History

Timeline

1939

Highway Equipment Company (HECO) founded by Roy Gaddis.

The first unit is a Model P used to spread sand. It consists of a hopper and a hand-operated spinner, rather than previous man and shovel method.

1940

HECO is incorporated.

The first New Leader product is developed. (Today it would be called a snowmobile.) It is used to pull a sleigh carrying people and provisions, replacing a dog team.

The first snowmobile is named the New Leader, replacing the “leader” dog that led dog teams. The New Leader® brand name is later used for agricultural spreaders.

1940s-1950s

 HECO develops equipment for road maintenance and agriculture.

Mid-1950s

 The first road maintenance equipment is marketed under the Hi-Way® name.

1958

 Cliff Jordan purchases HECO.

1960s

 New Leader partners with Ag-Chem, a leading manufacturer of off-road equipment primarily used in fertilizing agricultural crops.

1966

 New Leader introduces the L20 spreader.

1966

 New Leader introduces the Synco-Matic Mark I, the first true ground speed control valve.

New Leader introduces the L20FH spreader.

1970

 New Leader introduces the L30 spreader.

1975

New Leader releases the Synco-Matic Mark I HD.

1975

New Leader releases the L30FH.

1976

 New Leader introduces the Synco-Matic Mark II with simplified design, improved gear case and valve response time.

1976

 New Leader releases the L2020 spreader.

1978

 William T. Rissi and Columbus Basile purchase HECO.

1978

 New Leader releases the L3020 model spreader.

 New Leader introduces the Synco-Matic Mark III with an electric stepper motor, radar and controller in the cab for valve control.

1989

Bill Rissi becomes sole owner. (Basile maintained an office at HECO until he died at the age of 94 in 2004.)

1990s

 New Leader partners with Case IH, a leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment systems.

1991

Bill Rissi dies at age 56; company stock placed in a family trust;

Bill’s son and daughter, Matt Rissi and Rachelle “Rocki” Shepard, assume operational control of the company.

1994

New Leader introduces the L2020GT spreader.

1995

New Leader introduces the Synco Matic Mark III DGPS-Ready to send info via PDA or laptop.

1997

New Leader introduces the L3020GT spreader.

HECO launches first company web site.

Matt Rissi and Rocki Shepard purchase majority interest in the company; siblings remain part-owners.

New Leader introduces the Synco-Matic Mark IV for better flow control.

1999

 New Leader introduces the Synco-Matic Mark IV.2, which keeps electronics out of harsh environments.

New Leader introduces the Spread Pattern Test kit.

New Leader introduces the Synco-Matic IV.4, which provides operators with a spinner speed readout.

2000

New Leader introduces the revolutionary G4 spinner, plus the L2020G4 and L3020G4 spreaders.

2001

HECO makes all operators’ manuals available online.

2002

 HECO moves from its original 4-acre location to its current 50-acre location.

New Leader introduces the MultApplier, allowing operators to spread two products simultaneously, the L3220G4 with MultApplier insert and the Mark V DGPS.

              New Leader partners with Ag Leader, who takes over the manufacturing of New Leader controllers.

              Hi-Way introduces the XT3 Type I multi-purpose dump body and a pre-wet system.

2003

New Leader introduces the L3020XP spreader, the SP6 for single product control and the DP6 for dual product control.

                Hi-Way introduces the Hi-Way XT3 Type II & III multi-purpose dump bodies.

2004

New Leader partners with John Deere’s Nutrient Application Division.

2005

 HECO acquires the Flow Boy line of asphalt and processed road building material handling equipment.

2006

A “West Wing” is constructed and finished; majority of Flow Boy operations moves in.

New Leader/Ag Leader introduce the NL7, which controls up to three bins.

              New Leader introduces the MicroBin, allowing operators to spread up to three products simultaneously,

and makes its first shipment of John Deere-specific spreaders to Kite in Hungary.

2007

New Leader introduces the L5034G4 compost spreader, allowing operators to spread composted material up to 60 ft., and the L4000G4 spreader.

           

  NewLeaderVIP.com launches for New Leader end users and dealers.

               Flow Boy introduces the CB4000 OFW style trailer.

 

2008

New Leader introduces the MultiBin insert for the L4000G4 spreader, which allows operators to spread up to four products simultaneously.

New Leader/John Deere introduce the DN345 Drawn Dry Box spreader.

2009

New Leader updates the NL7 software to control up to four bins, plus introduces the L2000G4 spreader and the NL450 trailed compost spreader.

HECO acquires a 4000 watt Cincinnati CL-707 CO2 laser cutting system.

2010

Hi-Way introduces the Xzalt Precision Applicator.

2012

New Leader introduces the TR1000 trailer and makes its first shipment of John Deere-specific spreaders into Brazil.

2015

New Leader releases the NL4500G4 with EDGE technology.