Mega Reunion, and even a marriage proposal were some of the highlights from the 2024 Cornwell Tool Rally in Denver, Colorado. 

Cornwell welcomed more than 600 tool dealers and 210 vendors to attend education sessions and talk tools over three days. Marking 105 years of business, Cornwell announced new products big and small. The hottest new equipment?  

“I’m going to say it’s tied between the Platinum Plus boxes and the carts,” said Don Russell, Cornwell’s director of marketing. 

The Platinum Plus line of toolboxes come in multiple sizes up to 84” wide and feature stainless steel surfaces and 12 colors. Cornwell also released them in limited-edition colors, including Purple Rain and a Graphite-Gunmetal combination. 

A 36” line of carts also included some limited-edition colorways, including a black-on-black “shadow” motif with Cornwell drag car badging. The carts come with five or six drawers and have an emphasis on USA assembly and manufacturing. Russell said that customers show increasing demand for USA manufacturing. 

Cornwell also announced new 3/8” flex-head ratchets in long and extra-long sizes. These ratchets feature seven-position flex ability for 180 degrees of maneuverability. 

Finally, Cornwell announced upgraded floor jacks with upgraded steel and strength. The jacks have been redesigned with an adjusted location for the lift arm pivot pinhole and trunnion bar link in the side plates, as well as a reduced length of the trunnion bar for more efficient use. 

Three quarters of the new products introduced at the Rally kickoff meeting came directly from dealer feedback, Russell said. It’s a testament to the company’s responsiveness, according to Andy Scott, Cornwell director of sales. 

“This show is 11 months since the last one,” Scott said. “And they've seen such a transformation in just that 11 months to things that they are confidently able to put on their trucks and sell.” 

“The show is going great,” said Tyrone Lewis, a Cornwell distributor since 2016. “This is my seventh or eighth show. It’s been a great learning experience.” 

Mega reunion

By August, dealers have sold through a lot of inventory and need a shot in the arm among colleagues, according to Keith McConnell, Cornwell franchise learning and development manager. The energy from the Rally early in the year tends to wear off. 

“Our dealers kept wanting more chances to get together beyond their districts,” Russell said. 

For that, Cornwell announced an early August event called the Mega Reunion. The event will include the networking, training, and vendor interactions of the Rally. But it’s also centered around a major drag racing event, Night Under Fire. 

Night Under Fire takes place Aug. 2-3 at the Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. And as the presenting sponsor, Cornwell is bringing its Mega Reunion to the drag strip to incorporate a little motorsport into the professional training. 

Training in focus

McConnell, the franchise learning and development manager, said that his core message to dealers has been the importance of support at all levels and stages of dealer development. To that end, he said the company has rolled out a more robust training offering. 

“This past January of 2023, we started an enhanced training program that was still in Zoom until September, and then we went back in person,” McConnell said. “It allows us to have more personal contact with the dealers to not only see what’s going on but give them support.” 

This has been a successful program, but the programming isn’t set in stone. McConnell said that they receive feedback all the time and make tweaks to the training in order to stay relevant and responsive to the challenges dealers face. 

It’s all to help drive the growth that Cornwell is seeing. Steady growth is the top goal from Cornwell HQ. Scott said that while they saw around 15 new dealers in Q1 2023, that number is around 40 this year. 

“We have markets around the country that we’re continuing to develop,” Scott said. 

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