Racine, Wis.-based Case Construction Equipment in February 2007 will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its introduction of the world’s first factory-integrated tractor loader/backhoe, the company says. The Case 320 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 Construction Equipment. “Before that, contractors had made do 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.”
Today, the most visible change between the Case 320 and the current Case M Series 2 loader/backhoes is in the cab and operator’s environment. From the earliest models, which featured a stark steel-framed chair with a back and padded seat, the Case loader/backhoe has evolved to feature a comfortably designed cab.
“The difference in control is remarkable,” said Jim Hughes, marketing manager, Case Construction Equipment. “Today’s Case loader/backhoes with pilot controls are simple and intuitive to learn and operate, and require very low effort. Case pilot controls are infinitely adjustable fore and aft, as well as side to side, to improve operator comfort and productivity.”
The company’s loader backhoe models built in 2007 will feature a 50th anniversary decal on the loader arms and backhoe. Customers can also purchase a special 50th anniversary edition, which features bundled options and a special limited-edition decal that is different from the standard decal. In addition, Case will have on display at 2007 shows a custom black anniversary model that will feature a frosted-window treatment of the original Case 320 in one window and in the other a futuristic model.