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Euclid (1907-2004) | Historical Construction Equipment Association

Name: Euclid (1907-2004)
Variant Name: Armington Electric Hoist Company; Euclid Crane & Hoist Company; Euclid Road Machinery Company; Euclid Division of General Motors; Euclid (Great Britain), Ltd.; Euclid, Inc.; Euclid-Hitachi Heavy Equip

Historical Note:

The company that became Euclid was founded in 1907 in Wickliffe, Ohio, by George A. Armington as the Armington Electric Hoist Company. It was renamed Euclid Crane & Hoist Company when the plant was relocated to Euclid, Ohio. Euclid built experimental tractors (one crawler and several wheeled) c. 1920s, and entered the construction equipment industry when it introduced the Automatic Rotary Scraper in 1924. Acceptance of the scrapers led to the creation of the Road Machinery Division in 1926, and the Division was incorporated as the Euclid Road Machinery Company, a subsidiary of the Euclid Armington Corporation, on Jul 11, 1931. The Euclid Road Machinery Company became independent of Euclid Armington on Jan 1, 1933, and no record is known to exist of Euclid Crane & Hoist after this.

Euclid operated a Railway Transportation Division in 1935-36; this division built several small diesel-electric locomotives for railroad switching, then left the business.

Euclid began production in Motherwell, Scotland in 1951. General Motors, which had been exploring entry into the heavy construction equipment market, acquired Euclid on Sep 30, 1953 and made it a division of GMC on Jan 1, 1954; in the mid-1950s, GMC built a new factory for Euclid at Hudson, Ohio.

The U. S. Department of Justice filed an anti-trust action against GMC on Oct 15, 1959 on the allegation that GMC threatened to control the off-road hauler market. To settle, GMC negotiated with White Motor Corporation (Collection 1601) during 1967 for the sale of certain parts of the Euclid Division, and on Feb 15, 1968 White purchased the Euclid off-road truck lines. GMC retained the right to build and market haulers from Canadian plants and the former Euclid factories in Hudson and Scotland, but was barred from re-entering the US market until Jul 1, 1972. The former Euclid tractor, scraper and loader lines were also retained by GM and were produced by its Earthmoving Equipment Division, which became Terex (Collection 532). The British operation retained the Euclid (Great Britain), Ltd. name until December, 1968, when it was renamed General Motors Scotland, Ltd. Euclid lost its international manufacturing and marketing in the deal.

White operated Euclid as a subsidiary under the name of Euclid, Inc., then sold it to Daimler-Benz AG as a subsidiary in Aug 1977. Daimler-Benz sold Euclid to the Clark Michigan Company, the construction machinery subsidiary to Clark Equipment Company (Collection 252), in Jan 1984.

In answer to poor economic conditions, Clark formed a 50/50 joint venture company with Volvo AB (Collection 5) in 1985.  The new firm was called VME, an acronym for Volvo Michigan Euclid, and operated in separate units, Volvo BM Company in Europe and VME Americas in North America. The European unit became simply VME in 1989. In 1991, VME Americas was divided into VME Industries North America to handle Euclid products and VME Sales North America to handle wheel loaders and articulated trucks.

VME Industries North America formed a joint venture with Hitachi Construction Machinery Company Ltd. (Collection 423) of Japan in Dec 1993. Hitachi acquired a 19.5% share of the Euclid US operations, and the venture was called Euclid-Hitachi Heavy Equipment Ltd. The VME name was eliminated in May 1995 when Volvo’s parent company purchased Clark’s share of the VME venture, and the former VME was renamed Volvo Construction Equipment Corporation.  By 1996, Hitachi had increased its shares of Euclid to 40%. On Jan 1, 2004. Hitachi renamed its Euclid-Hitachi Heavy Equipment Ltd. of Guelph, Ontario to Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing Ltd., abolishing the Euclid name.

See Euclid and Terex Earthmoving Equipment (Orlemann, 1997), for comprehensive discussion of Euclid’s history, and Equipment Echoes issues 56 and 57 for a photo story on early Euclid products.

Major patents and innovations:

Euclid introduced the first successful off-highway end dump and bottom dump trucks, and the first articulated wheel loader to achieve widespread success. It was famous for its “Twin-Power” trucks, scrapers and crawler tractors. It also patented the traveling belt loader.

Model nomenclature:

Truck and motor scraper nomenclature is discussed in records in the collection.

The BV model nomenclature for traveling belt loaders stood for BladeVeyor. 213 BVs were built, using a separate serial number system from all other products.

Wheeled scraper model nomenclature:

½ yard - None, became ¾ yard.

1 yard - S1

1½ yard - S112 (Formerly 1¼ yard)

HD - SS112 (Heavy Duty).

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