Components: Atessa, Bazzano, Frosinone, San Eusebio
Manufacturing: Jesi, Minerbio, Pistoria
We’ve been helping our customers build critical infrastructure around the globe since the early 1900’s. Our footprint in Italy – home to some of the most recognizable historical landmarks on the planet – is no different. Our machines have been there to help our customers complete critical projects – including the discovery of some ancient Roman ruins.
Cat PM 200 paver in front of the Roman Coliseum in Rome, Italy, 2006
Caterpillar Sixty working next to the Pyramidal Mausoleum in Rome, 1931.
Cat D9N dozer working in Italy, 1993.
Cat 955 Track Loader in front of the Roman Coliseum, ca. 1962.
Caterpillar employee and U.S. Olympic Team pin, 1960.
Cat dealer performs service on a quarry site in Lucca, Italy, 2010.
2014 Grand opening of the Caterpillar Jesi Plant.
Our foundations in Italy date back to 1912 when the first sale of a Holt Caterpillar track-type tractor was reported in Genoa. That tractor was manufactured in Peoria, Illinois, and used for agricultural operations. By 1914, Holt announced the establishment of a dealer in Genoa to sell Caterpillar tractors. In 1918, the Italian army was using Caterpillar tractors to move artillery pieces and haul wagons as part of the Allied cause during World War I.
From 1966 to 1967, Caterpillar machines helped construct the Trans-Alpine Pipeline that runs through Italy, Austria, and Germany today. Considered one of the most difficult pipelaying projects in history, Caterpillar-built equipment played a major role in bringing it online.
“The Trans-Alpine involves problems never previously encountered in a single pipeline project," said Caterpillar project manager Herb Benzel. Four tunnels, averaging about four miles in length, were cut through solid rock to carry the pipeline beneath mountain peaks. The natural beauty at construction areas was required to be maintained. Half of the route was in the heart of the Italian and Austrian Alps.
Cat® 594 Pipelayers, introduced just the year before, helped put the 40-inch diameter pipe into place. Four 594s recently joined more than 100 other Caterpillar machines on the project. Our equipment included 561, 571, 572, and 583 Pipelayers; D7, D8 and D9 tractors; and 955 Track Loaders. Caterpillar-built engines provided power for other equipment.
Once completed, the 320-mile pipeline carried oil from the Middle East and Africa into Europe between Trieste, Italy, and Ingolstadt, Germany. Caterpillar pipelayers, crawler tractors, front-end loaders, and engines were used to build the line. The Caterpillar machinery and onsite service was supplied by dealers in France, Germany, Austria, and Italy.
While working on the modernization and relocation of traffic lanes in the Porta Maggiore area of Rome, a Cat 955 Track Loader unearthed old Roman ruins of significant historical importance. Porta Maggiore was one of the main entrances to the city, dating back to the year 52 A.D. Over the centuries, 10 feet of overburden accumulated, completely covering the walls, statues and hidden passages of the Basilica Maggiore. The 955 removed over 1,000 years of earth and debris, bringing back the architecture close to its former glory.
Two Caterpillar employees and players on the world-famous Caterpillar basketball team, Bob Boozer and Al Kelley, played for the U.S. Olympic squad, which represented the United States in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. Caterpillar coach Warren Womble was an assistant coach for the U.S. team. The Caterpillar basketball team was a member of the now-defunct Industrial Basketball League, prior to the evolution of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Arguably one of the greatest Olympic basketball teams of all time, the team won gold on the courts of Rome. Boozer later left Caterpillar and won an NBA title with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971.
As early as 1931, Caterpillar had a small network of dealers in Italy. They found success by conducting demonstrations to potential customers of Caterpillar gasoline and later diesel tractors. In 1934, the company OLMIA of Vercelli, manufacturers of machinery for rice cultivation, began importing and selling Caterpillar machines throughout Northern Italy. In 1952, OLMIA extended its business, selling Caterpillar machines throughout northern and central Italy, eventually changing its name to IMAI. In 1952, IMAI became CGT, Compagnia Generale Trattori SpA, and moved its central offices to Milan.