In many ways Caterpillar has always been a household name even from their humble beginnings. They may not have been called Caterpillar in the early days, but their products were revolutionizing the American farm. CAT generators and Caterpillar themselves have a rich and interesting history worth knowing for anyone who is interested in where all of this industrial grade technology we enjoy today came from. Here is just a brief bit of that history.
The Father of Caterpillar
It’s hard to talk about CAT generators without talking about the man who established the Caterpillar name, Benjamin Holt. Benjamin Holt was an American inventor who patented and designed the first tractors with the crawler-type tread, also known as the “caterpillar track”, that would come to be so ubiquitous. His goal was to ultimately increase productivity while reducing labor time and work for farmers and farmhands.
The Holt Manufacturing Company first trademarked “Caterpillar” in 1910, scarcely knowing what a driving force this name would come to be in the world. Some of the earliest CAT tractors were used to support the allies by hauling supplies and artillery in World War I. Benjamin Holt passed away in 1920, but Caterpillar would continue to produce tractors, under the partial leadership of his children and grandchildren, and began to rapidly expand their production line to include motor graders, blade graders, terracers.
In the early 1930’s they adopted their signature “Hi-Way Yellow” color scheme and added electrical generator sets to their product lineup. As you’ll see their generators, much like the rest of their products, were a hit.
A Worldwide Success
As early as the 1920’s you began to see the Caterpillar name pop up all over the world. In 1925 you could find their tractors plowing away on farms in Iraq. In 1938 they sent their RD7 tractors to Saudi Arabia. In 1961 Caterpillar products were crucial to the construction of the Mangla Dam in Pakistan. Their commitment to reliable and forward-thinking designs quickly transcended national boundaries and that continues to this day.
The First CAT Generators
When they were first introduced in the 1930’s CAT generators quickly became a hot commodity. Much like today they had the widest range of gen sets around and they were well-known for their power and reliability. The scope of their use began to expand from farming to facilities in every industry including construction, offices, hospitals, and even schools.
A History of Innovation
Perhaps the most important aspect of Caterpillars history, and reason for their success, is their commitment to innovation. Caterpillar was founded on radical innovations in the farming industry, and this spirit has been passed down through generation after generation of leadership. It would be no stretch to say that Caterpillar has the longest history of innovation of any American company.
From designing the first true motor grader to revolutionize our roads to developing the first mass-produced diesel engine in the world, Caterpillar has been there front and center meeting the needs of emerging markets and anticipating the needs of the future. That history of innovation is far from finished.
The Story Continues
Today, Caterpillar continues to innovate and engineer excellent generator designs for a variety of industries worldwide including:
- Oil and Gas
You can even find their portable generators in ordinary, everyday homes. The Caterpillar name and striking yellow and black color scheme are almost ubiquitous.
To show their commitment to a prosperous future for everyone they have been researching renewable energy and incorporating the findings into their already efficient generator options. In fact, CAT began their quest for renewable energy much earlier than others. Consistent with their status as innovators, not followers, they began developing engines to run on biogas as early as the 1960s.
Today you can find CAT generators in use all over the world, from the North Sea to hospitals in Haiti, thanks to their innovations and reliable designs. History is rarely this interesting, and there are many twists and turns in the Caterpillar story, but one thing has never changed: CAT generators remain the most reliable and efficient choice on the market.