Flash Facts – May 19

MANUFACTURER NEWS

Manitowoc to close National Crane plant
The Manitowoc Company announced May 9 plans to close its National Crane boom-truck manufacturing facility in Waverly, Neb. The company plans to move production from the facility to its plant in Shady Grove, Pa. Manitowoc acquired the Waverly and Shady Grove facilities when it purchased Grove Worldwide in 2002. The closing, which will affect approximately 300 jobs, is expected to take place before the end of the year.

Komatsu signs agreement with BHP Billiton
Komatsu America announced April 30 the company has signed a five-year agreement with BHP Billiton for earthmoving and mining equipment. Under the agreement, Komatsu will supply Billiton with mine trucks, large wheel loaders and dozers through affiliate organizations in North and South America, South Africa, Australia and Europe. Because of the agreement with Billiton, Komatsu has scaled back layoff plans at its Peoria, Ill., plant.

Navistar, union make conditional deal
Navistar International recently made a conditional deal with Canadian union leaders to avoid the closure of the company’s primary heavy truck plant in Chatham, Ontario. The plant, which was scheduled to close July 18, was the target of a six-week strike by union workers in an effort to keep the plant open. As part of the deal, Navistar agreed not to close the plant for at least one year. There are currently 900 union employees at the plant. Approximately 1,300 workers have been laid off.

CMI Terex temporarily lays off 193
CMI Terex temporarily laid off 193 manufacturing workers at its Oklahoma City plant May 14. Terex officials say they hope the majority of the employees will be able to return within two months. Purchasers have been buying slower than CMI has been manufacturing, the company says. If companies continue buying at the same rate, the excess inventory will be sold in the next few months and the workers will be recalled. The Oklahoma City plant produces heavy road-building equipment.

Cummins ships its 1,000,000th diesel engine
Cummins recently celebrated the shipment of its 1,000,000th diesel engine for the Dodge Ram pickup. The Chrysler Group first offered the Cummins engine in the 1989 Dodge Ram.

PEOPLE NEWS

Robbins names general manager
Robbins recently named John Reynolds general manager for its new product line of auger boring systems. Reynolds will be responsible for development of the auger boring equipment line and accessories.

LeeBoy founder dies
B.R. Lee, founder of B.R. Lee Industries (LeeBoy), died suddenly on May 9 at the age of 69. B.R. and his wife, Nelda, began the paver manufacturing company in their garage in 1964. Today, the company, owned by Crescent Capital of Atlanta, is one of the leading manufacturers of small commercial asphalt paving equipment in the world.

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