Link-Belt Construction Equipment

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Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company
Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Design, manufacture and sales of telescopic and lattice boom cranes.
Founded 1880
Headquarters Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Key people
Chuck Martz, CEO
Parent Sumitomo Heavy Industries

The Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries based in Lexington, Kentucky, which manufactures telescopic and lattice boom cranes.


The Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company was founded as Link-Belt Machinery Company in 1880 by William Dana Ewart. Ewart was a farm implement dealer in Belle Plaine, Iowa. Ewart conceived the idea of a square detachable chain belt system for use in the harvester equipment, for which he obtained a patent on an "improvement in drive-chain", on September 1, 1874.

In 1939, Link-Belt Co. purchased the Speeder Machinery Corporation, a crane-shovel manufacturer in the 3/8 yard to 3/4 yard capacity range. Speeder had introduced the first wheel mounted excavator, in 1922. Link-Belt's Crane and Shovel Division merged with Speeder Machinery to form the Link-Belt Speeder Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Link-Belt Co., eventually locating in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In 1967, the FMC Corporation merged with the Link-Belt Company. The company produced FMC Link-Belt branded cranes and excavators.

FMC also produced fire truck fire pumps and pumper bodies, and had an OEM arrangement with LTI (Ladder Towers Inc.) to market aerial ladders. In the early 1980s the fire apparatus division of FMC tried to expand its role in aerial ladders on fire trucks, leveraging the Link-Belt crane division. FMC was ultimately unsuccessful in its expansion into production of aerial ladders. The FMC Fire Apparatus division was also ultimately shut down in 1990.[1]

Then in 1986, the Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company was formed as a joint venture between FMC Corporation and Sumitomo Heavy Industries.

In 1998, the excavator products were spun off from the Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company to the LBX Company, a stand-alone, joint-venture company formed between Sumitomo Construction Machinery Co. and Case Corporation to market and sell Link-Belt excavators.

Link-Belt Construction Equipment products[edit]

Other crane manufacturers[edit]



External links[edit]