Etnyre was founded
Since the late 1800s, the world went from horse and buggy to space travel, from the original telephones to cell phones. The history of E. D. Etnyre & Co. has paralleled this progress. Beginning with simple hog waterers and horse-drawn water wagons, Etnyre shared in these technological advances and led our industry to today’s highly accurate, computer-controlled machines. The following is a brief history of Etnyre International.
Our founder, Edward D. Etnyre, was a resourceful and hard-working man with a keen interest in the well-being of his fellow citizens. He designed and manufactured products for others with as much care as he would for his own use.
His first product was an automatic hog waterer invented for his own farm in the late 1890s. This basic product led to the manufacturing of horse and cattle water tanks.
Stock tanks led to Thresher Tanks – steel and wood tanks on wheels that supplied water to steam engines for threshing. Water Sprinkler Wagons, used to “lay the dust” on the dirt roads, were a natural next step.
E.D. Etnyre & Co. was formally established in 1898. The location for manufacturing was a former battery factory on the bank of the Rock River in Oregon, Illinois. The Thresher Tank and Water Sprinkler Wagon business flourished with continual product improvement.
The horse-drawn Water Sprinkler was steadily improved, and in the early 1900s, the first Road Oiler was built, setting our course for the next 100 years. As we contributed to better roads throughout the nation, another new venture was undertaken.
In 1906, the Etnyre Motor Car Company built three “horseless carriages.” Etnyre produced ten touring cars, but automobile manufacturing was not in our future.
As the century progressed, so did the number of cars on roads bringing a need for smoother all-weather roads, which prompted further development of the Road Oiler.
In the 1920s, the Bituminous Distributor and Street Flusher were introduced, improved, and the business continued to grow.
During the Great Depression, despite the headwinds faced by the Company, growth continued through continuous product improvements. A new era of surface treatment started. The “Fifth Wheel” bitumeter was developed, substantially improving the accuracy of liquid bituminous materials application. Also, during this decade, the following improvements were introduced: the pressure-relieving utility hole, the spray bar mounted nozzle shut-off valve, and the first spray bar with positive pressure circulation.
During World War II, almost all of Etnyre’s capacities were devoted to manufacturing Bituminous Distributors for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Our work earned Etnyre the Army-Navy “E” Award for Excellence in Production – a distinction earned by only 5% of companies involved in manufacturing products to aid US war efforts.
Aluminum jacketing was introduced to the industry during the fifties, saving weight and allowing increased payloads. Etnyre also introduced the first dependable constant bar height control, which allowed for increased spray accuracy by maintaining a constant height above the road regardless of the amount of asphalt in the distributor tank. Further development and acceptance of Etnyre’s Transport Tanks led to constructing a special fabrication plant in 1956 two miles southeast of Oregon on a 73-acre tract where Etnyre’s plant resides today.
In 1962, Etnyre developed the Hydrostatic Distributor. These two units introduced the first proper “mechanized chip sealing,” the most significant advance in surface treating equipment in many years. The new Distributor set a new standard for the speed and accuracy of liquid applications. The following year we marketed our self-propelled ChipSpreader.
Bearcat Mfg. was founded
Over the next two decades, we added portable hot mix asphalt plants, truck-mounted hot patch machines, specialized asphalt and contour pavers, portable asphalt recyclers, and hot mix trailers to our product line.
SMF inc. was founded
However, by the 1980s, it became clear that we could better serve our customers by downsizing and focusing on our core products of Bituminous Distributors, ChipSpreaders, and Asphalt (Bituminous) Transport Tanks. In the 1980s, we introduced many firsts to the industry: the first Distributor that automatically adjusted the pump rate when spray width changed, the first hydrostatically-propelled ChipSpreader, and the first 4-wheel drive ChipSpreader. Etnyre revolutionized the industry in 1988 with the first microprocessor-based computerized controls on an asphalt distributor. We purchased the Low Boy Trailer line from Hyster in 1989, which added a new product line to our portfolio and broadened our customer base. Later, we added Live Bottom Trailers to our product offerings.
Rayner Equipment Systems was founded
Over the years, Etnyre has had numerous contracts to build Asphalt Distributors, ChipSpreaders, and Fuel and Water Tanks for the military.
As Etnyre welcomed the arrival of a new century, they continued to set the bar for performance and reliability and paved the way for customers’ success. That success resulted from building every unit to order and providing unparalleled support, from product selection to parts and service.
Etnyre International acquires Bearcat Mfg.
In 2015, we acquired one of our competitors, BearCat Mfg., which expanded our customer base and product offering, including adding Crack Fillers to our product line.
Etnyre International acquires Rayner Equipment Systems
Rayner Equipment Systems (RES) was acquired in 2020, creating the opportunity for Etnyre to enter the slurry and micro surfacing business, further growing our company.
Etnyre International acquires SMF inc.
In 2020, we added SMF to our portfolio of companies, expanding our offerings to include metal fabrication supplying OEMs.
Back in 1998, Roger Etnyre celebrated Etnyre’s 100th Anniversary by saying, “Sell – Sell – Sell …Engineer – Engineer – Engineer …Produce – Produce – Produce …Like other companies of our type, activities of this sort take place as a natural endeavor to accomplish the goals of the Company. Initiating and energizing these activities are people – people with a myriad of talents and skills – people with hopes and dreams – Above all, people who dedicated themselves faithfully to holding this Company together through the tough times and people who remain determined to continue the success we enjoy today. This Company has been fortunate to be blessed with wonderful people in the past and now the present. Additionally, we wish to recognize both the many customers who have purchased and used our products and the dealers who have sold and serviced these products. We have been fortunate to be associated with top-quality customers and dealers.” The same sentiment holds true today. Bill Etnyre, Chair of Board, said when Etnyre International acquired SMF,
The Etnyre family and Company are committed to making the world a better place through high-quality products and care for our members, customers, and communities.
Etnyre continues to lead the industry with its legendary commitment to the marketplace. Our products combine nearly 125 years of experience with the latest technological advances to provide customers with maximum performance and reliability. We pride ourselves on building great equipment that contributes to the quality of the world’s roads and benefits everyone who travels on them.