Brad Meacham - Chief Mechanic

June 20, 2024

November will mark the 22nd anniversary of Brad Meacham's career at PJ Hoerr. He’s been the lifeline of PJ Hoerr’s machinery, vehicles, and tools since he started with them.


Brad was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois until he was about 12 years old before he and his family moved to Edelstein, IL and attended Princeville schools for the remainder of his childhood. During his early years, Brad spent his days with his grandparents on their livestock farm. He was his grandfather’s right-hand man in all things related to chores. From bailing hay, to walking and feeding pigs, he did it all. After the time he’d spent on his grandparents’ farm, he realized the knack he had for fixing things.


“If you wanted to fix something, you could just take it all apart because, hey, it’s already broke.”


One of his hobbies growing up was fixing motorcycles and cars with his friends. They considered themselves “Motor Heads.” He said his favorite car he’s ever had was a 1974 Ford Bronco that he drove all the way home to Peoria after purchasing it in Arizona. It was featured twice in the Four-Wheeler Magazine after tipping over in an offroad jamboree in Pittsfield, IL.


When Brad turned 18, he attended Illinois Central College in pursuit of a career in Welding. He was struggling to find the need for welders in the Peoria Area. That brought him to Sydney, Nebraska to work in cutting and edging. After about 7 years, he thought he might as well come back home to Peoria. Along the way, he thought of his childhood best friend, who also happened to be the shop manager at PJ Hoerr. To Brad’s surprise, they needed a new mechanic.


Brad jumped right into the role and found out quickly he fit right in at PJ. He worked his way around all kinds of machinery, like jobsite lifts and handheld power tools. After so much time fixing these kinds of tools, he could do it with his eyes closed. Literally.


“One day I was in the shop, and it was a slow day here, so I took a TS 1400 Concrete saw and I tried to see how far I could get putting it back together with my eyes closed. I got to the carburetor and had to open them.”


At PJ Hoerr he’s considered the man that can fix anything, an essential part to how the company operates. Looking back on his 22 years, he’s grown up with PJ Hoerr. He plans to retire in the near future, but believes he’ll never be able to really leave.


“It’s just a great place to work.”