The unparalleled durability and cutting-edge technology of P&H products provide a level of reliability and productivity that’s unmatched in the mining industry.

In the beginning

The P&H brand history began on December 1, 1884 when Alonzo Pawling and Henry Harnischfeger launched their partnership with a contract and a handshake and got to work making industrial castings and machinery components. Several years later, the company began making overhead cranes, followed by their first “digging machines” in 1914.

In 1920, the company developed the Model 206 – a crawler-propelled power shovel equipped with a ¼ cubic yard dipper – the first highly successful P&H earthmoving platform, propelling the company into the construction and mining industries. During World War II, the company focused on making shovels for iron ore, copper, bauxite, coal and other mining applications that supported the war effort, cementing P&H’s place in the mining industry.

In 1954, the company rolled out the Model 1800 electric mining shovel, equipped with electronic control, centralized AC motor drive, and nominal eight cubic yard dipper capacity. This model became so popular in the mining industry that the shovel became known as the “Pride of the Pit.”

A series of acquisitions

In 1988, the walking dragline product line of Page Engineering - the creators of the first practical dragline in the industry - was acquired. With this start, the company was able to fully understand the high-capacity needs and expectations of walking dragline operations, allowing it to develop the ideal dragline: the 60 cubic-meter-class P&H 9020 which quickly garnered orders from Australia and Canada.

In 1991, the Gardner-Denver line of large production drilling rigs was acquired. After significant upgrades, the product line evolved into a full line of blasthole drills that are the most powerful and reliable drills in the market, handling difficult operating environments such as arctic conditions, high altitude, and weak power grids with ease.

The company also quickly became known for its robust electric rope shovel product line. The 4100 series introduced significantly greater payloads and ease-of-maintenance features that eclipsed all other shovels in the marketplace.  The launch of the 4100C BOSS, with its special crawlers, created a shovel that was perfect for the growing oil sands operations in Canada. Later, an in-pit crushing and conveying system was introduced – featuring a mobile mining crusher that matches the shovel’s capacity and robust crushing-conveying technology – representing an exciting new material handling strategy option for mines.  This mining system uses far fewer trucks, resulting in up to 30% less equipment and consumable costs.

Combining two giants

In 1994, Harnischfeger Industries (later known as P&H Mining Equipment) purchased Joy Mining Machinery. The two companies continued to operate independently.

In 2011, LeTourneau Technologies, Inc. - the world’s leading manufacturer of large wheel loaders for surface mining with the industry’s largest model sizes and payload capacities - was acquired. Now selling under the P&H brand, the redesigned Generation 2 wheel loaders provide the best possible fuel consumption levels due to the power regeneration capacity of our proprietary SR Hybrid Drive technology.

Continuing the innovation

Also in 2012, the introduction of an industry first – a hybrid excavator – blends the high productivity of electric mining shovels with the mobility and flexibility of diesel hydraulic excavators. This machine delivers a 65-ton payload and can perform four-pass loads of 240-ton trucks.

The P&H brand continues to be the undisputed leader in surface mining equipment, used in virtually every major mine worldwide. The brand’s product line continues to grow and provide solutions to mining’s toughest challenges.