Kramer Ltd., as it is now known, is a privately owned company which can trace its roots back to the 1920s in Alberta, at a time when most of the earth-moving work was done with teams of horses. The founder, Bob Kramer, went into business with his father-in-law, F.S. Mannix, buying sixty tractors in 1925 to pull elevating graders, which were among the first gasoline- powered crawlers in western Canada. Three years later, Caterpillar introduced the first crawler powered by diesel engines, giving the company a market lead it has never lost in the earth moving business.
By 1944, contractors involved in building roads, airports, pipelines and railway grades during World War II were finding machines in short supply. Looking for equipment, Bob Kramer visited the Albert Olson Company in Regina; he discovered there were no machines available but the dealership was for sale. Kramer seized the opportunity, released his shares in the Mannix and Kramer partnership, and set up Kramer Tractor Ltd.
Since 1944, the business has grown with Saskatchewan’s resource-based economy. In addition to road building, it serves customers in agriculture, forestry, mining, oil and natural gas and power generation industries. Kramer currently operates complete parts, sales and service facilities in Estevan, Kindersley, Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current and Tisdale.
The company changed its name to Kramer Ltd. in 1990 because the core business had expanded from tractors to on-highway trucks, lift trucks, electrical power generation, industrial engines and agricultural products. The company currently has approximately 200 employees. The president, Timothy Kramer, is the grandson of the company’s founder.