Company

History

BUILDING on A

CENTURY OF SUCCESS

 

100 YEARS AND COUNTING – WHAYNE’S HISTORY

In 2013 Whayne Supply celebrated a century of business. We have been able to keep our doors open for over 100 years because of each one of our talented employees and because of all of our customers who need equipment that can work just as hard as they do. Whayne Supply started with one man’s commitment to providing excellent service and we plan to continue that commitment into the next century and beyond.


 

1913 – 1945

PLANTING ROOTS & BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP IN A TIME OF CRISIS

In 1913, a young entrepreneur named Roy C. Whayne recognized an opportunity in the Louisville area’s rapid growth and established the Roy C. Whayne Company to see engines, pumps, wheelbarrows, and other supplies to local construction companies. His brother Harry joined the company in 1915 and two years later they began selling road construction equipment. A key breakthrough came in 1920 when the company agreed to represent Holt Manufacturing Company’s track-type equipment. The 1925 merger of Holt and C.L. Best Company to form Caterpillar Tractor Company laid the foundation for one of the oldest and strongest manufacturer-distributor relationships in the industry. Between 1929 and 1945, the company addressed a series of crises. The Great Depression required significant cost-cutting measures, but New Deal construction projects opened new sales opportunities during the middle and late 1930s, and the company provided both personnel and equipment for the 1937 floor relief effort. War clouds soon appeared on the horizon, and by 1940, Whayne Supply was supply equipment for construction of the huge Indiana Arsenal and other nearby defense facilities during World War II. By the war’s end Whayne Supply was one of the nation’s most successful distribution firms and had more than 100 employees.

History1
 History2

1946 – 1973

INCORPORATION, EXPANSION, AND TRANSITION

The period between the end of World War II and the early 1970’s witnessed rapid organizational change and market expansion for the Whayne Supply Company. A few months after the guns fell silent; the Whayne brother dissolved their partnership and incorporated. As postwar construction and mining activity expanded, new branches and depots opened in Evansville, Indiana, and Ashland, Corbin, Lexington, Bowling Green, and Pikeville, Kentucky, to meet the demand for equipment, parts, and service. Growth also required new administrative space, and in 1956 the company bought the former Kentucky State Fairgrounds in western Louisville and renovated the facilities for its new headquarters. The period also saw significant leadership transition as Roy C. Whayne, Sr. stepped up to chairman of the board in 1952 and was succeeded as president by Doug Ezell, initiating a tradition of professional management that continued with his successor Nelson Helm. The leadership transition continued as Roy C. Whayne, Jr. became manager of the Bowling Green branch in 1954, Vice President, Harry T. Whayne died in 1960 and Roy C. Whayne, Jr. succeeded Helm as president in 1966.

1974 – 1995

NEW LEADERSHIP CONFRONTS AN ERA OF CHALLENGE AND CHANGE

Between 1974 and 1995, Whayne Supply Company grappled with a host of internal and external changes that challenged the company and forged a much stronger enterprise. The death of founder and Chairman Roy C. Whayne, Sr. in 1974 and the succession of Roy C. Whayne, Jr. triggered changes at the top. Louis Neichter served as president for a decade and confronted a severe economic crisis that required extensive cost-cutting measures. He was followed in 1984 by Roland McDonough. He died a year later, and was succeeded by J. William Pullen, who initiated sweeping management reorganization and prepared a corps of experienced baby boomers as the next generation of leadership. To better serve customers, the company expanded or replaced most of its branch facilities; opened a new branch at Hazard; initiated new services, such as the Cylinder Head Rebuild Center and Chassis Dynamometer Facility, at Louisville; and established AMCON—American Contractors Rental and Sales as a subsidiary; added several new suppliers, including Barber- Greene Company and John Henry Rock Drills; and adopted Caterpillar initiatives such as the Cat Certified Rebuild Program

 History3
 History4

1996 – 2013

DIVERSIFICATION & RECOMMITMENT IN A TIME OF OWNERSHIP CHANGE

The years between 1996 and its 100th anniversary were a period of momentous change for the Whayne Supply Company. Changes in the market place, including corporate consolidation and globalization, resulted in major diversification of the company’s product line with the addition of lines such as Claas, Challenger, Peterson, SpraCoupe, and Willmar farm implements, Trail King trailers, Thomas Built buses, Barko Knuckleboom loaders and Sullair portable compressors. President Bill Pullen’s retirement in 2005, his succession by Monty L. Boyd, and the death of Chairman Roy C. Whayne Jr. in 2007 ignited an ownership transition that climaxed with Boyd’s acquisition of the company in 2008. The company also witnessed rapid growth of its rental business, which became Whayne—The Cat Rental Store, in 2005. The year 2010 was especially momentous as Boyd Company, LLC purchased Cecil I. Walker Machinery, and triggering expansion into West Virginia and Ohio; and with encouragement from Caterpillar, Boyd acquires assets from Precision Products, LLC to create SITECH Mid-South, a distributor for Trimble high-technology machine controls and guidance systems. Expansion continued in 2012 after Caterpillar acquired Bucyrus International and appointed Whayne-Walker as the first Bucyrus Caterpillar dealer in the United States. Under the banner of TeamWhayne, meanwhile, the company recommitted to a culture of excellence in all phases of its operations.

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