Innovation can come from so many different avenues, and in the construction industry, typically the biggest ideas come from some of the smallest places.
The Bobcat mini excavator, for example, was such an innovation in engineering that its inventors entered a national Hall of Fame, and yet was created in a tiny machine shop to help a turkey farmer in Minnesota.
The company Hidromek, based in Ankara, Turkey, has a very similar journey, although its pioneering innovations were not only localised in a small part of the United States but brought the heavy industries of an entire nation forward in the process.
In 1978, Hasan Basri Bozkurt founded a small workshop in Ankara, with the main initial purpose of designing parts that would allow agricultural machines to be converted into construction equipment, something they were achieving just a year later.
Through the use of attachments compatible with popular tractor models in Turkey, Hidromek could turn them into loaders and diggers, helping to fulfil a shortfall in equipment that would otherwise need to come from elsewhere.
This ambition would be taken further, with a desire to not only convert existing equipment but to construct dedicated machinery as well.
To that end, Hidromek produced its very first dedicated construction machine, the HMK 80 backhoe loader, which was the first construction machine ever made in Turkey.
It was a good foundation to build on, and one that helped businesses in Turkey during a time when the country was evolving exceptionally quickly. Just two years after inventing a first for the nation, Hidromek innovated on a global level.
The HMK100 was the first ever backhoe loader in the world that had not only four-wheel driving but also four-wheel steering, allowing for the machine to have much greater maneuverability than ever before.
Ultimately, the company has moved from strength to strength since then, but it is remarkable that in ten short years, a company can go from a small workshop to the biggest construction manufacturer in the country.
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