AEM Announces New Inductees into Equipment Manufacturing Hall of Fame

Hans Leibherr earns the honor for his contributions to the industry.

  • November 12, 2010

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) announces the latest inductees into the AEM Hall of Fame, which honors pioneering individuals who have invented, managed, built and led the off-road equipment industry. The 2010 inductees are Hans Liebherr of Switzerland-based Liebherr Co. and Jim Gorman of The Gorman-Rupp Co., Mansfield, Ohio.

Candidates are judged by an independent panel of industry experts and supporters on how well they exemplify the association’s five guiding principles: innovation, industry contributions, leadership, corporate citizenship/social responsibility and sustainability.

Liebherr's impulse to innovate was exhibited early and often, according to AEM, and through his guidance, the company became identified as an engineering-driven one. In 1949, he developed and patented the TK 10 tower crane, the key product that became the platform for the company’s new business. From this point, he continued to innovate and expand – with cranes as well as a wide variety of other construction equipment and industrial products.

Liebherr's focus on fuel efficiency and productivity led to the development of hydrostatic drive systems. Liebherr products, according to AEM, led the industry in implementing electronic controls for hydraulics. AEM says Leibherr was an early pioneer of high-pressure hydraulics, which still set the highest industry standard in excavators.

Gorman’s achievements include roles that stretch across seven decades. His father co-founded the company. Gorman’s foresight to invest early in CAD/CAM design software helped his company lead the industry in construction pumps and water pollution control equipment, according to the AEM.

Innovations include creating the first commercially available self-priming solids-handling trash pump. Gorman-Rupp became the first American manufacturer to offer a wide line of submersible pumps to meet the demanding conditions of mining environments.

"We are pleased to recognize these individuals, whose vision and leadership have contributed greatly to the growth and strength of our industry and of our quality of life," says AEM president Dennis Slater.

Since its inception in 1993, more than 35 industry leaders have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. More information is available at