Innovation in America's Heartland

Published August 15, 2018

Blockbuster. Kodak. Motorola. What do these companies have in common? They each focused too much of their attention on where the marketplace was at instead of concentrating on where the marketplace was headed. The agricultural and road maintenance industries are no different. Every day, people and companies are generating new ideas and creating new solutions to take the road maintenance and agricultural industries to the next level. Whether that’s through drone technology, autonomous vehicles, or something yet to be invented, there’s one thing we know for certain: these industries are not sitting still.

We have a strong history of creative innovation at Highway Equipment Company (HECO). In the 1980s and 90s, broadcast spinner spreaders weren’t known for their precision. They were known for throwing nutrients fast and wide in a low-cost manner. We knew it was only a matter of time before the industry would demand more. Instead of waiting for the industry to change and demand change from us, we proactively invested time, money, and resources into research and development so that when the industry did change, we would be ahead of it. In 2000, that investment paid off.

On June 7, 2000, HECO revolutionized the dry nutrient application market by introducing the G4 series. The G4 series not only let custom applicators spread farther, wider, and more precisely than ever before, it did so while maintaining its low-cost operations. The G4 series out performed any other dry nutrient applicator on the market and showed the industry broadcast spinner spreaders were able to achieve precise nutrient placement. When HECO introduced the MultiBin and MultApplier a few years later, we again took the industry by storm by giving operators the ability to precisely and independently spread multiple products at variable rates.

We continued our commitment to innovation with the introduction of the Xzalt in 2010, NL4500 G4 Edge in 2015, and NL5000 G5 in 2017. Our constant innovative and forward-looking mindset has kept us both at the cutting edge of technology and forefront of our industry. Even though the agricultural and road maintenance industries are constantly changing and never standing still, there is one thing we know with absolute certainty: neither are we.