Electrical Business

Business News

Terex’s digger derrick products turn 70

February 26, 2015 | By Renée Francoeur

February 26, 2015 – Terex Utilities celebrates its digger derrick product line’s 70th birthday today.

The line began in 1945 with the Tel-E-lect digger derrick and has since expanded to include the  Terex Commander 4000, 5000 and 6000 digger derricks, as well as the Terex General 65, 80 and 95 models.

Terex digger derricks are used in electric, utility infrastructure (power line and transmission) and telecommunication applications, including digging holes, hoisting and setting utility poles and lifting other jobsite materials.

“We are truly honored to be celebrating Tel-E-lect’s 70th anniversary this year,” said Jim Lohan, Terex’s vice-president of sales and marketing. “Since 1945, the utility industry has seen its share of good and bad times, and through it all, Terex has been right there with its customers, providing the right equipment solutions for their utility jobsite challenges.”


Tel-E-lect digger derricks were first engineered and built by Leroy C. Lindquist, owner of the Minnetonka Manufacturing Company, which manufactured parts for the Telephone and Electric (Tel-E-lect) utility markets in Hopkins, Minn. The first Tel-E-lect trucks utilized the truck’s differential to mechanically turn an auger, which was suspended from the end of an A-frame boom and was raised and lowered by the truck winch line to drill a hole.

The 1950’s and 1960’s saw three Tel-E-lect digger derrick product innovations introduced that are still in use today — the Rite-Way auger storage bracket, pole grabbing (PG) winch and the hydraulic collector block. With the hydraulic collector block, digger derricks could, for the first time, rotate continuously and without restriction. The Telecon (TELelect ECONomy) was also introduced, allowing a digger to be mounted on a smaller, lighter and more maneuverable chassis. The Commander I Series digger derrick was developed featuring strong box-constructed booms and dual lift cylinders, a configuration still used as the standard today. Also, the company developed and introduced the first fiberglass third section built to eliminate pin-on third sections.

“We know that our customers’ secret to being successful on any job is to equip crews with the right equipment to match the application. Our products are steeped in the traditions of the people who use our equipment to build the world’s power and communication grid — hard-working and inventive,” said Lohan. “The Terex approach continues to be focused on providing customers with state-of-the-art equipment solutions that help them get each and every project done safely, quickly and at the lowest cost of ownership.”

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