It takes rock-solid performance to run equipment that moves the earth. Rockford Powertrain tells Brian Schwarz of the century-long experience the company has built into virtually all types of off-road machines.
Earth-moving equipment is no different from any product built to do something. Its success comes down to one essential component — the power source. Without the wheels, the piece won’t roll. Without the operator, it can’t be steered. But without the essential engine components — including drivelines, universal joints, fan and mechanical clutches, hydraulics and power take-offs — the equipment is of no use.
Rockford Powertrain is an industry leader in the development and manufacture of such component parts for the engines that power heavy-duty, off-highway agricultural and industrial vehicles. The company’s products help move bulldozers, graders and the mammoth earth movers used in mining.
Headquartered in Rockford, Ill., Rockford Powertrain was formed in 1890 and was part of the original Borg-Warner Corporation, combining the MECHANICS® and Rockford® Clutch brands. The company’s customer list has included all the industry’s big players, like Caterpillar, John Deere and Case. These high-profile manufacturers and others continue to use Rockford Powertrain’s driveline, fan clutch, hydraulic and mechanical products.
An Eye for Detail
As the demands of its customers evolve, Rockford Powertrain’s engineers offer custom solutions to new and challenging OEM applications. They use a customer-driven engineering approach, ensuring that whether the job is typical or unique, all of Rockford Powertrain’s products receive the same attention to detail.
“Our approach is performance-driven,” the company says of its keen focus on custom engineering. “Customers often approach us with a need for a product that has not yet been fulfilled through a current product line in the industry. Our marketing and engineering teams initially work together to determine a viable solution.”
To meet such exacting demands, Rockford Powertrain relies on a team of experienced engineers who specialize in power-train component technology. These engineers also serve in the dedicated research and development department, which is also equipped with the latest Pro-E technology and one of the industries’ most advanced engineering test laboratories.
“We have fully integrated, in-house manufacturing capabilities, and our engineers pride themselves on their ability to devise reliable solutions to your unique applications,” the company says. “We approach customer application requirements using the latest technology. And our modern engineering and manufacturing facilities include a wide range of equipment, from basic drill presses to new robotics.”
But even with all the latest technological advancements, the company says, it is people who drive Rockford Powertrain’s success. “We are proud to be partners with United Auto Workers Local 803, who represent our factory hourly work force,” the company says.
Driven to Equip
The engineers’ strong eye for detail in development and design is reflected in every one of the products Rockford Powertrain’s employees build. A look at the product lines reveals much about the company’s continued success and strong reputation with the industry.
Rockford Powertrain’s driveline products transmit horsepower to run off-highway equipment. These products include the MECHANICS® EC/ER driveline, which combines an extended-life slip spline and proven, permanently lubricated MECHANICS® universal joints. The EC/ER driveline is built to withstand the requirements of today’s most rugged applications.
“One key feature of drivelines from Rockford Powertrain is the genuine MECHANICS® Universal Joints (u-joints) that connect the drive shafts together,” the company says. “These u-joints have an industry-wide reputation for quality, reliability and extended service life.” Other driveline components manufactured by Rockford Powertrain include yokes for transmissions, axles, converters and power take-offs.
Rockford Powertrain also manufactures fan clutches, which prevent engine systems from overcooling, for on- and off-highway vehicles and stationary equipment. It also produces mechanical clutches built for light-duty to the heaviest-duty applications. The company also manufactures driven-member assemblies and drive plates built to the customer’s design requirements.
Performance is key to Rockford Powertrain’s success. From order entry and processing — where the company’s systems are designed for quick and easy procurement of complete assemblies and parts — to the factory floor, where orders are quickly processed and transmitted to its manufacturing and warehouse facilities for shipment, Rockford Powertrain is keen on manufacturing its own success.
But the company’s ability to perform doesn’t stop there. As customers such as Caterpillar, John Deere and others continue to rely on Rockford Powertrain’s quality-built products, the company’s performance is measured by the tons of earth moved or minerals mined by the equipment powered by its products.