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Caterpillar Inc.
Type Public (NYSECAT)
Predecessor C. L. Best Tractor Company
Holt Caterpillar Company
Founded Peoria, Illinois, United States (1925 (1925))
Headquarters Peoria, Illinois, United States[1]
Area served Worldwide
Key people James W. Owens, CEO and Chairman
Industry Heavy equipment
Financial services[2]
Products D11 Bulldozer
385C L Hydraulic Excavator
797F Haul Truck
Services Financing
Revenue US$51.3 billion (FY 2008)[3]
Net income US$3.52 billion (FY 2008)[3]
Employees 97,444 (2007)[4]
Subsidiaries Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation
Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc.
Caterpillar Marine Power Systems
FG Wilson (Engineering) Ltd.
Perkins Engines Co. Limited
Progress Rail Services Corporation
Solar Turbines Incorporated

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSECAT), also known as "CAT", designs, manufactures and sells machinery and engines and sells financial products to customers via a worldwide dealer network.[2] Caterpillar's headquarters are located in Peoria, Illinois, United States.[1]

Caterpillar is world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.[2] With more than USD $67 billion in assets, Caterpillar was ranked number one in its industry and number 44 overall in the 2009 Fortune 500.[5] Caterpillar stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.[6]

Caterpillar machinery is recognizable by its trademark yellow livery.[7]



Two Holt 45 gas crawler tractors team up to pull a long wagon train in the Mojave Desert during construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1909
Caterpillar D2 on display in the Serpentine Vintage Tractor Museum, Serpentine, Western Australia

In the late 1890s and early 1900s, competitors Daniel Best and Benjamin Holt individually experimented with ways to improve the traction of steam tractors used in farming California's Central Valley. The steam tractors were extremely heavy, sometimes weighing 1,000 pounds (450 kg) per horsepower, and often sank into the rich, soft earth of the San Joaquin Valley Delta farmland surrounding Stockton, California. Holt attempted to fix the problem by increasing the size and width of the wheels up to 7.5 feet (2.3 m) tall and 6 feet (1.8 m) wide, producing a tractor 46 feet (14 m) wide. But this also made the tractors increasingly complex, expensive and difficult to maintain.


Origin of Caterpillar name

One solution considered was to lay a temporary plank road ahead of the steam tractor, but this was time-consuming, expensive, and interfered with earthmoving. Holt replaced the wheels on a 40 horsepower (30 kW) Holt steamer, No. 77, with a set of wooden tracks bolted to chains. On Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1904, he successfully tested the updated machine plowing the soggy delta land of Roberts Island.[8] Company photographer Charles Clements was reported to have observed that the tractor crawled like a caterpillar,[2] and Holt seized on the metaphor. "Caterpillar it is. That's the name for it!"[8] although some sources attribute this name to British soldiers in July 1907.[9] Two years later Holt sold his first steam-powered tractor crawlers for USD$5,500. Each side featured a track frame measured 30 inches (760 mm) high by 42 inches (1,100 mm) wide and were 9 feet (2.7 m) long. The tracks were 3 inches (76 mm) by 4 inches (100 mm) redwood slats.[8]

Holt received the first patent for a practical continuous track for use with a tractor on December 7, 1907 for his improved "Traction Engine" ("improvement in vehicles, and especially of the traction engine class; and included endless traveling platform supports upon which the engine is carried").[10]

Move to Peoria

In March 1909, Holt opened up a plant in Minneapolis, Minnesota, led by his nephew Pliny Holt. There Pliny met farm implement dealer Murray Baker who knew of an empty factory that had been recently built to manufacture farm implements and steam traction engines. Baker, who later became the first executive vice president of what became Caterpillar Tractor Company, wrote to Holt headquarters in Stockton and described the plant of the bankrupt Colean Manufacturing Co. of East Peoria, Illinois.[11]

On October 25, 1909, Pliny Holt purchased the factory,[12] and immediately began operations with 12 employees.[13] Holt incorporated it as the Holt Caterpillar Company, although he did not trademark the name Caterpillar until 1911.[11]

