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The Electric Wheel



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World War II saw explosive growth as LeTourneau equipment saw widespread military use. After developing electric motors powered from a diesel generator as a power supply for his motor scrapers, wheel tractors and other equipment, he sold his entire earthmoving equipment operation to Westinghouse Air Brake Company in 1953, giving rise to the LeTourneau-Westinghouse brand.

He continued developing electric power concepts for other fields, and after non-competitive clauses lapsed in 1957 he re-entered the earthmoving market. The heart of his designs was the Electric Wheel, essentially an oversize tire on a hub containing a motor, and he went on to design and build a plethora of scrapers, wheel loaders and such of utterly unique design, size and power. Along with earthmoving, he also provided machinery for logging, land clearing, material handling, offshore oil drilling, arctic transport, and military applications."

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