John L Grove founded JLG half a century ago, in doing so he pioneered the access industry with the world’s first boom lift, commonly referred to as JLG 1.
On 9 January 1969, Grove rallied a small group of people around one big idea – to create a safer way to work at height. Five decades later, Grove’s passion for safety and his pioneering spirit has resulted in the company being the biggest access equipment manufacturer in the world, with 6 000 employees.
“Fifty years is a remarkable milestone for both JLG and the access industry,” says Frank Nerenhausen, JLG president. “Our founder not only started a company, but an entire industry. This is a key point of differentiation for the JLG brand. We continue to build on this legacy through continuous development of products, services and technology that advance safety for work at height.”
Since its introduction of the first commercially produced mobile elevating work platform (MEWP), JLG has claimed many access industry firsts, including:
- Oscillating axles for boom and scissor lifts in 1981;
- The only fuel-cell powered boom lift in 1999;
- The first environmentally-friendly 60ft (18m) electric boom lift in 2000; and
- The first straight boom lift to reach 150ft (45m) in 2011.
The company surpassed its own record in 2014 with the introduction of a 185ft (56m) model 1850SJ, the world’s tallest self-propelled boom lift. In the same year, JLG introduced the first true hybrid diesel / electric boom lift, the H340AJ.
“For more than 2 000 years, people used inefficient and dangerous methods to access work areas,” says Guru Bandekar, JLG vice president of global product management and development. “So, when you think that a mere half-century ago no one had invented a way to safely elevate people on job sites, you realise how remarkable John L Grove’s advancement was. His accomplishment gives all JLG employees a tremendous sense of pride.”
Grove was a skilled inventor, a savvy businessman and an extremely hard-working individual, who was driven by the pursuit of perfection in the products that bear his initials. A former employee once said, “You could show John L Grove anything, even a fountain pen, and he could immediately tell you how to improve it,” according to an excerpt from the book The Life and Legacy of John L Grove written by Gerald Lute.
Nerenhausen adds, “Grove’s inventive spirit continues to fuel product development at JLG. He blazed a trail that was never before travelled, and we mark 50 years with a steadfast focus on providing the industry with access equipment solutions that continue to bring his initial vision and purpose to life.”
Grove formed JLG Industries with an inner circle of only three investing partners and within a few short years, developed a unique product that filled a huge void in the construction industry. He quickly won customer confidence and brand preference – a preference that saw the company quickly expand domestically and later internationally.
Today, JLG is represented across five continents, with manufacturing facilities in the US, France, the UK, Romania, Australia and China.
To learn more about the 50-year history of JLG, visit: http://www.jlg.com/en/destination/jlg50.