JLG – From Farm Wagons to Telehandlers
It Started, Down On The Farm…Wait, What?!
Maybe you’ve used JLG products for years. Maybe you know some of them like the back of your hand. But how much do you know about the company? Test your knowledge!
It started with the founder John Landis Grove who was born in 1921. His brothers and John originally built farm wagons in Shady Grove, Pennsylvania. They founded “Grove Manufacturing Company” in 1947. The company grew quickly.
John eventually wanted to address the need for a way to lift heavy loads from one farm wagon to another. He used his basic knowledge of hydraulics to develop the company’s first mobile hydraulic crane.
John worked with Paul Shockey to develop an all steel hydraulic extension ladder for fire trucks. Eventually, John turned his full attention to the crane division of the company while his brothers concentrated on farm equipment. The company soon became a world leader in the crane market.
In 1967 family discord resulted in the company being sold in spite of John’s wishes.
To enjoy some time off, he and his wife traveled across the U.S., visiting major landmarks, including the under-construction Hoover Dam. It was there that Grove learned of a pressing need for a machine that could lift workers into the air safely and efficiently.
When he returned from his trip, Grove rallied a small group of people around his big idea: there had to be a safer way to work at height. So, keeping workers’ needs at the top of his mind, he set out to resolve this growing concern in the construction industry. *
In 1969 John and Paul Shockey founded Condor Industries in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania. They purchased a small metal fabrication company with 20 workers. According to JLG:
They released their first aerial work platform in 1970 which incorporated many of the design features still in use to this day.
… and JLG – stands for…?
In 1973, Condor Industries was renamed JLG Industries (JLG for John L. Grove). **
The company quickly grew to meet the demand for its innovative products.
- In 1976 they released their first scissor lift.
- In 1981 they introduced the oscillating axle to improve maneuverability.
- 1988 saw the patent and introduction of “Extend-A-Reach” booms
- In 1999 JLG introduced the first fuel-cell-powered boom lift. They also added Telehandlers to their product line.
- In 2003 they acquired Lull and SkyTrak
- In late 2006, JLG became part of the Oshkosh Corporation Company
Overall, JLG has continued to grow and innovate at a rapid pace ever since it was founded. Now with locations all over the world, the company is a well recognized and award winning industry leader.
According to JLG President Frank Nerenhausen who was quoted in Equipment Journal:
“For more than 2,000 years, people used inefficient and dangerous methods to access work areas,” said Guru Bandekar, JLG vice president of global product management and development.
“So, when you think that a mere half-century ago no one had invented a way to safely elevate people on job sites, one realizes how remarkable John L. Grove’s advancement was. His accomplishment gives all JLG employees a tremendous sense of pride.”
John L. Grove was an inventor and a savvy businessman who was driven by the pursuit of perfection in the products that bear his initials.
John Grove held over 60 patents by the time he retired.