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Euclid Tractors

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The Euclid Company of Ohio specialized in off-road heavy haulers, specifically designed as off-road haulers - as compared to other companies, that modified on-road trucks for off-road earth-hauling.

The Euclid Crane and Hoist Co, owned by George A. Armington and his 5 sons, was a large, respected and profitable operation, when they introduced the Euclid Automatic Rotary Scraper in 1924 - soon followed by the Euclid Wheeler (wheeled) scraper. These earthmoving products were conceived by George's eldest son, Arthur, who envisioned a good future in designing earthmoving equipment, and steered the company into the earthmoving field. The two models of scrapers were successful, and a third model, the Euclid Contractors Special, designed to cope with hard ground, was even more successful.

Arthur and his father had built a successful prototype crawler, and tested it on the family farm, but the idea was dropped for reasons unknown. The success of the scrapers led to the formation of the Road Machinery Division, of Euclid Crane and Hoist, in 1926. Big public works construction programs of 1927 and 1928, requiring large excavations, saw further success of the Euclid Road Machinery division.

Euclid produced crawler wagons on tracks (similar to Athey Wagons) known as Euclid Tu-Way haulers. The crawler track speed restriction was seen as a problem, and the next version used steel wheels for improved speed. George Armington Jr was a keen hydraulics designer, and produced the first hydraulic Euclid dumpers around 1930.

Euclid went on to produce thousands of off-road haulers and scrapers, of improving and larger design and became a large corporation by the early 1950s. In 1953 the Euclid Corporation was purchased by General Motors, in what the leaders of both companies saw as an advantageous deal, with complementary product lines. This deal came about, due to GM's already awakened desire to enter into the earthmoving manufacturing field and the realization by the Armington family, that a GM takeover would provide capital and design ability that they could only dream about. The GM takeover deal was announced on September 30, 1953, with the official takeover date being January 1, 1954.

Arthur Armington had died suddenly in 1937, leading to a stumble in Euclids fortunes - but George Armington died in 1954, at the age of 89, after overseeing the sale of Euclid to GM. Sons Stuart & Everett Armington retired in 1953, and George Jr retired in 1958 - with the youngest son Ray, being the last Armington to retire in 1960, after 7 years as General Manager of GM's Euclid Division.

The 1950s and 1960s were good years for Euclid Trucks. Euclid produced the industry's first 50 ton, 3 axle dump truck, with twin Cummins power, in 1951. Euclid produced two and three axle dump trucks with capacities up to 105 tons, in this period. Some of the largest three axle units, being used as tractors for even larger end dumps, and bottom dump haulers.

After the company was purchased by Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. Ltd. it is now producing a range of models of truck under the Hitachi name (although it is commonly branded as a Euclid, and several components bear the Euclid name). There are two classes of the machines that are currently in production - both are "rigid dumper" models (dump trucks with a rigid frame, non-articulated). The smaller construction and quarry trucks (30 ton - 90 ton) are dwarfed by the larger mining trucks in the 140ton - 450ton range.

Production was moved from Euclid, Ohio to Guelph in Ontario, Canada. The trucks are modern and are equipped with mufflers and computer controllers to meet environmental requirements for sound and exhaust emissions.

There are some trucks currently in use in mines in the US, they can be seen in Canada at Fort McMurray, and throughout China, Australia, Africa, Indonesia and South America as well. Although the heady days of American needs for infrastructure have abated, there is still much need for infrastructure and mining.

Smaller construction trucks, of 32 tons and 36tons capacity, are being built in India by Telcon, a joint venture between Tata and Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. Ltd. from Japan. These smaller trucks are of older technology - they were previously manufactured in Poland under license from VME (Volvo Michigan Euclid). The intended market for these older technology construction trucks is India.

White sold Euclid, Inc. to Daimler Benz AG of Stuttgart, Germany in August, 1977, and in January 1984, Daimler-Benz sold Euclid to one of Euclid’s former competitors, Clark Equipment Company and it became part of the Clark Michigan Company, as Clark’s construction machinery division was then called. The following April, Clark formed a 50/50 joint venture with Sweden’s Volvo AB, now known as Volvo Construction Equipment to manufacture Volvo, Michigan and Euclid construction equipment under the name of VME Group NV. VME underwent several rather confusing divisions amongst its American and European operations, culminating in 1991 in the creation of a VME North Americas unit to handle only the Euclid lines.

In December 1993, VME North America entered into a joint venture of its own with Japan’s Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. Ltd., called Euclid-Hitachi Heavy Equipment. Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of hydraulic construction machinery like excavators and cranes, gradually increased its share of the joint venture until it owned 100% of the venture in 2000. Hitachi obtained Euclid to fill the gap which existed in their ability to offer a complete mining package, as mining excavators and dump trucks are usually needed in combination.

Euclid-Hitachi became Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing on January 1, 2004, and the famous Euclid green was replaced with Hitachi orange. The Euclid name was phased out by the end of the 2004 calendar year, ending 80 years of the Euclid name on construction machinery.