The AEM Hall of Fame announces its 2012 inductees
By Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Nov. 14, 2012 - The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has announced the 2012 inductees into the AEM Hall of Fame, which recognizes and celebrates outstanding individuals in the off-road equipment industry, and their legacy of innovation, service and leadership. Their vision and hard work have been critical to advancing global economic and social prosperity; their legacy strengthens continued industry contributions to improving our quality of life, and serves as an inspiration for tomorrow’s leaders.
By Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Nov. 14, 2012 — The Association of Equipment
Manufacturers announces the 2012 inductees into the AEM Hall of Fame,
which recognizes and celebrates outstanding individuals in the off-road
equipment industry, and their legacy of innovation, service and leadership.
Their vision and hard work have been critical to advancing global economic and
social prosperity; their legacy strengthens continued industry contributions to
improving our quality of life, and serves as an inspiration for tomorrow’s leaders.
The 2012 inductees into the AEM Hall of Fame are:
Deere (Deere & Company)
Brothers – Keith, Leonard and Mervel (Woods Equipment Company)
AEM Hall of Fame inductees have
been evaluated by an independent panel of industry experts on five criteria
that are vital to the health of the off-road equipment manufacturing industry:
1) innovation, 2) industry contributions, 3) leadership, 4) corporate
citizenship/social responsibility and 5) sustainability.
John Deere (Deere &
John Deere was a leader in his day in vision, innovation,
and improving the quality of life for his fellow citizens. The company marks
its 175th anniversary in 2012, recognizing the significant influence Deere has
had for almost two centuries in equipment manufacturing – an impact the Illinois blacksmith could not have imagined
when he was first compelled to create tools that have evolved into machinery
that helps build and feed the world.
“John Deere” has been synonymous with equipment almost
since John Deere moved from New England to Grand Detour, Illinois, where his skills as a blacksmith
were immediately in demand. Deere ultimately took his business to Moline, Illinois, which had access to better
transportation routes and essential energy sources.
If Deere could have seen the future in 1837 when he created
his innovative self-scouring plow for Midwestern farmers, he would have been
amazed and proud to see that his namesake company would become a world leader
in machinery manufacturing.
Deere built a global company on the core values of
integrity, quality, commitment and innovation – one that produces machinery
with a myriad of applications in agriculture, construction, forestry and turf
care. John Deere made an everlasting mark and earned his place in the AEM Hall
of Fame through the development of equipment manufacturing to its status today as a key contributor to our economic well-being and
quality of life.
Pierre Bataille (Poclain)
Pierre Bataille was an industry innovator and a responsible
leader, contributing to economic development in France while improving quality of life for
his workforce and the industry.
The technology he helped develop, high pressure hydraulics,
played a part in the huge increase in productivity for agricultural works,
handling operations and earthmoving. He was a pioneer in development of the
hydraulic excavator. He was the instigator to use production assembly lines for
excavators in the early 1960s, increasing production and reliability; his
concept of the swing drive and boom remain a standard today.
A leader in social responsibility, Bataille offered
interest-free loans to his employees, a majority of whom were former farmers
living in poor conditions who then more easily became homeowners. He developed
a technical training center to provide workers and excavator operators with job
training. Bataille established one of the first staffed company cafeterias for
his employees and a network of buses to safely transport them to and from work;
while not a widespread practice in the 1960s, Bataille instituted
noise-reduction measures in the plant and on excavators.
Bataille’s civic service included leadership of French
standardization and business development organizations, and he also served as
president of the Committee for European Construction Equipment. In 1990,
Bataille was awarded the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor by the French
government in recognition of his entrepreneurial leadership.
Wood Brothers – Keith, Leonard and Mervel (Woods Equipment
Keith, Leonard and Mervel Wood were problem solvers, risk
takers and entrepreneurs who used these skills to fuel their drive for
inventing and manufacturing. As pioneers in the development of rotary cutters
and mowers, the Wood brothers helped create a prevalent product category for
the short line industry.
One invention that dramatically affected the agricultural
industry is the company’s iconic Batwing rotary cutter, known
generically as the flex-wing rotary cutter, first shipped in 1963. Other key
inventions include the patented single V-belt drive system, used on virtually
all residential and commercial mowers in use today,
and the single attachment pin blade retention system, a design still used on
most Woods cutters today.
The brothers sought to adapt their equipment to all types,
sizes and models of tractors, including two adaptors that were predecessors of
today’s standard 3-point hitch. In the 1970s, the
Wood brothers elevated product support to a new level, ensuring sales and
service were available across the country in the days before overnight
Starting the company after World War II in Oregon, Illinois, the Wood brothers contributed
greatly to job creation and development of skilled labor in the region,
training thousands as welders, machinists, metal fabricators, painters,
engineers and office personnel. Sustainability for the brothers was always
about doing right, for example, metal scrap recycling (not widespread in the
’40s and ’50s).
Nominations for the next Hall of Fame will open in June 2013.