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General Equipment Company Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Sat November 05, 2005 - Midwest Edition
CEG



General Equipment Company celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2005. This family-owned company began with a simple product idea and has developed into a leading small equipment manufacturer.

In the 1930s, looking for a solution to the labor-intensive job of cutting down trees, company-founder Raymond Von Ruden developed a way of transferring power from a farm tractor to a standard logging saw. The idea was the beginning of Von Ruden Manufacturing Company.

Von Ruden realized the potential of hydraulics and how it could be harnessed for small, powered tools. In the late 1940s, he pioneered a line of hydraulically powered chain saws, an idea that further mechanized the timber harvesting process. Von Ruden applied this technology to other tools, and hydraulically powered earth drills, pumps and winches were added to expand the company’s product line.

In 1955, Von Ruden sold his interest in Von Ruden Manufacturing Company and established a new business, General Equipment Company, which began its operation with an already established reputation for product innovation and problem solving.

Von Ruden’s background in gear design technology and his instinct for design innovation led to the development of the first practical gasoline-powered auger. The product became remarkably successful and helped catapult ice fishing into the multi-million dollar sport it is today.

Later, the same technology that mechanized drilling through ice was applied to earth. What began as a small machine for drilling postholes on the farm has since evolved to become one of the widest and most respected lines of portable earth drilling equipment in the world.

In the 1970s, the company began a product diversification program to meet the growing challenges of the light construction equipment industry. General Equipment’s product lines expanded to include earth augers, portable air ventilation blowers, rotary asphalt cutting attachments and surface preparation equipment.

Then, in 2002, General Equipment built a new manufacturing plant, offering ample production space for current products and room to develop new products as the company and market grows.

The company is now in its second generation of family ownership, led by Dennis Von Ruden, Raymond’s son.

“I’m proud that, over the years, we’ve been able to grow our business and diversify our product lines,” said Dennis Von Ruden. “It’s been a pleasure to serve our customers for the last fifty years, and we look forward to fulfilling the market’s needs for many years to come.”

For more information, call 800/533-0524 or visit www.generalequip.com.