The Rich History behind International Trucks

by | Aug 17, 2016 | Automotive

When you drive down the road in Texas you might see a lot of different commercial and heavy duty trucks. However, you probably can’t drive too far without encountering an International truck of some kind. These reliable vehicles have been around for many years and there are still a wide range of used and new International trucks for sale today. Let’s look at the interesting history behind these vehicles, to show you just how far they have come in the past century.

It Goes Back to 1830

In the mid part of the 19th Century International Harvester was born in Virginia when the McCormick brothers (Cyrus and Leander) patented a horse powered reaper and went into business. By 1847, the brothers were in Chicago and running the “McCormick Harvesting Machine Company”. The reaper business was good and before long there was a network of salesmen and machines working hard.

After the founder (Cyrus) died, the business was passed on to his son Cyrus Jr in 1885. By the turn of the 19th Century, the labor market was going through some major changes and the McCormick Company merged with Warner, Bushnell and Glessner along with the Deering Harvested Company. This created the International Harvester Company in Illinois. At this time, there were no new International trucks for sale in Texas or anywhere else, but that was about to change soon.

In 1907 International Harvester (IH) made its first truck. It was a simple two cylinder engine called an auto wagon. This vehicle was especially made for farmers looking for horseless carriages which could haul things. It was a practical self propelled farm wagon. The auto wagon was the perfect vehicle for hauling local produce to market. It’s tall suspension and tires were made for the rough and muddy roads of rural America. The first year, they produced 73 trucks but within two years they were making over 2,000. By 1914, this vehicle was known as the International motor truck.

As motor trucks became more important to the transportation industry, they began to evolve. By 1915, they had more speed and power and were built a little lower to the ground and just a year later one of these trucks was the first truck to make it up Pike’s Peak.

Truck production increased rapidly during WWI and in the 1920s International was making heavy duty trucks. By the end of the 20s production was nearly 50,000 annually.

The 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s brought about major changes and innovations and IH was there to serve the trucking industry. Today the company is called Navistar International. Used and new International trucks for sale are still some of the most popular choices in the trucking industry today, whether you are in Texas, New York, California or Kansas.

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