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Inventors Truck History

The first motor truck was built in 1896 by the German automotive pioneer Gottlieb Daimler. Daimler's truck had a four-horsepower engine and a belt drive with two forward speeds and one reverse. It was the first pickup truck. Daimler also produced the world's first motorcycle in 1885 and the first taxi in 1897.

Tow Trucks

The towing industry was born in 1916 in the city of Chattanooga, after Ernest Holmes, Sr., a native Chattanoogan, helped a friend retrieve his car with three poles, a pulley and a chain hooked to the frame of a 1913 Cadillac. After patenting his invention, Holmes began manufacturing wreckers and towing equipment for sale to automotive garages and anyone interested in retrieving and towing wrecked or disabled autos. His first manufacturing facility was a small shop on Market Street, just a few blocks from the museum.

Holmes’ business grew as the auto industry expanded and eventually its products earned a worldwide reputation for their quality and performance. Ernest Holmes, Sr. died in 1943, and was succeeded by his son. Ernest Holmes, Jr. ran the company until he retired in 1973. That year the company was sold to the Dover Corporation. That same year the founder’s grandson, Gerald Holmes, left the company and started a new one, Century Wreckers. He built his manufacturing facility in nearby Ooltewah, Tennessee, and quickly rivaled the original company with his hydraulically powered wreckers.

Eventually, assets of both companies were bought by Miller Industries, which also bought other wrecker manufacturers. Miller has retained the Century facility in Ooltewah where both Century and Holmes wreckers are presently manufactured. Miller also makes Challenger wreckers.

Forklift Truck
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) defines a powered industrial truck as a "mobile, power-propelled truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack, or tier materials." Powered industrial trucks are also commonly known as forklifts, pallet trucks, rider trucks, forktrucks, or lifttrucks.

GMC Truck History
General Motors Company trucks.

Mack Trucks, Inc.
Mack Trucks, Inc. was founded in 1900 by Jack and Gus Mack in Brooklyn, NY, and was originally known as the Mack Brothers Company.

Fargo Trucks
A brief history of Fargo trucks.

Tractors & Bulldozers
A history of  farm tractors, early inventors, bulldozers, forklifts and related machinery.

Related Innovations
Agriculture and Farm
Steam Engines

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©Mary Bellis

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