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Friday, September 9, 2011

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD


This is the scene of change one half block north of me.  A new housing development is going up at the end of the only street that directly accesses the rest of the city.  I can just imagine the traffic and noise for the next 3 or 4 years.  I cherished very much the open expanse  and solitude as I walk for blocks along side it or when I just looked down the street.  I will miss the beautiful melody of the meadow larks every spring and the croaking of frogs that rang out loudly while there was yet a chill in the evening air.  The little pond they use to live in was drained down the sewer in the last for days.
Now there is dust and the continual noise of these machines that used to be called Euclids just a few years ago.  When I talked with my son the other day I mentioned the word 'Euclid' and when he said "Huh" I knew something must have happened to the company that had dominated construction industry for many decades.
I had chosen this week for a bit of a get-a-way which regrettably didn't happen.  A great pity because last evening the owner of the duplex next door began ripping off the shingles followed by be a lot more noise thorough out the weekend as they apply shingles.  *SIGH*
  I found some information that may be of interest to those who remember the big green machne.


The Euclid Company of Ohio was a company specialized in heavy plant for earthmoving, namely dump trucks and Motor-scrapers, that operated from the United States of America from the 1920s to the 1950s, then it was purchased by General Motors and became a division of them. Later on sold to Hitachi, Ltd of Japan. Now Euclid is a section of Volvo.
In 1959 the Department of Justice under Attorney General William P. Rogers initiated an anti-trust suit, under the Clayton Act, against General Motors Corporation. It charged that GM was too dominant, and its business methods stifled competition in the off-road hauler and earthmoving market. GM fought the suit for 8 years, finally surrendering in 1968, agreeing to sell the Euclid Division.  A line produced by Gm were sold as Terex, but were essentially the same as the Euclid line.
Euclid was never the same and never achieved the prominence that it once enjoyed before its acquisition by GM. In the 1950s when you mentioned off road dump trucks, they were referred to as "Euc's", just like we say Kleenex today for tissue.
Another type of machine that Euclid pioneered was the belly dump. This machine combined an off road tractor, with a fifth wheel, and a very large,(at that time) up to 100-ton capacity, belly dump trailer. These and their off road end dump brothers were normally loaded by cable operated, crawler shovels of other manufacturers.
Euclid also manufactured wheeled tractor scrapers, such as were invented by R. G. LeTourneau (later Westinghouse Air Brake) and now almost singularly manufactured by Caterpillar. Euclid's scrapers were powered by the same tractors as their belly dumps. Interestingly, Euclid was the first major manufacturer to commercialize the now ubiquitous articulated rubber tired loader; the mainstay of most heavy equipment manufacturers, particularly Caterpillar.
Production was moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Guelph in Ontario, Canada and carries on. The trucks are very modern and even come equipped with mufflers and computer controllers and have to meet environmental requirements for sound and exhaust emissions.
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 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. venture until it owned 100% of the venture in 2000. Euclid Hitachi became Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing on January 1, 2004, and the famous Euclid green was replaced with Hitachi orange.
The Euclid trade name and model nomenclature were gradually phased out by the end of the year, ending 80 years of the Euclid name appearing on construction machinery.

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