McLaughlin celebrates 100 years of equipment innovation
By Adam FreillEquipment
Brand continues history of innovation in the drilling tool and trenchless construction equipment industry.
The McLaughlin brand of auger boring equipment, which serves the construction, utility and trenchless industries, has reached the century mark. Now a part of Vermeer MV Solutions, the company started from a tool concept aimed at making the the coal industry more productive.
After returning to the United States from service in World War I, former coal miner Joseph McLaughlin had an idea for a product that would simplify a coal miner’s job and improve productivity. In 1921, in a rented space in Rockdale, Ill., he began production of an improved mining auger, and the company that would become McLaughlin Group, Inc. was born.
By the early 1950s, McLaughlin was a leading supplier of drilling tools to mines across the U.S. Through expansion and innovation, the company continued to grow.
“Innovation is in McLaughlin’s DNA,” said Dave Gasmovic, business development manager for Vermeer MV Solutions. “It’s always been a guiding principle for the brand.”
He cited the example of the development of the company’s Mighty Mole, which was developed from customer requests for a more cost effective solution for underground utility installation. Development of an innovative product that allowed contractors to drill under roads, driveways and sidewalks for installation of small diameter services set the stage for future growth in trenchless construction technology.
Vermeer bought McLaughlin in 2017, after having owned a percentage in the company for several years. In 2018, Vermeer purchased Vac-Tron Equipment, LLC, and integrated the two companies’ product lines as Vermeer MV Solutions.
Vermeer MV Solutions continues to produce the McLaughlin auger boring products.
“Although we are proud of our century of service,” said Gasmovic, “we are focused on the future; always working toward the next development that will benefit the industry.”