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Louisville Switching Blog

A History Lesson on Ottawa Kalmar Trucks

Posted by Donald Robinson

Sep 23, 2016 3:12:18 PM


Ottawa Trucks, also commonly (and formally) referred to as Kalmar Ottawa, is a company of many things. It is also a subsidiary of the CargotecCorporation, a Finnish industrial machinery company with almost 11,000 employees worldwide as of 2015. The company that has built a reputation of excellence over the decades wasn't always in such a powerful position, however - it's beginnings are shockingly humble for an organization that has set and reset the standard in trailer moving solutions time and again.

In the Beginning: The 1950s

Ottawa Trucks began life all the way back in 1958, a very different time for both the industry and the country in general. What quickly separated the company from its competition was its constant push for innovation - it was never a business content with resting on its laurels and instead was ever in search of the "next big thing" throughout most of its history.

Ottawa Trucks was the first company of its type to offer machines with automatic transmissions, for example. It also broke new ground in terms of features that many now take for granted like integrated air conditioning units, anti-lock brake systems, rear door entry and more. Terminal tractors produced by Ottawa Trucks were also among the first anywhere in the world to receive the coveted DOT/EPA certification, something of mission-critical importance for any operation involved with shunting trailers between yards using roadways and other public streets during the process.

Those in search of unparalleled quality moving solutions for warehouse and distribution operations know that all of the company's excellent products were built right here in the United States of America.

Ottawa Trucks: The 21st Century and Beyond

Fast forward to the present day and the "little trucking manufacturer that could" is now an unparalleled industry leader across all of North America. The company currently has over 170 dealers spread across the United States and Canada. It continues to innovate in all of the important ways with each new product it releases, particularly in terms of mission-critical factors like durability, ease of service and operator comfort.

In June of 2015, Ottawa Trucks reached a milestone that so few companies manage to achieve - it passed 60,000 units in production. Not only is this a long way from the company's humble beginnings, but it's also more than twice the total production volume of all North American competitors - combined.

Louisville Switching and Ottawa Trucks

Louisville Switching is proud to partner with Ottawa Trucks. If you would like to learn more about our history and the little truck with a ton of staying power then check out our history page. If you'd like to learn more about us, we'd love to learn more about you. Drop us a note or give us a call. Perhaps you would like to see a truck in action at your facility, we can make that happen too! Schedule your demo today!

Topics: Yard Trucks