ARTBA recognizes top construction equipment innovators

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association recently released a book to recognize the social, economic and transportation-related contributions made by leaders of the transportation construction industry over the past century.

The book, “America’s Top 100 Private Sector Transportation Design & Construction Professionals of the 20th Century,” focuses on builders, engineers, equipment innovators, technology and materials innovators, safety pioneers, educators, news media and association executives that have helped the industry. Individuals featured in the book were recognized Oct. 21 at an ARTBA-TDF gala dinner in Washington.

“Collectively, the transportation construction industry titans named to the ARTBA list have helped build a better America,” said Dave Kraemer, ARTBA-TDF chairman.

Individuals in the “Top 100” list were selected from nominations received through a survey ARTBA conducted. The organization sent the survey to state transportation secretaries, daily newspapers, construction industry journalists, national construction and transportation-related associations and ARTBA members. The survey was part of ARTBA’s 2002-2003 centennial celebration.

Individuals recognized as equipment innovators include:
· Harry H. Barber, inventor of the first bituminous concrete paver and the continuous-mix asphalt plant
· C.L. “Leo” Best, who’s company, C.L. Best Tractor Co., eventually formed Caterpillar
· Daniel Best, founder of Best Manufacturing, which developed grain cleaners, a washing machine, harvesters and engines
· Don Brock, who holds between 90 and 100 U.S. patents on construction machinery
· William R. Cape, who held the patent on a highly portable, high-volume concrete mixing plant
· Gary L. Godbersen, co-founder of GOMACO
· Harold Godbersen, developer of the double oscillating screed finisher and co-founder of GOMACO
· William B. Greene, who’s company, Barber-Greene, developed bucket loaders, vertical boom ditchers and belt conveyors
· John Nicholas Heltzel, who pioneered the first practical steel form system for building concrete roads
· Benjamin Holt, founder of The Holt Manufacturing Company, one of the predecessors of Caterpillar
· Frank Hough, developer of the first fully integrated rubber-tired wheel loader
· James W. Johnson, inventor of the slipform concrete paver
· R.G. Letourneau, developer of “Tournacranes,” “Walking Dredge” and the Jib Crane
· Robert S. Mayo, who helped design and supply tunnel and mine equipment to projects like Washington’s Metro system and the Holland Tunnel
· Richard J. Robbins, whose company, Robbins, has made new records in tunnel boring technology
· Murray Asher Rowe, who helped develop a concrete paving machine that revolutionized concrete bridge deck paving
· Stephen Stepanian, inventor of the self-discharging, rotating concrete drum
· Robert Studebaker, inventor of the “Laserplane,” which helped in surveying reference elevations
· William Swisher, founder of CMI Corporation, now part of Terex Roadbuilding
· Reinhard Wirtgen, founder of Wirtgen GmbH

For more information about the book, click the link to the right.