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Euclid Trucks: Once First, Still One of the Biggest

Trucks December 13, 2017

The Euclid Company of Ohio was in operation between the 1920’s and the 1950’s. It later became part of General Motors, and later acquired by the Hitachi Construction Company. Euclid Trucks produced heavy equipment for places like mines and quarries, specializing in dump trucks and scrapers that were made to move earth in large quantities in off-road settings, unlike other vehicles that were modified to be used off-road.

Originally, the Euclid Company was created by a father and his five sons, the Armington family, as the Euclide Crane and Hoist Company. The eldest, Arthur, eventually succeeded in persuading the rest of the family to turn the business from cranes to earth-moving, convinced that in the future more jobs would benefit from dump trucks and scrapers. Three very popular machines were built from the family’s prototypes to begin the new venture, and, just as Arthur imagined, the need was so great that the company even survived The Great Depression with little to no impact.

Euclid is known for producing the first 50-ton, 3-axle dump truck in 1951, as well as being the first to adopt the heavy duty Allison automatic transmission, and pioneered both the use of twin engines (Cummins diesel and then later Detroit diesel) and the high speed tractor belly dumper. They were also known for being the first major manufacturer to commercialize the articulated rubber tired loader, which is now used by everyone, especially the Caterpillar, Inc. brand.

The growing corporation was offered a deal by GM in the 1950’s, which was accepted in 1953. Though the Armington family continued working for GM and Euclid for the next several years, by 1960 the entire family had retired from the business.

The brand continued under the GM label until 1968, after GM acquiesced to the anti-trust lawsuit leveled at the business by The Department of Justice, who demanded they relinquish some of their power and property. They agreed to sell Euclid, and did so to the White Motor Corporation. Euclid suffered somewhat under the White Motor Corporation label, but seemed to recover after being sold to the Hitachi Construction Company Between those two acquisitions, it was passed from Daimler Benz AG, Clark Equipment Company, and Volvo Construction Equipment, with no real changes or direction until it was bought out by Hitachi Construction Company.

There are currently two types of Euclid rigid dumpers available as mining, quarry and construction trucks and are in use in strip mines, quarries, heavy construction sites, and military outposts in the US, Canada, China, Australia, South America, Indonesia, and Africa, though the Euclid name and standard color have been phased out by the Hitachi Construction Company since 2004.

The Hitachi Construction Company slowly took complete control of Euclid, desiring its vehicles to round out their mining vehicle package. After a join venture in 1993 and a complete takeover in 2000, they moved the original facilities from Euclid, Ohio, to Guleph, Ontario, Canada, and rebranded the vehicles. Despite the erasure of the Euclid name, these vehicles are still being made, sold, and used around the world.

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