Evolution—all businesses go through it, but it’s how they continue to evolve that leaves a lasting footprint on an industry. One business that is constantly evolving in the construction industry is CASE Construction. Since their establishment in 1842, CASE has become one of the leading construction manufactures across the globe.
How does CASE Construction continue to evolve after 175 years in the industry? Machines4U spoke to Luke Gibson, Brand Ambassador and Major Account Manager at CASE, to discuss some exciting current projects and how the business chooses to use their history to shape their future.
The following is in Luke’s own words.
Inside the Heritage of CASE
The history of CASE is built on 175 years of practical innovation. The business has always taken great pride and commitment in how we innovate practicality, which requires a delicate balance of creativity and functionality. We began by pioneering equipment for road construction and have continued this mission into the 21st Century.
What does practical innovation mean, exactly? It means we design our machines with reality in mind, providing intuitive solutions for efficiency on the job site. Everything we’ve produced or patented, from 1875 to now and beyond, is built to provide a solution to a want and a need.
For example, we knew our customers were experiencing a lot of pain with their loaders, as they needed to dig as well as move material. So we were the first to integrate a factory fitted backhoe onto a loader in 1957. When there’s innovation from CASE, it’s always born from that practical innovation and it’s always to meet the customers’ needs. That is our legacy and it’s one of the biggest reasons I’ve stayed with CASE for so many years.
Another nod to our roots is through Old Abe the bald eagle, our company mascot. In 1865, Old Abe began his career as the image of CASE as a perched eagle. the origin story of Old Abe is one much loved by the company.
Old Abe was originally chosen to be the image of CASE by our founder Jerome Increase (J.I.) Case after hearing the eagle’s story during a parade in 1861. The eagle was a live animal and sold to the captain of the Eighth Wisconsin Regiment where he became the mascot and was dubbed Old Abe after President Abraham Lincoln. Soon after this, he became a sensation among the soldiers, so much so that he had his own perch and was proudly on display during parades. He was a symbol of strength, freedom and bravery, and so he was chosen as the trademark of the J.I. Case Company.
The image of Old Abe has since developed into an eagle with its wings open, taking flight. And really, that’s a big reflection of our journey—it shows how we’re always working to move the industry forward. Today, we feature the eagle prominently on all of our machines as an embossed badge. It’s an image we’re proud of and one we want to showcase to who we are and our constant dedication to innovation.
New Project Development: Looking Back to Move Forward
The big difference between CASE and other businesses is their ability to pay homage to their heritage and use it to shape the future. When we’re talking about these new projects in development, it’s always about the legacy of what we want to leave behind. And it’s about building communities, innovation and being practical but above all, it’s about keeping it simple for customers. It’s built into the DNA of the brand and of the company—it’s fundamentally who we are.
One of our big projects, which was a concept program that is now going to go into production, is Project Minotaur. This project combines what you’d see in a standard dozer with a compact track loader frame, to create a compact dozer loader.
It’s certainly not the first time we’ve combined one machine with another to create a hybrid, and I doubt it will be the last.
For example, in 1981 CASE manufactured what they used to call a ‘drott’, which was a combination of a dozer and a loader. The drott had the tracked undercarriage of a dozer with a multi-purpose bucket that you’d see on a backhoe.
It was much larger than Project Minotaur is going to be. We’re constantly innovating to find what’s practical and what meets the needs of our customers. It all comes back to the practical innovation of the brand. So, Project Minotaur really harps back to that heritage of hybrid innovation.
CASE continues this heritage to allow users to get the most from their machinery. The new compact dozer loader of Project Minotaur allows contractors on smaller sites, with tighter access, to get the job done faster with a really compact machine. It really shines on sites where a dozer usually wouldn’t fit, because it allows the user to get all the functionality of a dozer and a compact track loader with the simple change of a few attachments.
Another project born under the same guise is Project Tetra. This project is combining not just the new innovation of working with alternative fuel sources, but it also has been an opportunity to work with our sister brand, FPT Industrial.
FPT Industrial is a leader in diesel engines, natural gas engines, methane engines and powertrain components. So, it’s really about taking a standard diesel machine and turning it into a bio-methane driven machine. This fusion allows the operator, depending on their site, to effectively have net zero emissions with the same performance that you’d get out of a diesel-powered machine. There’s no loss of power, no change in maintenance costs, it’s simply a re-powered machine that allows us to get net zero emissions without sacrificing a thing. It’s a pretty exciting concept.
CASE’s product development philosophy of practical innovation means that we’re always using advanced technology to evolve within the industry. For this project, we’ve also taken cues from our company mascot the Old Abe eagle. In the image above, you can see the cab wings curve out like the sweeping wings of the eagle, while the rear engine’s commanding design reflects the head and beak. The design of this new wheel loader is cutting edge and a statement of how our heritage continues to influence the brand.
Working with CASE and seeing first-hand how we constantly evolve not just for ourselves, but for our customers, says a lot about who we are as a company. I enjoy being part of the process. It all comes back to the foundation of practical innovation, it’s in our DNA.