Home > Case IH's Elton Long, ‘father of loader/backhoe’ inducted into hall of fame

Case IH's Elton Long, ‘father of loader/backhoe’ inducted into hall of fame

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article image Sue Long, widow of Elton Long, and Sandy Mill, Mr Long’s son-in-law, display a replica plaque honoring Mr Long’s induction into the AEM Construction Equipment Hall of Fame. Mrs. Long and Mr Mill posed with the original Case 320 loader/backhoe, which

Elton Long, one of Case IH ’s most influential figures has recently been inducted into the US Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ Construction Equipment Hall of Fame.  

Mick Smith, Case Brand Manager says, “Elton Long’s appointment to the Construction Equipment Hall of Fame is an honour not only for his family but for his ‘extended family’ at Case Construction as well,”    

Mr Long, who passed away in 2003 and was recognised as one of the industry’s 100 most significant contributors by the Equipment Manufacturers Institute  in 1994, is best remembered for designing and manufacturing the first integrated tractor loader/backhoe.  

Mr Long was elected to the Hall of Fame by an expert judging board of impartial representatives from major industry associations.  Nominees are judges on the degree to which they demonstrate the five guiding principles of the Hall of Fame; corporate citizenship, industry contributions, innovation, leadership, and sustainability.  

During his career Mr Long received 46 patents for designing and improving construction equipment, helping to propel Case IH towards it leading position in the industry.   His designs include:  

  • the hydraulic Extendahoe extendible dipper stick that adds 2.5 feet to the backhoe’s dig depth and is still popular 40 years on,
  • the first hydraulic system for a construction machine that could be controlled from the operator’s seat,
  • the first dozer blade controllable from the operator’s seat,
  • the over-centre backhoe,
  • load stabilisers, and
  • swing mechanisms.  

His greatest achievement was leading the team that developed the first factory-integrated loader/backhoe, a machine that provided many advantages over the retrofit approaches of other manufacturers. The first unit, the Case 320, was shipped in 1957 and had a huge impact on both Case IH and the industry.     

The integrated loader/backhoes enabled contractors to increase productivity, reduce costs and handle more work using less equipment.  They were compact and easy to handle in a variety of applications, including jobs previously done by hand.   

The integrated design of the loader/backhoes accommodated the different types of digging, loading and carrying required of the machines and meant that the machines were tough enough to withstand the stresses of various agricultural, construction and industrial applications.  

The introduction of the Case loader/backhoes revolutionized their use, where previously typical loaders and backhoes rarely lifted anything heavier than manure and had little digging capacity they could now be used for heavy construction applications.

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