Equipment Manufacturer Refurbishes 40-Year-Old Machine

Mustang receives dozens of calls for replacement skid-steer loader parts from its dealers everyday. But this one was different. The drive belt the customer was seeking hadn't been used on a Mustang skid-steer loader in more than 40 years.

The caller – Joe Gross of J. Gross Equipment, Aberdeen, S.D. – was looking to fix a 1965 skid-steer loader for his farming customer. Not only was the unit more than 40-years-old and still in good working condition, it was No. 18 of the original 25 units off the Mustang production line.

Following production of the first 25 units, Mustang – then known as Owatonna Manufacturing Company – put the unit through a complete redesign. The drive system was reengineered and this particular drive belt was eliminated.

The unit, now with its third owner, still had the original decals, seat, and tires. It had logged just 339.6 hr in its lifetime, based on the original – and still working – hour meter. Further evidence of its low usage time was the pins, bushings, and other wear points that were in like new condition.

The skid-steer was among the first manufactured in the United States. In fact, the machine was built long before the terminology “skid-steer” was even developed. The unit was marketed as a “self-propelled four-wheel drive unit,” and was recognized by its lime green and red color scheme. The first units were designated as the Owatonna Mustang Series 1000 – a name that was derived from the company's hometown and original name.

After purchasing the skid-steer, the company spent three months having it repainted and installed new tires. Other than paint, decals, tires, seat, and a few hoses that had deteriorated from age, there was no other restoration needed.

The refurbished unit is currently on display at the Owatonna Village of Yesteryear.

MCAA's Johnson Earns Professional License

The Mason Contractor's Association of America has announced that Rashod R. Johnson, P.E., director of engineering, has earned a professional engineering license from the State of Illinois. The licenses are regulated by the state to safeguard the public by setting defined minimum standards of performance when professional services are needed. Licensing raises the standards of the profession by limiting the practice to those meeting objective standards through rigorous examinations and experience.

Johnson, who has been with MCAA for more than six years, serves on many codes and standards committees representing the interests of mason contractors throughout the country.

“Rashod has worked hard over the last six years to establish MCAA's credibility within America's masonry codes and standards,” said Michael Adelizzi, the association's executive director. “His already solid credibility was strengthened even further by earning his P.E. license.”

Johnson's professional memberships include the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), and American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), where he is on the Executive Committee for C12 - Masonry Mortars, C15 - Manufactured Masonry Units, and E34 - Occupational Health and Safety.

He holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering with a construction management concentration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a masters of science in civil engineering with a concentration in structural engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.