Cummins Enters Its Second Century Amid Trucking Downturn

Cummins Enters Its Second Century Amid Trucking Downturn

A century ago in a former warehouse in Columbus, Indiana, Clessie Cummins and William Irwin proved diesel power far exceeded its floundering early 20th century reputation. With just four workers in 1919, Cummins launched what 100 years later would be a global behemoth of more than 62,000 employees engaged in electrification, hydrogen fuel cells, power generation, data centers and, of course, diesel. In those early days, Clessie used long-distance drives on diesel power as proof points of the oil-based fuel’s dependability. A Cummins diesel-powered racer finished 13th of 33 cars in the 1931 Indianapolis 500. Later the same year, with the race car on board, a truck with a Cummins Model U engine drove from New York City to Los Angeles in just 97 hours. Equipped with a Cummins Model U engine, this truck drove cross country from New York City to Los Angeles in 1931 carrying the Cummins-powered race car that finished 13th of 33 cars in the Indianapolis 500 the same year. (Photo: Cummins) Cummins marked its official centennial in February. During a celebration at its Columbus headquarters in June, Clessie’s 56-year-old grandson Matt arrived in Columbus in his 1999 Dodge Ram Quad Cab with a 5.9-liter Cummins diesel. He drove from his home in Portland, Oregon, with the odometer surpassing 300,000 miles during the trip. The journey was "kind of in line with some of the things that my grandfather had done with cross-country trips to show the dependability of his engines and their fuel mileage," […]

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