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A Story of American Ingenuity The GRADALL by James H Grant

cover photo

This book traces the evolution of the Gradall from the early Sloper, "Material Moving Device" to the current product line of agile, versatile, and powerful hydraulic excavators and industrial maintenance machines. The signature of the Gradall, the hydraulic telescopic triangular boom, symbolizes the innovation of Gradall Industries Inc. with its strong market presence and quality products. To many people, a telescopic boom hydraulic excavator is recognized and referred to as a Gradall; thanks to the dominance of the classic truck mounted telescopic boom hydraulic excavator that was developed by brothers', Ray and Koop Ferwerda, with their FWF Corporation in Beachwood, Ohio in 1944. When the Warner & Swasey Company of Cleveland, Ohio acquired the patents rights in 1946 and combined the Gradall with its global reputation as a leading industrial machinery manufacturer, the Gradall Division was formed, establishing the Gradall asthe nucleus of a future construction equipment product line. Since that time, Gradall Industries has evolved into a recognized global leader credited with the design and manufacture of hydraulic construction and industrial maintenance machinery.

Along with the growth of Gradall Industries came the acquisition and development of new and innovative products to meet the technology demands for equipment within the growing construction industry. Among those recognized acquisitions included the LOED Material Handler. This product line grew to over six different telescopic-boom handler models with the "Gradall" name in white lettering affixed to the Gradall-blue telescopic-booms on those machines. Another acquired lift product was the Lion Liftall product line of marine and construction rough-terrain straight-mast forklift trucks. The most recent addition to the Gradall portfolio of equipment is the VacAll product line of commercial vacuum trucks and street sweepers. All of these machines and other proprietary products developed by the company are well illustrated and profiled within the detailed text of this book.

For the first time, this published historical chronicle provides the reader with unique understanding of the company and the Gradall product line which only the experience of former employees and distributor personnel can provide. This book is both an accurate and fascinating story of a pioneering American company, its charismatic leaders, its innovative products, and its unique global market presence in construction, irrigation, transportation and steel production The text of the book is supported with a colorful collection of over 250 photographs and an appendix with 22 illustrations and charts. Within its 256 pages, the book is a rich historical account of seven decades that accurately describes the development of the Gradall product line and the evolution of Gradall Industries. Seven decades for the company have been impacted by expansive market acceptance and many challenges from economic recessions and product design technology within the equipment industry that caused increasing business competition. Despite the years of success and challenge, the Gradall continues to be unmatched for its versatility and productivity; and today, Gradall Industries as a member of the Alamo Group, Inc., continues with the posture of a strong industry leader.

Within the book there are the documented social and economic contributions that have occurred because of the operations of the Gradall business. Since 1950, the communities of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, have economically benefited from employment and revenue of Gradall Industries, Inc. Several chapters of this book, which describe the early history of the Gradall business operations, portray its association with other noted New Philadelphia companies and business leaders. They include: Westinghouse Electric Corporation; La-Del Conveyor and Manufacturing Company, (Howden Buffalo Inc.); the Nolan Company; Richard Rea; A. L. (Dutch) Schwab; Robert Rutledge, Sr. and John LaFountaine, Jr. The expansion of the manufacturing facilities and the growth of the Gradall product line also has benefited many industrial suppliers and service companies in Tuscarawas County and throughout the state of Ohio.

Few of the many manufacturers of construction equipment in operation during the 1940's remain in business today. This book describes how and why Gradall Industries has successfully continued in business plus the strategies this company has successfully undertaken to continually grow in an expanding and competitive market.

Code No. 015175, 256 pages, ISBN 9780692006672, $79.00

This item is listed under the following subjects:

Earthmoving & Construction  
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