The first moving machines that could be considered Tractors were steam driven machines developed in the 1870’s. It was from these steam driven machines that the farm tractors of today developed.
Two men who independently worked on steam driven machines were Benjamin Hold and Daniel Best around the 1890’s. They were both successful. In 1904 Daniel Holt was successful at his first steam driven track type tractor, which was further developed into a gas driven track type tractor in 1906. Daniel Best and Benjamin Holt combined talents and Caterpillar Tractor Co. was launched in 1925. This merger was successful and Caterpillar Tractor Co. was supplying diesel powered tractors in 1931, from its assembly line in Illinois, USA.
Today, Caterpillar or Cat as it is known is today the world largest supplier of construction, mining equipment, diesel engines, gas engines, and gas turbines. Both Caterpillar and Cat are registered trademarks of the said company.
Caterpillar has expanded its services, and today its services includes Caterpillar Logistics Services, which ensured timely delivery of quality Caterpillar® parts to most parts of the globe. Cat Financial caters for financing of equipment purchases for eligible companies and individuals. Cat Reman (abbreviation for re manufactured) restores salvage machines to OEM specifications, or salvaged parts to OEM specifications for resale purposes. Cat Reman is backed by the Caterpillar original equipment warranty of two(2) years unlimited use warranty on new or Cat reman parts. For companies or individuals which/who prefers to rent equipment rather than buy, Caterpillar’s “The Rental Store” is available. Machines can be rented on a contract basis. Sometimes this rental agreement includes that Cat provides an operator. In most cases, the maintenance of the machines is not the responsibility of the renter. This agreement allows the renter/company to focus on production or construction, while machine maintenance is Caterpillar’s responsibility.
Recent acquisitions and mergers has established Caterpillar as one of the world’s largest leaders in construction machines, marine engines, generating sets and gas turbines.
F.G Wilson was acquired in 1999. Emerson Electric, the owner of the F.G Wilson Generating Sets Company was joined with Caterpillar, thus expanding the line of products offered.
Mak Marine, the world largest manufacturer of large diesel marine engines in Germany, was acquired and is now named Caterpillar Motoren GmbH & Co. KG, with its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany.
The British renown engine company named after its owner Frank Perkins (born in Peterborough, England in 1889), Perkins engines are reliably used for many applications, including ag equipment from Massey Ferguson, industrial applications, power units, in generator sets, marine applications, and in the popular Caterpillar backhoe 416 series. These are fondly referred to as “Perkipillar” engines by some machine shops and engineers. Perkins is now owned by Caterpillar.
Even though many may see this company as an engine and machine company, Progress Rail®, now a subsidiary of Caterpillar company, is a major supplier of rail products and services within the USA, Canada and Mexico.
And finally, Solar Turbines, the manufacturer of industrial gas turbines for power generation, compression and pumping systems, was acquired in 1981, making it a wholly owned subsidiary.