Tidewater Equipment Company began in 1947 as a manufacturer of timber harvesting equipment such as the "wheel saw" and other devices and machines. Charles Whittle, the company's founder, established the company in response to a need to move timber from the woods to the mill. Under Whittle's leadership, the company quickly became an early leader in the mechanization of timber harvesting.
Times changed and additional companies were developing other equipment. Tidewater became a distributor of equipment made by Bombardier, and soon after, of equipment manufactured by Franklin Equipment Company. By the 1980s, Tidewater had moved completely from manufacturing to distribution and grown from a single office location in Brunswick, Georgia to its now 20 offices in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Alabama.
Three men were instrumental during the time of Tidewater's major growth and development: Tom Morgan (Thomas Gillis Morgan Jr.), Ken Trowbridge Jr., and Ben Reavis, who acquired the company from Whittle's widow after Charles passed away. Determined to adhere to Charles Whittle's founding philosophy of offering exceptional customer service as well as taking care of the employees, the three men took on leadership roles and built an even stronger company from the foundation that had been set.
Over 70 years later, the company continues to expand its product offerings while maintaining its family values. Tidewater is now one of the world's largest Tigercat dealers and in 2015 received #1 Morbark dealer status. In 2019, Tidewater has expanded to include Case IH and Case CE to serve the agriculture and construction industries. The company remains committed to its customers, its suppliers, and the industry.