Philip Koehring and G. H. Miller are credited with developing the first dry batch paver. Koehring Machine Company was founded in 1907 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to build concrete mixers and pavers, and became Koehring Company in 1920. It produced its first cable excavator the following year; oddly, its No. 2 model preceded the No. 1 onto the market.
Koehring Company bought The Parsons Company in 1929, and it became one of a number of manufacturers affiliated in the National Equipment Corporation marketing group. The Corporation was dissolved just two years later, but Parsons remained a division of Koehring, and Parsons went on to produce a wide range of wheel and ladder trenchers. The Parsons name also appeared on Koehring’s Dumptors in the mid to late 1960s.
In 1976, Koehring divested itself of the Parsons division. The rubber-tired trencher line was sold to Seaman Corporation; early in 1977, Seaman closed the Parsons plant in Newton, Iowa, and moved the operations to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, under the Seaman Parsons Corporation name. Then, in January 1978, Seaman acquired the Digz-All Trencher Company Division of Wind-King Manufacturing Company. In 1992, Maxon Industries, Inc. purchased the trencher lines from Seaman and moved them to its own plant in Milwaukee; the Seaman-Maxon, Inc. name was used at least at the outset, but the Parsons trade name was used for the trenchers as of fall 2007. The large wheel and ladder trenchers were sold to Trenchliner, a new company established in Austin, Texas, and named after the Parsons trade name for the machines. Trenchliner folded in 1980, and Michael Kukla International bought the line; while Kukla continues to build ladder trenchers today, the last machines from the Parsons lineage were produced in 1984.
Koehring Company acquired Schield-Bantam Company as a division in 1963. Schield’s Bantam line of cable excavators was inspired by a Koehring 303 acquired by principal Vern Schield. The Thew Shovel Company was merged into Koehring in 1964 to become its Thew-Lorain Division. Bantam products continued until 1982, but the Lorain line was reduced by 1976 to the L790 crawler crane. Koehring sold the Lorain wheel loader line to Massey-Ferguson Ltd. in 1971.
Koehring acquired hydraulic component manufacturer Husco in 1968 as a subsidiary. It also acquired The Buffalo-Springfield Roller Company, which it sold to Bomag, and the C. S. Johnson Company. West Brick Buggy Corporation developed the Skytrak extended-reach forklift, and Koehring either acquired the product line or the company itself.
Koehring products were manufactured in England by Newton Chambers & Company under the NCK name. In 1974, it also had a licensing agreement with IHI - Ishikawajima Construction Machy Co. - Compact Excavator Sales.
As of 1974, Koehring owned or produced:
• Schield Bantam truck cranes, crawler cranes, self-propelled hydraulic cranes, truck hydraulic cranes, crawler hydraulic backhoes and hydraulic log loaders;
• Koehring crawler hydraulic backhoes, crawler draglines and crawler cranes;
• Lorain truck cranes, truck tower cranes, self-propelled hydraulic cranes, crawler hydraulic backhoes and crawler cranes;
• Koehring-Waterous pulpwood grinders, pulpwood harvesters and crawler hydraulic backhoes;
• Johnson Division (former C. S. Johnson Company) concrete batch plants, batch plant components, stationary concrete mixers, and slipform pavers;
• MKT (McKiernan-Terry) pile hammers, pile extractors, pile driving leads, demolition hammers, casing drivers and vertical borers;
• Master Division (former Master Vibrator Company) plate compactors, concrete vibrators, power trowels, air tools, light plants, chain saws, screeds, space heaters and centrifugal pumps; and,
• Dart Division (former Dart Manufacturing Company) concrete vibrators, power trowels and light plants.
In 1974, it also owned and operated a North American Compaction, Bomag Division (consisting of the Road Division [Buffalo-Bomag, former Buffalo-Springfield] rollers, static compactors, landfill compactors, self-propelled stabilizers, self-propelled smooth vibratory compactors and Flaherty Manufacturing Branch of Buffalo-Springfield chip spreaders; PCM Division concrete mixers, rough terrain forklifts, extended reach forklifts, Mud Jack slurry pumps and Ka-Mo borers; Parsons wheel trenchers and cable plows; and Speedstar Division water well drills); and Menck GmbH hydraulic backhoes, truck cranes, electric cable shovels, pile drivers, and Scrapdozer crawler motor scrapers.
Amca International acquired Koehring in 1980 or 1981. Northwest Engineering Company acquired Koehring Crane & Excavator in 1987; after Northwest acquired Terex Corporation, the use of the Koehring, Lorain and Bantam trade names was discontinued.
For more information, visit the online archives catalog of the Historical Construction Equipment Association at http://archives.hcea.net/index.php.