themselves; huge dozers, wheel loaders, mining trucks, and lift trucks. Eight months later, I was working for the company. In the four years I spent there, I was involved in many new products including the 994 wheel loader concept, an on- road truck concept, and a new line of small construction loaders and bulldozers as well as many advanced concepts, some of which are still in the works. Following a stint at Ford Motor Company, working on the first all stamped steel agricultural tractor cab and various trucks, including the predecessor to the mini van, and a panel version of the ubiquitous Pinto, I ended up at International Harvester, in Chicago. That relationship lasted nearly 10 years and produced production vehicles such as the 50 series tractor, and advanced concepts such as the Probine protein harvester. However, IH was slipping into trouble, and the writing on the wall. Montgomery Design International ( MDI) was established in 1983, based on a proposal to IH management that we set up an independent consultancy, and contract back to the company for industrial and graphic design services. For the next twenty years, MDI held major responsibility for the industrial design, product styling, and product graphics for most of the IH, and CaseIH product lines, and following a merger which formed CNH, the New Holland product lines. Products developed during this period included all three versions
of the famed Magnum tractor, two of which won top international design awards, the original Axial Flow combine, which is essentially still in production today, and the revolutionary New Holland " Cat's Eye" tractor line that began a trend toward more advanced and sculptural agricultural equipment. The lighting and front ends of these vehicles were so far ahead of the crowd that they actually preceded a similar automotive styling trend that still continue today. Without question the " Cat's Eye" design was controversial, but it was a trendsetter, and although there have been copies, no one has yet surpassed its style and lighting functionality. Over the years MDI has contracted with many other companies in the industrial vehicle world; Caterpillar, Navistar, Komatsu, McCormick, AGCO, Challenger, and Yanmar. The most interesting projects from our recent work, centre around alternative power source vehicles including hybrid electric drives, hydrogen fuel- cell vehicles, and autonomously operated vehicles. Naturally, not too much can be said about most of these concepts and which companies are pursuing which systems, but it can be said that all of these technologies will find their way into production vehicles at some point. In fact, CAT announced recently that it will begin producing a line of diesel/ electric hybrid bulldozers that will improve fuel consumption by as much as 30%. As power generation and battery technology improves, so will the percentage of fuel savings. Pure electric technology will not be far behind, and will extend into such exotic arenas as extraterrestrial exploration and mining operations. The design of work vehicles has always been functionally driven, and it will continue to be in the future. As recent history tells us however, this class of vehicles might also lead the future " automobile" world technologically. That is what makes industrial vehicle design so challenging, so interesting, and so much fun. THE VEHICLE REVIEW more information? click here!