Caterpillar shuffles executive officers


Following the announcement that Caterpillar Inc. Group President Rob Charter has elected to retire, the Peoria, Illinois-based company has announced changes in responsibilities for two group presidents and the appointment of a new group president. All personnel changes became effective June 1.

Bob De Lange has been named group president of customer and dealer support. He is currently the construction industries group president but will replace Charter.


“During his 25-year career with Caterpillar, Bob has delivered excellent results in leadership positions across Europe, the United States and Asia,” Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby says. “Throughout his career, Bob has built strong relationships with our dealers while holding a range of product and marketing positions. His diverse experience working with our dealer network makes him ideally suited to lead the customer and dealer support group.”

Tom Pellette, the current energy and transportation group president, has been named group president of construction industries. He replaces De Lange.

De Lange

“Tom delivered strong results during a challenging time for the industry when previously leading our construction industries organization, and with Bob De Lange’s move, Tom is best positioned to resume the leadership role for construction industries,” Umpleby says.

Ramin Younessi has been appointed group president of energy and transportation by Caterpillar’s board. Younessi is currently vice president of Caterpillar’s industrial power systems division (IPSD) and replaces Pellette.

“Ramin’s extensive leadership experience prior to joining Caterpillar, combined with his outstanding leadership of the industrial power systems division for the last five years, make him a valuable addition to the executive office,” Umpleby says.

Younessi joined Caterpillar in 2013, bringing more than 25 years of outside senior leadership experience. Previous executive responsibility included product development, quality, purchasing and product planning with Navistar, Lisle, Illinois, as well as product development and planning for Germany-based Daimler AG’s commercial vehicle division. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and master’s degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Maryland.

Younessi’s replacement has yet to be named.

McNeilus creates refuse business unit

McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corp. company based in Dodge Center, Minnesota, has refocused its structure to create a new refuse collection vehicles business unit. Jeff Koga, whose previous experience includes vice president of integrated product support for Oshkosh Defense vehicles, leads the refuse vehicle unit.

In his role as vice president and general manager of McNeilus Refuse Collection Vehicles, Koga will lead all initiatives of the business unit, including product development, production and marketing. He will ensure that McNeilus refuse collection vehicles continue to lead the industry in reliability, performance, innovation and quality, the company says.

The appointment of Koga is part of a new corporate structure that includes three business units: refuse collection vehicles, customer support solutions (formerly aftermarket parts and service) and concrete mixers.

“This new organizational structure allows the company to leverage decades of experience and renew its focus on delivering specific products and services vital to the success of our customers,” Brad Nelson, president of Oshkosh’s Commercial Segment and McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing says. “We have equipped each of these three business units with the resources necessary to ensure their independence and success through end-to-end accountability. These resources include human resources, finance, sales, marketing and operations functions.”

Koga brings extensive experience with severe-duty vehicle production, lean manufacturing processes and global product support to McNeilus. Most recently, he led the cross-segment value stream design for Oshkosh’s multiyear systems transformation program. Previously, with Oshkosh Defense, Koga established 22 operations globally, expanded international presence and transformed product support, the company says. His portfolio demonstrates a successful track record of business performance and customer focus.

Fuchs announces upgrades to its material handlers

Fuchs, a Terex brand based in Louisville, Kentucky, announces that its MHL340 F2 and MHL350 F2 material handlers have been upgraded for operators working in the scrap, recycling, waste, port and logging industries.

The MHL340 handler features a heavier counterweight designed to provide better lifting stability. It has an increased operating weight of up to 67,460 pounds and a 14-foot, 3-inch outrigger base. The Fuchs handler offers high-lifting capacities throughout its 360-degree rotation through its double-row slewing ring located in the center of the machine.

The Fuchs MHL340 material handler can be equipped with a variety of boom/stick options, ranging from 36 feet, 1 inch to 44 feet, 11 inches. Its 40-foot-long universal stick configuration includes a hydraulic cylinder mounted to the top of the boom. When equipped with the longer boom/stick configurations, the MHL340 can load trailers from the rear versus the side. When operating inside, the machine’s standard close proximity range limiter is designed to help to avoid the stick from hitting any nearby structures.

The available Fuchs Quick Connect (FQC) system adds a hydraulic quick coupler to the end of the stick. FQC allows the operator to connect and disconnect all hydraulic lines of the grapple and electrical connections of the magnet from inside the cab. The MHL340 comes standard with a 17-kilowatt generator and controls for magnet operation.

According to the company, the MHL350 F2 material handler now boasts a dual-circuit hydraulic system to better handle heavy loads. With its 15-foot, 9-inch outrigger base, the MHL350’s double-row centrally positioned slewing ring is designed for high lifting capacities throughout its 360-degree rotation. The handler offers operating weights up to 78,264 pounds.

