Commemorating 100 years of Braden Winch

Hannah Sundermeyer reports from the company’s centennial celebration.

In 1924, Glenn T. Braden started the Braden Steel Company in the USA. Shortly after, with the introduction of the patented Reliable Braden (R-B) hub winch, which was designed to load trucks in the oil fields, Braden Steel and Winch Company was born.

One of the company’s truck bed winches in 1962

The first oil-soaked safety brake used in the winch industry was patented by Braden in 1927, setting the standard for worm gear hoisting winches. The company also introduced the first conventional horizontal winch for truck bed mounting in 1928.

During World War II, Braden designed and manufactured winches for the US armed forces. Assembly lines were geared to produce up to 500 units a day. Over a five-year period in the early 1940s, more than 100,000 winch assemblies were furnished for the war effort.

Braden continued to introduce new products, including the PD Series, in 1967. Engineered for use on mobile and offshore cranes for construction and marine applications, the PD planetary hydraulic hoists were Braden’s first self-contained “power drum” units with gearing inside the drum. The larger capacity CH “construction hoist” Series followed in 1968.

Attendees were treated to comprehensive tours of the Oklahoma Braden plants at Broken Arrow and Okmulgee

From the company’s start during the momentous Tulsa oil boom in the 1920s, to moving to Broken Arrow in the 1940s and expanding to Okmulgee in the 1970s, Braden Winch, which falls under the PACCAR winch family, has long called Oklahoma home.

Continued investment

To commemorate the company’s 100th anniversary, a diverse group of customers and suppliers convened in Tulsa, OK, for networking and festivities. Attendees were invited to play in a golf tournament, attend a conference and celebration dinner and participated in two facility tours. It’s safe to say the PACCAR Winch team rolled out the red carpet.

Braden president Michael Rogers, marketing manager Paula Bell and sales and marketing vice president Jim Braden at the anniversary dinner

“Adapt, or be left behind,” reflected Michael Rogers, president, PACCAR Winch. “This is why we continue to invest in the best people and processes.”

Attendees of the anniversary event saw both investments at work, as we made our way through the Broken Arrow and Okmulgee plants. Braden products are utilized in a variety of sectors, including utility, oil and gas, construction, trailer and towing, drilling and military applications. Braden has also been honored by the City of Broken Arrow with a certificate of recognition for “century-long commitment to excellence, innovation and steadfast dedication to the highest standards of quality in the industry.”

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