The addition of a plant in the midwest, despite the hefty capital needed to retool the plant, proved so profitable that only two years later the company employed 625 people and was exporting tractors to Argentina, Canada, and Mexico.[14] Tractors were built in both Stockton and East Peoria.[15][16]

Use in World War I

When World War I broke out, the British War Office ordered a Holt tractor and put it through trials at Aldershot. The War Office was suitably impressed and chose it as a gun-tractor.[17] Over the next four years, the Holt tractor became a major artillery tractor, mainly used to haul medium guns like the 6-inch howitzer, the 60-pounder, and later the 9.2-inch howitzer.[18]

Holt tractors were also the inspiration for the development of the British tank, which profoundly altered ground warfare tactics.[8][19] Major Ernest Swinton, sent to France as an army war correspondent, very soon saw the potential of a track-laying tractor.[20]:116 Although the British later chose an English firm to build its first tanks, the Holt tractor became "one of the most important military vehicles of all time."[18] Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey commented at the end of World War II, that "The four machines that won the war in the Pacific were the submarine, radar, the airplane and the tractor-bulldozer."[8][21]

Post-war challenges

Holt tractors had become well-known during World War I. Military contracts formed the major part of the company's production. When the war ended, Holt's planned expansion to meet the military's needs was abruptly terminated. The heavy-duty tractors needed by the military were unsuitable for farmers. The company's situation worsened when artillery tractors were returned from Europe, depressing prices for new equipment and Holt's unsold inventory of military tractors. The company struggled with the transition from wartime boom to peacetime bust. To keep the company afloat, they borrowed heavily.

C. L. Best Gas Tractor Company, formed by Clarence Leo Best in 1910 and Holt's primary competitor, had during the war received government support enabling it to supply farmers with the smaller agricultural tractors they needed.[22][23] As a result, Best had gained a considerable market advantage over Holt by war's end. Best also assumed considerable debt to allow it to continue expansion, especially production of its new Best Model 60 "Tracklayer".

Both companies were adversely impacted by the transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy, which contributed to a nationwide depression, further inhibiting sales. On December 5, 1920, 71-year-old Benjamin Holt died after a month-long illness.[23][24]

Caterpillar company formed

The banks who held the company's large debt forced the Holt board of directors to accept their candidate, Thomas A. Baxter, to succeed Benjamin Holt. Baxter initially cut the large tractors from the company's product line and introduced smaller models focused on the agricultural market. When the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921 funded a USD$1 billion federal highway building program, Baxter began re-focusing the company towards building road construction equipment.[12]:66 Both companies also faced fierce competition from the Fordson company.

Between 1907 and 1918, Best and Holt had spent about USD$1.5 million in legal fees fighting each other in a number of contractual, trademark and patent infringement lawsuits.[25] Harry H. Fair of the bond brokerage house of Pierce, Fair & Company of San Francisco had helped to finance C. L. Best's debt and Holt shareholders approached him about their company's financial difficulty. Fair recommended that the two companies should merge. In April and May 1925, the financially stronger C. L. Best merged with the market leader Holt Caterpillar to form the Caterpillar Tractor Co.[26] The new company was headquartered in San Leandro until 1930, when under the terms of the merger it was moved to Peoria.[13] Baxter had been removed as CEO earlier in 1925, and Clarence Leo Best assumed the title of CEO, and remained in that role until October, 1951.[22]

The Caterpillar company consolidated its product lines, offering only five track-type tractors: the 2 Ton, 5 Ton, and 10 Ton from the Holt Manufacturing Company's old product line and the Caterpillar 30 and Caterpillar 60 from the C. L. Best Tractor Co.'s former product line. The 10 Ton and 5 Ton models were discontinued in 1926. In 1928, the 2 Ton was discontinued. Sales the first year were US$13 million. By 1929, sales climbed to $52.8 million, and CAT continued to grow throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Caterpillar adopted the diesel engine to replace gasoline engines. During World War II, Caterpillar products found fame with the Seabees, Construction Battalions of the United States Navy, who built airfields and other facilities in the Pacific Theater of Operations. During the post-war construction boom, the company grew at a rapid pace and launched its first venture outside the U.S. in 1950, marking the beginning of Caterpillar's development into a multinational corporation.


