Through environmental, technological and industrial evolution, Cummins has consistently produced dependable, industry-leading products
Cummins was founded in 1919 by Clessie Cummins, supported by local banker and investor, W.G. Irwin. Clessie was one of the first to see the commercial potential of an engine invented two decades earlier by Rudolph Diesel. Originally he built a 4.5 kW (6 hp) agricultural engine under license, but Cummins soon began to design his own products. The Model F, which included significant breakthroughs in injection timing, proved so economical that it was widely used in marine boats, drills, power shovels, air compressors and generator sets.
In a 1932 promotional stunt, a truck powered by the new Cummins six cylinder Model H was driven non- stop for 14,600 miles around Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The two-week trip cost $17.54 in diesel and led directly to the first use of diesels in commercial vehicles.
In 1952, a Cummins diesel powered race car captured the coveted pole position at the world famous Indianapolis 500. This experiment helped prove the feasibility for turbocharging in diesel applications. Through the 50’s and 60’s, Cummins business began to grow in the US following high sales in the construction business. The company then began looking beyond its traditional borders, opening its first overseas manufacturing facility in Scotland in 1956.
By the end of the 1960’s, Cummins had become truly international, with a sales and service network of 2,500 dealers in 98 countries. Cummins has continued to invest significantly in new technologies over the last few decades, helping to expand its business network into new locations worldwide. This expansion has led the company to generate over 50% of revenue from outside the US. Through environmental, technological and industrial evolution, Cummins has consistently produced dependable, industry-leading products, and continues to be at the forefront of diesel engine technology in the 21st Century.