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Caterpillar Firsts in India

Caterpillar has been a key partner in India’s growth since?the first sales of a Caterpillar track-type tractor?in 1914, supporting growth in agriculture, mining, transportation, captive power generation and construction of infrastructure.?Today,?Caterpillar and its?dealers?collectively?employ more than 11,000+ people in India, representing nearly every part of Caterpillar’s business.?

First Customer?

In 1914, S.H.?Gorowala?purchased the first Holt Caterpillar track-type tractor for?agricultural applications?in?Punjab,?India. The?Caterpillar?tractor replaced ox?power?on the farm for tasks such as?plowing, seeding, and harvesting.?The tractor was manufactured in Peoria, Illinois, and was probably a?60 horsepower?machine (30 of 48 Caterpillar machines manufactured in Peoria that year were Holt 60's).?Since that?first sale?in 1914, Caterpillar has seen tremendous growth and development in?India.?

Beginning of a Dealer Network?

In March of?1926, Fitton Smith & Co., Ltd., of London,?became the first Caterpillar dealer?to?export to?India.?By the?early?1930s, equipment was?first?sold in country by?Caterpillar?export?dealer William Jacks & Co.,?in Mumbai.?Today,?Gmmco?Cat??is the dealer?that covers?South, West and Central India while?Gainwell?Cat operates in North, East and Northeastern India.??

Bhakra Dam: First Project?

In 1948, construction started on the Bhakra Dam – at that time the largest?concrete?gravity dam in the world.?Located on the Sutlej River in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh in northern India, the dam forms the Gobind Sagar reservoir.?From?the?early?days of its construction,?Cat??equipment was there.?

Cat?dozers were first purchased for the job in 1948. By?1953, eleven?Cat?D8800 electric sets?became part of the jobsite. They powered pull bucket cars loaded with concrete up a mountain side and over two?tresses?300 feet high. More than five million cubic yards of concrete was hauled and dumped into the forms.?

In 1959 alone, the Punjab Government Irrigation Branch of India purchased vast?numbers of?Cat?No. 12?Motor Graders. The?reason given?for its purchase?was that the?graders?maintained?haul roads 24?hours a day on the?Bhakra Dam project. Quality?of?manufacture allowed?this machine to?work around the clock.?

In the end Caterpillar supplied over 100 pieces of equipment,?which?comprised about a third of the equipment used on project.?Competed in 1963, the dam benefited over 10 million people by feeding water into 200 miles of irrigation canals.?

Early?Industrial Might?

Caterpillar’s first direct investment in India came in 1963.?Caterpillar and Larsen & Toubro,?formed?a joint venture in India?called?Tractor Engineers Limited?in order?to make parts for?Cat?dozers.?

Today, our presence in India includes state-of-the art manufacturing facilities, research and development centers, service and support organizations. As in the past, our employees produce world-class products for India and export Indian-made-products to other countries with a focus on sustainability and?exceptional?productivity.?

From the Vault

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