Caterpillar Tractor Co. formed in 1925 with the merger of two competitors: Holt Manufacturing Company out of Stockton, CA and C.L. Best Tractor Co. of San Leandro, CA. Both companies got their start in California in the 1800s. Each paralleled the other in the developing race towards mechanized farming, first through combined harvesters, then steam traction engines, and finally the track-laying crawlers that would become known as the “Caterpillar”. As the founders passed their businesses on to their sons, each company encountered special projects and markets that would capture their attention and distinguish them from the other.
It was the same year when the two companies decided to merge and pool their resources. Each brought complimenting assets to the table. Holt had the “Caterpillar” trademark name, the worldwide reputation, and bigger factories. Best had the better financial status, the more advanced tractor design and the beginnings of a better dealer group. The new company adopted Daniel Best’s original plant in San Leandro as their first headquarters with C.L. “Leo” Best as the CEO and Chairman.
For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. With 2010 sales and revenues of $42.588 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services.