HME Centennial 1913 – 2013

Magnus Hendrickson, Founder of Hendrickson Truck Company, 1913

Magnus Hendrickson, inventor, businessman and the founder of the Hendrickson Truck Company, 1913.

HME Ahrens-Fox is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2013. We’ll be sharing the history and traditions of the company, along with some of the most notable fire trucks over the past decades, during the coming year.

The HME of today can trace its roots back to 1913, and founder Magnus Hendrickson. Magnus Hendrickson was an innovative designer and manufacturer of custom truck chassis. He was one of the first engineers of his day to see the potential of two rear-axles, along with the incorporation of suspension systems. Today there still remains a division of Magnus Hendrickson’s original company that continues to supply suspensions for trucks and trailers – and still bears the name “Hendrickson,” along with HME (Hendrickson Mobile Equipment) that is the HME Ahrens-Fox brand you know today.

Hendrickson manufacturing and assembly.

On the floor of the Hendrickson plant in Chicago. Handmade quality products were the hallmarks of the Hendrickson brand from the very beginning of the company.

In 1978 the Hendrickson companies were sold by the Hendrickson family to Boler Investments. The Boler Group decided to maintain a posture as a supplier and vendor to the truck industry and early in 1985 the Mobile Equipment’s fire truck product line was sold to Kovatch Mobile Equipment. The Mobile Equipment division then focused on building extreme heavy-duty chassis for it’s demanding clientele. In September of 1985 the remaining assets of the Mobile Equipment division were sold to the present owners, retaining the name Hendrickson Mobile Equipment, which was later shortened to HME, Inc.

HME Vintage Trucks

Another early example of heavy-duty HME engineering featuring the original "H" logo as part of Hendrickson Mobile Equipment division.

Hendrickson Truck Circa 1970's

Early HME emergency vehicle design and engineering.

The above are just a few examples of HME heavy-duty vehicles and fire trucks which are probably now considered “vintage” by today’s standards.HME supplied chassis and technology for leading fire truck manufacturers during its early years. We’ll be exploring some of the breakthrough HME innovations and engineering in fire truck  design during this period, in our next centennial installment.

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