In addition to increasing sales of its core products, much of Caterpillars growth has been through acquisitions, including:

Company Location Date Products Notes
Trackson Milwaukee 1951 Traxcavators (tracked Loaders) and Pipelayers "Traxcavator" became a Cat brand
Towmotor Mentor, OH 1965 [27] Forklifts Later became Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklifts, 80% owned by Mitsubishi
Solar Turbines San Diego, CA 1981 [28] Natural gas turbines Founded in 1927 as Prudden-San Diego Airplane Company; assets acquired from International Harvester
Barber Green Minneapolis, MN 1991 [29] paving products Renamed Caterpillar Paving Products
Krupp MaK Engines Kiel, Germany 1997 [30] Marine diesel engines Renamed Caterpillar Motoren (but still uses MaK brand name)
Perkins Engines Peterborough, UK 1998 [31] Small diesel engines Produces both Cat and Perkins branded engines
F.G. Wilson Larne, Northern Ireland 1999 [32] Generators Produces both Cat and Olympian branded gen-sets
Hindustan Motors Earthmoving Equipment Division Chennai, India 2000 [33] Construction equipment Acquired from Hindustan Motors Group and renamed Caterpillar India
Elphinstone Burnie, Australia 2000 [34] Underground mining equipment Renamed Caterpillar Underground Mining
Sabre Engines Ltd. United Kingdom 2000 [35] Marine engines Renamed Caterpillar Marine Power UK. Produces both Cat and Perkins-Sabre branded engines
Wealdstone Engineering Ltd. Rushden, United Kingdom 2004 [36] Remanufacturer of gasoline and diesel engines
Williams Technologies, Inc. Summerville, South Carolina 2004 [36] Remanufacturer of automatic transmissions, torque converters and engines
Turbomach SA Riazzino, Switzerland 2004 [37] Packager of industrial gas turbines and related systems
Progress Rail Albertville, Alabama 2006 [38] Railroad equipment remanufacturing
Hindustan PowerPlus Ltd. Mathagondapalli, India 2006 [39] Engine components and heavy-duty diesel engines Buyout of joint venture formed in 1988. Renamed Caterpillar Power India Private Ltd. Merged into Caterpillar India in 2008.
Eurenov Chaumont , France 2007 [40] Automotive component remanufacturing
Blount International, Inc. - Forestry Division Portland, Oregon 2007 [41] Timber harvesting and processing equipment, loaders and attachments
Shandong Engineering Machinery (SEM) China 2008 [42] Construction equipment
LOVAT Canada 2008 [43] Tunnel boring machines
Shin Caterpillar Mitsubishi Sagami & Akashi, Japan 2008 [44] Construction equipment Joint venture since 1963, with purchase of majority became Caterpillar Japan Ltd.
MGE Equipamentos & Serviços Ferroviários Brazil 2008 [45] Railroad equipment remanufacturing Division of Caterpillar's Progress Rail
Gremada Industries West Fargo, North Dakota 2008 [46] Remanufacturing transmissions, torque converters, and final drives
JCS Co., Ltd. South Korea 2009 [47] Seal technology A subsidiary of Jinsung T.E.C. Co., Ltd., a South Korea-based manufacturer that produces undercarriage components

Business lines

Caterpillar boots

As of the first quarter of 2006, 44% of Caterpillar's sales are to overseas customers. Caterpillar products are sold in nearly 200 countries. The company has a worldwide network of 220 dealers: 63 dealers in the United States and 157 in other countries. Caterpillar products and components are manufactured in 51 plants in the United States and 59 plants in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, the People's Republic of China, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and Sweden. Caterpillar also licenses the manufacturing of Caterpillar-branded clothing, hats, footwear, and other consumer products.

