Father of Invention
Fifty years after being faced with necessity, Cemco has grown into a global solutions provider.
When Mason Hise purchased a fledgling repair company in 1962, one could not imagine that it would grow into the worldwide leader in vertical shaft impact crushing technology. The transformation took place quietly, almost unnoticed, a result of one thing — Hise’s work ethic and his motivation to fulfill the American Dream.
“There was never a conscious decision to become an equipment manufacturer,” says Neil Hise, Mason’s son and current president of Cemco. “We were just working hard and trying to solve problems. We didn’t let anyone tell us there was something we couldn’t do.”
That nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic and old-fashioned ingenuity transformed Cemco from what started as a service-and-repair business into a global manufacturing company that now occupies a 144,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that solves crushing challenges in 27 countries across the globe. The company is now on its third generation and continues to focus on solving the unique challenges of the mining and aggregate industries while leveraging its experience to reshape the recycling and cement industries as well.
But what today is a global equipment provider, started with simple beginnings, hard work, and a desire to make a living and a good life for the family.
Rising out of the depression
Mason grew up during the Great Depression and, with only an eighth-grade education, went to work in the gold-mining town of Bodie, Calif. He spent his life working mining, highway, and railroad jobs, earning an education that he would never find in books. During World War II, he overhauled engines for the 8th Air Force in Warrington, England, and helped set records for horsepower achievements. There, he met his wife, Rose, who drove an ambulance during the blitz of London.
Returning to the United States after his service was up, Mason sent for Rose and his newborn son, Neil, as soon as he had put down roots in New Mexico. Rose, upon stepping foot in New Mexico, said she was so overwhelmed by the beautiful blue skies that she knew instantly she would never call anywhere else home again. Together, the family grew and traveled throughout the Southwest living in construction camps as Mason worked building roads and bridges. It was an exciting time of development in the West, and the Hise family enjoyed being a part of the progress. However, with that life came a lack of stability.
In 1962, Mason Hise learned that a company by the name of Crusher Service Co. had been listed for sale. Filled with the entrepreneurial spirit and motivated by a desire to provide a more stable life for his family, he decided to purchase the company. Equipped with rugged machines, an ever-increasing demand for repair services, and an even greater amount of sweat and determination, Mason and his son provided crusher repair services to customers in a 400-mile radius around Albuquerque. Using trucks and portable, manual-welding rigs, the Hise family found the hours long and the work plentiful. Rose served as the accountant and office manager, handling all the details necessary to support the growth of their fledgling business.
It was demanding work using unsophisticated equipment and requiring the men to travel endless miles on dirt roads to service the aggregate industry day and night. Equipped with only hand tools and welding rod, they disassembled, welded, straightened, and reassembled crushers countless times.
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