Allis-Chalmers Construction Equipment
Successor Fiat-Allis
Defunct 1974
Headquarters Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Number of locations Springfield, Illinois
Products construction plant
Parent Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company

The Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company was a very diverse manufacturing and service company. They began their foray into the construction equipment in 1928 with the acquisition of Monarch Tractor Company of Springfield, Illinois. Monarch was a tracked tractor manufacturer for the construction, as well as agriculture, industry. The heavy equipment was manufactured primarily at the Springfield, Illinois plants, former home of Monarch Tractor. Other factories in Springfield were purchased by AC as they expanded their offerings. The Springfield plants were included in the Fiat-Allis joint venture, and were open until 1985.

Allis-Chalmers bought Ryan Manufacturing Co., a producer of road graders, and proceeded to offer a two-model grader line of “Speed Controls” in the 45 hp (34 kW) No. 42 and the larger No. 54. Both models had a forward mounted gasoline engine.[1]

In 1950, Allis-Chalmers partnered with Tractomotive Corp., an auxiliary equipment manufacturer, to bring out the TL-10. The wheel loader was modeled after the success of Hough’s new wheel loader that featured a rear-engine design. The TL-10 wheel loader, however, was the first to incorporate torque-converter drive. Nevertheless, it still proved to be less sophisticated than Hough’s model. The partnership would yield a four-model line-up by 1955 but they failed to be a match for other models put out by Hough and Clark-Michigan. As a result, Allis-Chalmers never successfully secured a position in the wheel loader market. In 1959, it finally acquired Tractomotive Corp. and began to produce wheel loaders of a fully integrated design. Allis-Chalmers launched a new improved line of 6 articulated wheel loaders beginning with the TL-645 in 1964. A prototype of a 500 hp (370 kW) HD-41 was a hit at the 1963 Road Show but production of the model would be put off for another eight years.[2]

In 1952 Allis-Chalmers took over the LaPlant-Choate Manufacturing Co. in order to enter the scraper business. LaPlant's existing scrapers were reintroduced as Allis-Chalmers TS-200 and TS-300.

Buda Engine Co. was acquired in 1953 to supplement AC's engine business, and gradually the GM engines were phased out. This may have been spurned by GM's purchase of AC Construction's competitor Euclid.

International ExpansionEdit

By 1957, Allis-Chalmers was renamed Allis-Chalmers International and decided to expand its operations internationally with the purchase of a small Italian manufacturer of crawler tractors in 1959 and a French company in 1960 that built generator sets and motor graders. By the 1960s, the company operated a number of plants in Mexico, Australia, England, and several other countries. The problem presented with these international expansion efforts was the company's lack of resources and funding needed to get such small operations off the ground and growing. Despite its efforts, it was never able to become a multinational company and overseas expansion only netted poor sales.


In 1964 Allis-Chalmers and FNV set up a joint venture in Riode Jainero, Brazil called Allis-Chalmers-FNV for the manufacturing of crawlers. It operated until 1972, when Komatsu replaced Allis-Chalmers as the partner.

Volatile TimesEdit

The 1960s through to the 1970s proved to be a rather stagnant time period for Allis-Chalmers. With no new aggressive product development being conducted and insufficient resources, the company was fast losing steam in both the farm equipment and construction equipment manufacturing markets.

In 1971, the company became Allis-Chalmer Corp. As a recession hit, the company struggled to remain an independent entity in the face of multiple corporate takeover attempts. It also was trying to keep its construction division as a viable revenue stream but sales were experiencing a steady decline. New competitors such as Komatsu were grabbing a bigger slice of the construction equipment pie with the production of hydraulic excavators that Allis-Chalmers did not produce. At the same time, Case CE and John Deere Construction were expanding into the medium and light range ends of the market. The demand for farm equipment also dropped off in the 1970s. The company would be forced to take some drastic measures in order to ensure the survival of the Allis name and its two principal businesses-- agriculture and construction equipment manufacturing.[3]


Main article: Fiat-Allis

Allis-Chalmers formed a joint venture with Fiat Tractor Company of Italy in 1974, calling it Fiat-Allis. AC owned 35%, and Fiat owned the remaining 65%. Fiat-Allis Inc was headquartered in Springfield, Illinois, and Fiat-Allis B.V. was headquartered in the Netherlands. In 1985 the partnership dissolved and Fiat bought out AC's interest.


Crawler tractorsEdit


AC ACC50 forklift

AC ACC50 forklift

AC IC60 forklift - 1972

Allis-Chalmers I60 forklift

Industrial Tractors/BackhoesEdit

Road GradersEdit

AC D grader - 1967

1968 AC D Grader

AC M100 grader - 1963

1963 AC M100 Grader

Motor scrapersEdit

AC 260 scraper - 1965

Allis-Chalmers 260 Motor scraper

Wheel LoadersEdit


External LinksEdit

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