Caterpillar's historical manufacturing home is in Peoria, Illinois, where its world headquarters and core research and development activities are located. Although Caterpillar has "farmed out" much of its local parts production and warehousing to outside firms, it still has four major plants in the Peoria area: the Mapleton Foundry, where diesel engine blocks and other large parts are cast; the East Peoria factory, which has assembled Caterpillar tractors for over 70 years; the Mossville engine plant, built after World War II; and the Morton parts facility.


Cat 365B demolition vehicle in action

Caterpillar has a list of some 400 products for purchase through its dealer network. Caterpillar's line of vehicles range from tracked tractors to hydraulic excavators, backhoe loaders, motor graders, off-highway trucks, wheel loaders, and agricultural tractors. They are used in construction, road-building, mining, forestry, energy, transportation and material-handling industries.

Caterpillar D350D Articulated Off Road Truck

Caterpillar is the world's largest manufacturer of wheel loaders. The medium size (MWL) and large size (LWL) are designed at their Aurora, Illinois facility. Medium wheel loaders are manufactured at: Aurora, Illinois; Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan; Gosselies, Charleroi, Belgium; Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil;[48] India and the People's Republic of China. Large wheel loaders are manufactured exclusively in the United States on three separate assembly lines at Aurora, Illinois.

Some of the company's current and historic vehicles include:

  • Pipelayers
    • Caterpillar 589
    • Caterpillar 578
    • Caterpillar 583K
    • Caterpillar 572F
    • Caterpillar 572G
    • Caterpillar 572RII
    • Caterpillar 561C
    • Caterpillar 561D
    • Caterpillar 561N
  • Motorgraders
    • Caterpillar 12H Global
    • Caterpillar 140M
    • Caterpillar 14M
    • Caterpillar 140H Global
    • Caterpillar 160M
    • Caterpillar 120M
    • Caterpillar 12M
    • Caterpillar 14H Global
  • Small Excavators
    • Caterpillar 311D
    • Caterpillar 312D
    • Caterpillar 314D
    • Caterpillar 315D
    • Caterpillar 319D
  • Medium Excavators
    • Caterpillar 320D
    • Caterpillar 321D
    • Caterpillar 324D
    • Caterpillar 328D
    • Caterpillar 329D
    • Caterpillar 336D
  • Ultra-High Demolition Excavators
    • Caterpillar 330D UHD
    • Caterpillar 345D UHD
    • Caterpillar 365D UHD
    • Caterpillar 385D UHD
  • Tracked Loaders (Traxcavators)
    • Caterpillar 931
    • Caterpillar 951
    • Caterpillar 953
    • Caterpillar 973
    • Caterpillar 983
  • Wheel Loaders
    • Caterpillar 930
    • Caterpillar 938
    • Caterpillar IT38
    • Caterpillar 950
    • Caterpillar 962
    • Caterpillar IT62
    • Caterpillar 966
    • Caterpillar 972
    • Caterpillar 980
    • Caterpillar 988
    • Caterpillar 990
    • Caterpillar 992
    • Caterpillar 993
    • Caterpillar 994


Twin Caterpillar 3208T engines powering Clogher Head lifeboat (Ireland)

A portion of CAT's business is in the manufacturing of diesel and natural gas engines and gas turbines, which, in addition to their use in the company's own vehicles, are used as the prime movers in locomotives, semi trucks, and ships, as well as providing the power source for peak-load power plants and emergency generators.

Caterpillar Defence Products

The Caterpillar Defence Products subsidiary, headquartered in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, provides diesel engines, automatic transmissions and other parts for the UK's Titan armored bridge layer, Trojan combat engineering tank, Terrier combat engineering vehicles, and tank transporters; the Romanian MLI-84 armored personnel carrier and the Swiss Piranha III light armored vehicle, which is currently being developed for use by American light armored formations; large fleets of military trucks in both the U.S. and UK; and the CV90 family of infantry fighting vehicles used by the armies of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark.

