While credit is often given to larger manufacturers who helped fueled the rise of its widespread use, a new book, “Wain-Roy and the Invention of the Backhoe” by Lee Horton and Dave Willens, details “the greatest triumphs and failures of the true inventors and innovators of first backhoe and the first all-hydraulic digger.”
According to the book, in 1947, Vaino J. Holopainen (Waino) and Roy E. Handy Jr. of the small town of Hubbardston, MA, invented a revolutionary machine that could dig and load by swinging side to side, and was the first all hydraulically actuated and controlled machine for digging. Vaino and Roy then formed Wain-Roy Corporation. The publication goes on to detail their grassroots contribution to the earthmoving industry, which led to the development of 26 major backhoe-related break-through designs – including the tractor-loader-backhoe, which proved the basis of today’s worldwide multi-billion-dollar industry.
The story of Wain-Roy and the invention of the backhoe is “one of inspiration, struggle, genius, success, theft and failure.” Authors Lee Horton and Dave Willens, two engineers from Central Massachusetts, wanted to capture this fascinating history before it was lost to time.
The book is available for purchase on Amazon.com.