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Page 2 Contractors World Vol 2 No 7

Editorial Comment

Researching content for thi s i ssue, and reading the announcement from Caterpillar that the name ‘Bucyrus’ is to be conf ined to the archives made me think “Yet another iconic name has disappeared”.

The loss of such names was highlighted when I dec ided to look through my archives for August 1985 when I reviewed an exhibiton that had taken place in Paris. Today it is called Intermat, but prior to that it was called Expomat.

Although some of these names have been retained in one format or another many have gone for ever. Who remembers these? There is a review of the French company Albaret; the wheel loader company, Clark Michigan which was merged into Volvo; Grove Coles and Potain now part of Manitowoc Group. What about Jones Cranes, Aveling Barford dump truck, wheel loaders and compactors and International Hough Dresser? Massey Ferguson, and even great names like Poclain - ofen credited with inventng the hydraulic excavator were also reviewed. As was Vibromax who launched their split drum innovation - today, it is part JCB. Whatever happened to Bitelli, Benfra and other Italian companies?

Even then, others had already faded into the history books, the most well known, probably, being Ransom and Rapier and Ruston Bucryus who made their products so durable that many draglines can stll be found working in gravel pits. What would a modern operator make of all those levers, ropes and virtually open cabs, which were then considered the height of luxury. However, as an industry, we are always reinventng ourselves. Although we have lost many iconic names, they have been replaced by others that everyone recognises today - Komatsu, Kobelco, Hitachi, Tadano, Kawasaki to name just a few from Japan. Now Chinese names are growing stronger - Sany, LiuGong, Zoomlion. etc.

Ever changing, increasing more challenging times for the ‘oldies’ such as Caterpillar, JCB, Case, Liebherr and Atlas Copco whose survival has been based on adaptng to the changes taking place and contnuing to be pioneers and not afraid to stll innovate and invest in latest technology. How many of today ‘top names’ will survive the next 30 years?

Published by VVV Limited Publisher: Roger Lindley Editor Roger Lindley Editorial Assistant: Colleen Lindley

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