This division also provides both propulsion engines and power generation systems to the naval shipbuilding industry, such as the Series 3512B turbocharged V-12 diesel engine for American Virginia class nuclear submarines. Caterpillar diesel engines are also used in San Antonio class amphibious transport docks, Spanish Alvaro de Bazán class frigates, British River class patrol vessels, Mexican Sierra class patrol boats,[49] and Malaysian Kedah class MEKO A-100 offshore patrol vessels.[50]

Caterpillar Electronics

The Caterpillar Electronics business unit has formed Caterpillar Trimble Control Technologies LLC.,(CTCT), a 50:50 joint venture with Trimble Navigation to develop the next generation of advanced electronic guidance and control products for earthmoving machines in the construction, mining and waste industries. Caterpillar Trimble Control Technologies LLC is based in Dayton, Ohio and started its operations on April 1, 2002.

Product distribution

Caterpillar branded products are distributed to end-users through Caterpillar's worldwide dealer network. Caterpillar's dealers are independently owned and operated businesses with exclusive geographical territories. Dealers provide sales, maintenance and repair services, rental equipment, and parts distribution. Finning is Caterpillar's largest global distributor. Most dealers use the Dealer Management System called DBS (Dealer Business System) for their day to day operations


Caterpillar has a corporate governance structure where the Chairman of the board also acts as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Board of Directors is fully independent and is made up of non-employee directors selected from outside the company. Several group presidents report to the CEO, and multiple vice presidents report to each group president.

The board has four committees: Audit, Compensation, Governance, and Public Policy.

The behavior of all employees is governed by a Code of Worldwide Business Conduct, first published in 1974 and last amended in 2005, which sets the corporate standard for honesty and ethical behavior. Management employees are retested on this code annually.

Current board of directors

On October 22, 2009 Caterpillar announced that Douglas R. Oberhelman will succeed James W. Owens as CEO on July 1, 2010 and as Chairman on October 31, 2010.[51] This was reported on page 14 of Construction Equipment Guide in its Saturday October 31, 2009 edition


Worldwide employment was 94,225 at the end of third quarter 2009. Employment declined by approximately 17,900 from third quarter 2008. Due to restructuring of business operations, the decades since the 1990s have seen the elimination of 20,000 high-wage union jobs in the Peoria, Illinois area, while employment has increased due to the use of more non-U.S. and nonunion labor.

According to a 2001 article in the Nashville Business Journal, 60% of Caterpillar's employees work outside the United States.[52]

Labor problems

Caterpillar came close to bankruptcy in the early 1980s, at one point losing almost $1 million per day due to a sharp downturn in product demand as competition with Japanese rival Komatsu (who at the time used the internal slogan "encircle Caterpillar"[53]) heated up. The company also suffered when the United States declared an embargo against the Soviet Union after they invaded Afghanistan, causing the company to be unable to sell millions of dollars worth of pipelaying equipment it had already built. The impact of the embargo on the company was about $400 million.[54]

The results were layoffs and massive labor union strikes, primarily by the United Auto Workers against plants in Illinois and Pennsylvania. Several news reports at the time indicated that products were piling up so high in facilities that temporary workers hired to work the lines could barely make their way to their work stations.

In 1992, Caterpillar fought the United Auto Workers in a five-month strike, threatening to replace its entire unionized work force. Caterpillar had offered a contract that would have raised the salary of top workers to $39,000 in 1994 from $35,000. But the union was seeking the same top wage of $40,000 that was paid workers at Deere & Company in 1994.[55]

Caterpillar's response to these labor conflicts was to "farm out" much of its parts production and warehouse work to outside firms: Rather than fighting the union, Caterpillar has made itself less vulnerable to the tools traditionally available to organized workers. Caterpillar also made effective use of office staff during the disputes, suspending research and development work to send thousands of engineers and others into their factories to fill in for striking or locked out union members.

Caterpillar also embarked on its "southern strategy," opening new small plants, termed "focus facilities", in right to work states such as North Carolina (Clayton and Sanford), South Carolina (Greenville), Mississippi (Corinth), Tennessee (Dyersburg), Georgia (Griffin LaGrange), Texas (Seguin), and Arkansas (North Little Rock), where labor laws provide more protection for workers not wanting to join unions.

