AEM Announces Hall of Fame Inductees

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) announced Dr. Hans Liebherr of Liebherr Co. as an inductee into the AEM Hall of Fame, which honors the pioneering individuals who have invented, managed, built, and led the off-road equipment industry.

Candidates are judged by an independent panel of industry experts and supporters on how well they exemplify five guiding principles: innovation, industry contributions, leadership, corporate citizenship/social responsibility, and sustainability.

Liebherr developed and patented the TK 10 tower crane in 1949, the key product that became the platform for his business. He continued to innovate and expand— with cranes as well as a wide variety of other construction equipment and industrial products.

Liebherr's focus on fuel efficiency and productivity led to the development of hydrostatic drive systems, and Liebherr products led the industry in implementing electronic controls for hydraulics. He was an early pioneer of high-pressure hydraulics, which still set the highest industry standard in excavators.

Liebherr fostered a corporate culture in which innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit propel company progress, and he was an early proponent of world trade. Starting in the late 1950s, he built Liebherr facilities outside of Germany. Many Liebherr factories were located in rural areas or less-developed industrial markets, which provided badly needed employment opportunities for local residents.

The other inductee into the hall of fame is Jim Gorman of The Gorman-Rupp Co.

Gorman’s innovations include creating the first commercially available self-priming solids-handling trash pump. And thanks to his foresight, Gorman-Rupp became the first American manufacturer to offer a wide line of submersible pumps to meet the demanding conditions of mining environments.

Gorman initiated a number of socially responsible activities for the company. One example is the Adopt-A-School Program, through which employees spend time with students reading in the classroom, help with school maintenance, and donate funds for necessary expenses.