The History of Finning

From humble beginnings in 1933, to the international organization it is today, one thing has remained consistent: Finning has a reputation for service excellence.

Over 90 years later, it’s our unrivalled customer service provided by thousands of Finning International employees, together with our investment in developing unmatched service capabilities, that distinguish us as an industry leader. We consider ourselves a partner in our customers’ success and make it our mission to support their businesses.

Over the past nine decades, we have endured, grown, empowered, and innovated. And while the world may be a bit different today, we know that some things never change. Hardworking people, lifelong relationships, and a company our customers can trust.

Because our work is never done.


In 1928, a young man by the name of Earl B. Finning was working as a salesman for the Caterpillar Tractor Co. distributor in California. Being somewhat of an adventurer, he believed that greater opportunities lay in the relatively underdeveloped province of British Columbia on Canada's pacific coast. He moved to Vancouver and established a small business, selling and servicing heavy equipment.

Earl Finning's company had one unique characteristic that would distinguish it from its competitors. Unlike his competitors, he believed that parts availability and repair services were essential to machine productivity. From day one, Earl Finning's operating philosophy could be captured in the words: "We service what we sell."

Those first years were challenging, and surviving the great depression was no easy feat for a new company supplying products and services to resource industries especially hard hit by the times. Despite the challenges, the company steadily built its reputation and Earl Finning managed to secure a business loan as well as the sole distribution rights for Caterpillar Tractor Co. products and services in British Columbia. On January 4, 1933, the Finning Tractor & Equipment Company Ltd. was incorporated. The Finning name soon spread throughout British Columbia, and became synonymous with reliable products and service.

The Early Years The Early Years
From day one, Earl Finning's operating philosophy could be captured in the words: "We service what we sell."


Finning Becomes Cat Dealer Finning Becomes Cat Dealer
To this day, we remain one of only a handful of publicly traded Caterpillar dealers.

Our first branch was opened in Nelson, British Columbia in 1937. This was the beginning of a far-reaching network of branches and facilities to spring-up across the province. Over the next two decades, we won several large construction contracts and the business grew steadily. After the Second World War, came great industrial expansion — mining, forestry, hydroelectric developments, roads and pipelines. It was the beginning of three decades of prosperity for a name that came to be associated with the best heavy equipment in the world: Caterpillar equipment. This period reinforced our concept of service through a comprehensive network of branches in even the most remote areas of the province, constantly improving our contact with clients.

The 50s and 60s were good years. Major government highway, hydroelectric and defence contracts helped us to become one of the most successful companies on Canada's west coast. As industry in the province developed, we grew to keep pace. Private-sector industry in the areas of forestry, mining and construction helped us obtain a pre-eminent position in the heavy equipment field.

In 1965, Earl Finning passed away at the age of 69 years, but his family retained control of the company. By the end of the decade, annual revenues topped $78 million dollars and we had more than a thousand employees located at branches throughout the province, as well as a new headquarters and service facility in Vancouver.

In 1969, the Finning family took steps to increase the company's financial base and took Finning public. The company’s common shares began trading on the Vancouver and Toronto stock exchanges in September 1969 under the symbol FTT. This was a rare move for a Caterpillar dealership, and to this day, we remain one of only a handful of publicly traded Caterpillar dealers.


In the 70s, we entered into new areas, most importantly the manufacture of our own line of equipment, destined primarily for use in the forestry industry. Acquisitions of several smaller companies allowed us to increase and diversify our activities. We also consolidated our Caterpillar representation in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. The greatest move, however, occurred in the 1980s, when we went from being a Canadian company to an international one. When the recession of the early 1980s came, the downturn hit the resource industries of western Canada hard, but under the leadership of Maury Young and new president Vin Sood, Finning not only remained in the black, but also stepped out onto the world stage. In 1983, we acquired the rights to represent Caterpillar in western England, Wales and Scotland. Finning purchased two Caterpillar dealerships in the United Kingdom: Bowmaker (Plant) Ltd. and Caledonian Tractor and Equipment Co. Ltd., which were later merged into one operation as Finning Limited. Along with the acquisition of the overseas dealerships, revenue climbed to $450 million and we now employed more than 2,200 people.

Finning becomes international Finning becomes international

Finning becomes international Finning becomes international

We continued to focus on profitable growth, and in 1989, again broadened our geographic base in western Canada by acquiring the R. Angus Caterpillar dealership in Alberta. We now gained the right to represent Caterpillar products in all of Alberta, and the Northwest Territories west of the Saskatchewan/Alberta border. This move would place us firmly as a key supplier to Canada's oil and gas industry, most notably our continued involvement with the massive oil sands projects of northern Alberta.

In the 90s, we continued looking for new opportunities in other countries. We saw promise in Chile, which was enjoying a period of rapid growth and stability. There were opportunities in virtually all sectors (mining, forestry, construction and fishing) and so, in 1993, Finning acquired the Caterpillar distribution from Gildemeister S.A.C., Chile's sole Caterpillar dealer since 1940. In 1997, the name was officially changed to Finning Chile S.A. Also in that same year, we acquired Leverton, the remaining Caterpillar dealer in England – we were now the sole dealer for Caterpillar products in England, Scotland and Wales.


1997: Changed our name to Finning International Inc. in acknowledgment of our presence in three countries, Canada, South America and the United Kingdom (UK).

2001: Acquired Hewden Stuart Plc., the largest rental and related services business in the UK, establishing us as the leader in the UK rental sector.

2003: Acquired the Cat dealerships in Argentina and Bolivia, expanding our operations in South America and solidifying our position as Caterpillar's largest dealer. - 2004: Invested in OEM Remanufacturing, a component rebuild facility in Edmonton Alberta.

2005: Finning Canada acquired 25% ownership in PipeLine Machinery International – a new global Cat dealership for pipeline equipment.

2010: Sold our UK rental business and expanded UK operations with the addition of dealerships across Ireland.

2012: Acquired Bucyrus from Caterpillar, significantly expanding our product portfolio with surface and underground mining equipment and strengthening our leadership position in the mining sector.

2015: Purchased the operating assets of Kramer Ltd. to become the Cat dealer in Saskatchewan.

2018: Published our first Sustainability report, outlining our global efforts to positively impact the communities we serve and live in.


     o Acquired 4Refuel, the Canadian leader in mobile on-site refuelling services.

     o Launched our customer facing portal My.Finning.Com, which we rebranded in 2021 and now call CUBIQ.


     o 4Refuel, a subsidiary of Finning Canada, acquired ownership interest in ComTech Energy.

     o Offered the first autonomous mining in South America, improving safety and efficiency for our customers.

2022: Acquired Hydraquip, an on-site mobile hydraulic hose services company in the UK, expanding our product support capabilities.

The unrivalled customer service provided by thousands of Finning employees over time, coupled with our investments in developing unmatched service capabilities distinguish Finning and position us to remain an industry leader.

100000 Hour Tuck at Syncrude 100000 Hour Tuck at Syncrude
Cat Awards Chile Cat Awards Chile
Finning Ltd 1984 Finning Ltd 1984