Notable achievements and controversies

Caterpillar has been involved in a number of "firsts". The crawler tractor that inspired the first military tanks were based in part on patents for a track design that the Holt Manufacturing Company bought from Richard Hornsby & Sons of England.[56] The predecessor Holt tractor became one of the most important military vehicles of all time when it was used as an artillery tractor during World War I.[18] Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey commented at the end of World War II, that “The four machines that won the war in the Pacific were the submarine, radar, the airplane and the tractor-bulldozer."[8][57] They have contributed to construction projects helped build the Hoover Dam, the U.S. Interstate highway system, the Channel Tunnel under the English Channel, and construct cities and neighborhoods across the United States. Caterpillar equipment helped to tumble the Berlin Wall but also to build the United States–Mexico border and Israeli West Bank border barriers.

Caterpillar built its first Russian facility in the town of Tosno, located near St. Petersburg, Russia. It was completed in 16 months and occupied in November 1999. It had the first electrical substation built in the Leningrad Oblast since the Communist government was dissolved on December 26, 1991. The facility was built under harsh winter conditions, where the temperature was below -25°C. The facility construction was managed Lemminkäinen Group located in Helsinki, Finland.

Currently under construction is the $125M Caterpillar Suzhou, PRC facility, which will manufacture World Class Medium Wheel Loaders and Motorgraders, primarily for the Asian market. The first machine is scheduled for production in March 2009. The facility construction is managed by URS Ausino, located in San Francisco, California.

"Excellent company" designation

Caterpillar was one of the "excellent" companies featured in the 1982 best-selling management book In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters. The company's written principles are the Code of Worldwide Business Conduct document that stresses integrity in every action.[58]

In the 1990s, Caterpillar management adopted the Six Sigma quality management program in an effort to reduce costs and inventory, and identify and correct defects in the company's processes and products.

Environmental impacts

Caterpillar has been criticized by many environmental groups. Products produced by the company include forestry equipment, mining equipment, and diesel engines. While providing higher fuel efficiency than gasoline engines, diesel engines usually produce higher levels of NOx and particulates.

In July 1999, Caterpillar, along with five other diesel engine manufacturers, signed a consent decree with the Justice Department and the State of California, after governmental investigations had revealed violations of the Clean Air Act, in the form of the sale of over a million diesel engines with "defeat devices," devices designed to regulate emissions during pre-sale tests, but to disable themselves in favor of better performance during subsequent highway driving. Consequently, these engines "emit up to triple the permissible level of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx). In 1998 alone, these violating vehicles emitted 1.3 million tons of additional NOx — an amount equal to the emissions of 65 million cars." For this reason, Caterpillar was named the "Clean Air Villain of the Month" for August 2000 by the Clean Air Trust.[59] The consent decree provided that $83 million be paid in civil penalties and determined new deadlines for meeting emissions standards. Caterpillar, however, was successful in lobbying for an extension of deadlines they considered too severe. Even so, in October, 2002, Caterpillar – the only diesel engine company (of those that signed decrees) to fail to meet the new emissions standards deadline – was forced to pay $128 million in per-engine non-conformance penalties.[60]

Shortened CAT logo

In 2004, the company came out with ACERT diesel engines that exceed federal guidelines for emission standards.[61] In 2007, Caterpillar released a second generation of ACERT to meet even stricter standards.[62]

Caterpillar actively[63] participates in initiatives such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency's National Clean Diesel Campaign program, which encourages retrofitting fleets of older buses and trucks with newer diesel engines that meet higher emissions standards.[64]

In 2005, Cat expressed a strong commitment to sustainability in its annual report's "letter to shareholders" and announced plans to publish an annual sustainability report.[65]

In 2005, Caterpillar donated $12 million dollars to The Nature Conservancy in a joint effort to protect and preserve river systems in Brazil, U.S.A., and China.[66]

In recent years Caterpillar has expanded in the remanufacturing area. In 2006 they acquired Progress Rail Services Corporation, a provider of remanufactured locomotive and railcar products and services to the North American railroad industry. In 2007, they acquired Eurenov S.A.S., a remanufacturer of engines, transmissions and components for leading European automotive manufacturers.

