How did they come up with their construction equipment names? i.e. Caterpillar, Hitachi, Case, John Deere

At some point in time in our lives, we must have wondered why the names of heavy equipment manufacturing companies so unusual. For instance, why would someone ever want the name of their company to be caterpillar? Caterpillar is such a small create and why would a heavy equipment company who has big dreams and intend to grow in the coming years would want to keep the name of such a creature. Same goes with the names of other construction equipment manufacturing companies. Names like Case, Hitachi, John Deere etc. are all examples of names that somehow do not seem to fit with the size and fame of the company. But they still have them and are doing absolutely wonderful.

In order to understand why these companies have such strange names, it is important that we take a tour of their histories and try to understand the real meanings of these names.


Let us start with Caterpillar. It is said that this name was given by a company photographer named “Charles Clements”. It was in the year 1925, when Holt Tractor Company the pioneer in the field of heavy equipment merged with Best Tractor Company. It was then that Charles Clements cried loudly that the machine is crawling like a Caterpillar. Since then the name stuck with the company and has eventually formed into one big incorporation.

John Deere:-

When we talk about the John Deere, we actually mean the heavy equipment company that is in the name of John Deere. If we check his history he was an able blacksmith who doing pretty well in the state of Illinois. But he had taken up a challenge of using a better form of equipment to plow the tough prairie soil of Illinois. Therefore, he invented the self-scouring steel plow that made lives comfortable for the farmers of that area. However, it was only in 1837 that he successfully manufactured the first commercial steel plow. He sold that piece of metal to a local farmer who found it extremely convenient and spread the word to more people in the vicinity. He went into a partnership but that did not last long and had to come out of it. Things did not stop for him there and he continued his good work thereby producing more of such machines. He was of the belief that he will produce the best of machines for his consumers. Eventually in 1868, he incorporated his company.


Like many others, Hitachi also has an interesting story behind its name. It was founded in 1910 by Namihei Odaira. He was an electrical engineer by profession. The product that the company manufactured for the first time was an electric induction motor that was predominantly used for mining copper. The company started with its operation in a mining company located in Hitachi, Ibaraki. The name “Hitachi” also means “Sunrise”. This is how they stuck to the name of Hitachi and from there they started their journey from selling hard disk drive subsidiary to construction equipment to all over the world.