To reduce the number of times material is handled, the new MHL350 handler features 49-foot, 2-inch and 52-foot, 5-inch work ranges when equipped with standard dipper sticks.

Wildlife Defense Systems signs exclusive distribution agreement for bird deterrent system

Wildlife Defense Systems Inc. (WDSI), St. Marys, Georgia, has announced it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Frank Shober Inc. (FSI), Warren, New Jersey, to market, install and maintain the company’s new Raptor solid waste bird deterrent system.

WDSI manufactures bio-acoustical systems and sensor platforms designed to harmlessly deter birds and other wildlife from agriculture, aquaculture, landfills, airports, cell towers, wind and solar farms and utility infrastructure. FSI is a waste equipment distributor and sells products ranging from compactors and balers to bird deterrence and odor control technologies.

The companies have been developing the product on a landfill in southeast Georgia and have successfully demonstrated the product along the east coast with WDSI Raptor clearing an active area in Pennsylvania.

The Raptor platform uses WDSI’s tone generation technology that the company says has increased yield by 30 to 40 percent in crops affected by birds, deer and other nuisance animals.

The companies have started marketing for sale or lease a hybrid-powered (solar, generator, battery) system that can be moved around the landfill to provide a deterrent solution designed to protect equipment operators and drivers from gulls, buzzards and other nuisance animals.

“My sales team and I have been looking for a bird deterrent solution for our customers that actually worked, and WDSI has not let us down,” Frank Shober, president of FSI, says. “We are looking forward to working with the WDSI team. This product will have a significant impact on changing the current mindset of how bird and nuisance animal control is handled by our industry.”

“We were fortunate that Frank Shober learned of the company from friends here in St. Marys. To have a pioneer with 45 years of experience in the solid waste industry work with us on the development and marketing of the product has given us a tremendous advantage in bringing the right system to the market,” WDSI President Frank Woodward says.

O’Brian Tarping Systems launches rebranding campaign

O’Brian Tarping Systems, Wilson, North Carolina, has launched a rebranding campaign, including a new logo for each side of its business—O’Brian Tarping Systems, O’Brian Custom Covers and O’Brian Custom Boat Covers—and a revamped website designed to display correctly on most mobile devices. Potential customers, customers and dealers can now easily find the information that they are looking for on the website, O’Brian says.

Each new logo is designed around the core products of each side of the business, says the company. Instead of just a name, there is a graphic unifying each core business together.

O’Brian Tarping Systems is a third-generation family business that manufactures covering systems for the waste, refuse and construction industries. O’Brian industry brands include Diablo, Magnum, OTS, Autocover, Duracover and Skyhook. For additional information on O’Brian, visit

BHS receives $20 million investment

Portland, Oregon-based True West Capital Partners has led what it calls a $20 million junior capital investment in sorting and recycling equipment maker Bulk Handling Systems (BHS). Eugene, Oregon-based BHS indicates it will use the capital to pursue growth opportunities.

Los Angeles-based Caltius Structured Capital, which financed a management buyout of BHS in 2008 and is an equity owner of the company, co-invested in the financing.

“This investment comes at a time when we are projecting substantial growth due in large part to our launch of the Max-AI product,” comments Steve Miller, CEO of BHS. “We see a zero waste future and have an increasing number of communities committed to that goal because their residents demand it.”

BHS designs, manufactures and installs systems made to extract recyclables from the overall waste stream. The company recently launched Max-AI, a robotic sorting system that uses artificial intelligence to select and sort specifically identified objects from the waste stream with what the company indicates is 95 percent precision.

“The technology is recognized for dramatically improving the quality of materials generated at the sorting facility while also improving safety at material recovery facilities (MRFs),” according to BHS, which has completed hundreds of installations on five continents in the past 10 years.

“We look for companies in the western United States with the desire to lead their industries through innovation, service and ingenuity,” Steve Wilkins, managing director and co-founder of True West, says. “Bulk Handling Systems’ material handling equipment, NRT optical sorting technology and Nihot air separation technology have set the standard for MRFs. These technologies, when combined with recent innovations such as Max-AI and zero waste, will enable waste haulers and MRFs to meet new state- and federally mandated benchmarks for waste recovery across the globe. It is an important moment for governments, municipalities and waste management partners to see BHS’ performance, and for the company to be in a position for growth globally.”

True West provides what it calls flexible junior capital to middle-market companies in the western U.S. with revenue figures of between $20 million to $250 million. Founded in 2009, True West states it is dedicated to building and maintaining long-term relationships with the management teams of its portfolio companies, its investors and its business community.

Caltius Structured Capital indicates it invests from $7 million to $50 million in companies with positive cash flow, designing flexible capital. It has invested approximately $1.2 billion in 67 transactions since 1997.