In 2006, the company issued its first annual sustainability report, touting its remanufacturing, recycling, and environmental projects around the world. This report can be found on their website.

Caterpillar has, for many years, been a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development based in Geneva, Switzerland.[67]

Caterpillar has been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index each year since 2001.[68]

An example of how Caterpillar is helping the environment is by creating the world’s largest coal mine methane plant. Methane is a greenhouse gas that eventually could be used as a clean energy source. Caterpillar contracted with China to provide 60 methane gas powered generators and produce 120 megawatts of power at the Sihe Coal Mine in Jincheng City, Shanxi province. The project will improve methane gas ventilation at the mine site and create an environmentally friendly fuel source to generate electricity.[69][70]

Caterpillar divisions have won Illinois Governor's Pollution Prevention Awards every year since 1998.[71]

Caterpillar was awarded the 2007 Illinois Governor's Pollution Prevention Award for three projects: The Hydraulics and Hydraulic Systems business unit in Joliet implemented a flame sprayed coating for its truck suspension system, replacing a chroming process, reducing hazardous waste by 700,000 pounds annually and saving 14 million gallons of water. Caterpillar's Cast Metals Organization in Mapleton worked with the American Foundry Society to help produce a rule to reduce hazardous waste in scrap metal that would not only meet strict quality requirements, but would allow foundries to continue to recycle certain types of scrap and maintain a competitive cost structure. Caterpillar's Mossville Engine Center formed a team to look at used oil re-use and recycle processes that forced MEC to send large amounts of used oil off-site for recycling, and developed an updated system for reclaiming it for re-use on-site. The resulting benefits included a usage reduction of about 208,000 gallons of oil per year.[72]

In late 2008 Caterpillar announced that it will stop producing engines for on highway truck applications. Caterpillar will continue to make highway class 8 engines until the end of 2009.

Israeli military sales and conversions

Israel Defense Forces armored Caterpillar D9L (right) and D9N (left) bulldozers

Caterpillar equipment, especially the D9 bulldozer, has been equipped with armor and military equipment by third parties, and used as a combat engineering vehicle. Caterpillar has been criticized by activists for selling its equipment to Israel, which has used it in the demolition of Palestinian homes.[73][74]

A shareholder motion to examine the issue has been brought repeatedly at Caterpillar's annual meetings by investors opposed to Israeli policy. In recommending a vote against the motion, Caterpillar's board stated, "Caterpillar shares the world's concern over unrest in the Middle East and we certainly have compassion for all those affected by the political strife. However, more than two million Caterpillar machines and engines are at work in virtually every country of the world each day. We have neither the legal right nor the means to police individual use of that equipment. We believe any comments on political conflict in the region are best left to our governmental leaders who have the ability to impact action and advance the peace process." The motion received 4% of shareholder support at the 2004 annual meeting.[75]

The family of Rachel Corrie, an American who was killed with a Caterpillar tractor while protesting Israeli military action in Gaza, sued Caterpillar alleging it violated human rights and committed war crimes by knowingly selling its equipment to the Israeli army. Four Palestinians whose homes were bulldozed joined her as plaintiffs.[76] An Israeli government investigation claimed that the bulldozer team was clearing debris to uncover smuggling tunnels, not destroying homes, and that the operator did not see Corrie.[77]

The suit was dismissed by a U.S. District Court judge in Tacoma in 2005.[78] The dismissal was upheld on appeal to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on September 17, 2007, saying it is not the court's role to criticize foreign policy. "The executive branch has made a policy determination that Israel should purchase Caterpillar bulldozers," the appeals court decision stated. "A court could not find in favor of the plaintiffs without implicitly questioning, and even condemning, United States foreign policy toward Israel."[79]

References in popular culture

See also

  • G-numbers for U.S. Army caterpillar tractors.


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