JLG Industries celebrates 50th anniversary

On January 9, 1969, John L. Grove rallied a small group of people around a big idea - to create a safer way to work at height

AWP, MEWP, Working at height, Jlg, Oshkosh, John Grove


JLG Industries, Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company and a global manufacturer of aerial work platforms and telehandlers, officially is celebrating its 50th anniversary, marking a half-century since its founder introduced the world’s first boom lift, commonly referred to as JLG 1.

On January 9, 1969, John L. Grove rallied a small group of people around a big idea, to create a safer way to work at height. This seed idea came to life with the introduction of the first aerial work platform. 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 and enabled JLG to expand quickly domestically and later internationally. Today, JLG is represented across 5 continents, with manufacturing facilities in the US, France, the UK, Romania, Australia and China.

Since its introduction of the first commercially produced aerial work platform, 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 60-foot electric boom lift in 2000, and the first straight boom lift to reach 150 feet in 2011. The company surpassed its own record in 2014 with the introduction of a 185-foot 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.

Frank Nerenhausen, president, JLG, said: “50 years is a remarkable milestone for both JLG and the access industry. 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.”

Guru Bandekar, vice president of global product management and development, JLG, said: “For more than 2,000 years, people used inefficient and dangerous methods to access work areas. So, when you think that a mere half-century ago no one had invented a way to safely elevate people on job sites, one realizes how remarkable John L. Grove’s advancement was. His accomplishment gives all JLG employees a tremendous sense of pride.”

Nerenhausen added, “Grove’s inventive spirit continues to fuel product development at JLG. He blazed a trail that was never before traveled, 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.”

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