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Glen A. Barton​
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Glen Barton’s passion changed the mining industry. His leadership made Caterpillar the world’s leading provider of mining equipment by creating the roots that support the organization today.​

Glen started at Caterpillar in 1961—fresh from the University of Missouri with a civil engineering degree. He had a global career with the company, managing operations in Europe and South America as well as the United States. He retired as Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar in 2004. In the late 1980s, under Glen’s leadership, Caterpillar had a critical decision to make—was mining going to be a core business of the company? Did Caterpillar have the passion to make the changes needed to products and services to support this mission? Glen’s vision led to the creation of a new breed of mining haul truck—a truck with greater than 100 tons of capacity that operated using mechanical drive. Within three years, this new technology helped Caterpillar became the leading supplier to the industry. But that was just the beginning. Customers needed even more production—and needed it at the lowest possible cost per ton. Glen spearheaded the development of the Cat 797 Truck (400-ton payload) as well as large loading tools like the Cat 994 Wheel Loader.​

Glen’s vision for Caterpillar in mining went beyond equipment. He spearheaded innovative agreements that created a successful partnership between Caterpillar, Caterpillar dealers, and mining companies. He was a familiar face at mines around the globe from the Canadian Arctic to the mountains of Indonesia. He was committed to personally ensuring that Caterpillar kept its promises to the industry. Glen led Caterpillar to focus on safety. He brought together producers and other manufacturers to work on a single goal—how to mine more safely. This led to innovations such as improved visibility on haul trucks. Caterpillar continues this focus on safety today—it as a core value of the company.​

Glen recognized that hard rock and coal producers face many of the same issues with national governments. In the United States, he was a driving force for the creation of the National Mining Association, helping to create a single organization that has made a positive difference for the mining industry on Capitol Hill.​

Glen was a tireless champion for education. He supported the creation of “Common Ground,” a Caterpillar educational program created for schoolchildren. The film has been seen by more than 20 million people and has been recognized by the Northwest Mining Association, the National Mining Association, and SME. Glen sponsored “The Human Element,” a comprehensive program focused on personal responsibility and safety on the mine site—translated into eight languages and still in use at mines around the world. In 1999, Caterpillar received the Prazen Award from the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum for outstanding mining educational efforts.​

Today, building upon Glen Barton’s vision, Caterpillar is recognized everywhere as a symbol of quality and service, providing the most comprehensive mining equipment line in the world. Glen Barton’s vision is being lived today. ​