February 2007 marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the world's first factory-integrated tractor loader/backhoe. The Case 320 from Case Construction Equipment, Racine, Wis., was the first loader/backhoe purpose-built at the plant for construction applications.
"When Case introduced the first loader/backhoe in 1957, it revolutionized the construction industry," said Jim Hasler, vice president, Case. "Before that, contractors had made due using farm tractors with loader attachments and sometimes jury-rigged backhoe attachments. With the Case 320, they received the unprecedented versatility of having one machine that could trench, crane and fill."
In celebration of its 50th year manufacturing tractor loader/backhoes, Case announced the launch of the Case Rodeo Series, a year-long series of loader/backhoe rodeo competitions to be held at Case dealerships across North America.
The winning operators from local rodeo events will compete in March 2008, during the CONEXPO-CON/AGG show, to determine who will win the North American Championship Event and the grand prize of a brand new, fully loaded 50th Anniversary Edition Case 580 Super M Series 2 loader/backhoe, valued at $119,203.
"Skilled operators demonstrate their prowess on the job every day by picking and placing pipe right where it needs to go, excavating precise corners and leveling ground to exact specifications," said Jim Hughes, marketing manager, Case Construction Equipment. "The Case Rodeo Series gives the very best operators a chance to earn a little recognition for their skills in a fun, competitive way."
Hughes explained that operators participating in the local dealership events will earn the chance to win $100 to $500 in prize money and a T-shirt available only to competitors. First prize winners also will earn a special-edition Rodeo Series jacket, a trip for two to Las Vegas for the North American competition and a collector's edition 1/16-scale model of a Case 50th Anniversary Edition loader/backhoe.
The Case Rodeo Series events are providing partnership opportunities for Habitat for Humanity, with each participating Case dealership contributing a donation and providing their local Habitat for Humanity affiliate with the opportunity to participate in the events, not only to accept donations for the cause, but also to generate awareness and recruit volunteers.
In conjunction with the launch of the Case Rodeo Series at World of Concrete, Case kicked off the relationship with Habitat for Humanity with a $5,000 contribution to the Las Vegas affiliate. In addition, more than 50 Case dealer locations are already signed up to host rodeo events around North America.
Information about the Case Rodeo Series, including a calendar of upcoming events, is located online at www.caserodeoseries.com.