Company History: Over ninety years ago, Twin Disc originated a power transmission technology that changed the way the world works. For nine decades, Twin Disc has designed, built and distributed products that influence the development and prosperity of the world. They are installed in the drivelines and power trains of marine and off-highway equipment. They manage and control the horsepower generated by internal combustion engines and electric motors. These products seldom are seen. But they go in machines that contribute to the very standard of our lives. They're found in fishing boats, work boats and pleasure craft, farm tractors, irrigation pumps, Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting vehicles, mining equipment, oil field, construction, logging and railway equipment, to name a few. They help feed us, build roads, cities and homes, provide natural resources, transport us, defend us, and influence our lives in many other unnoticed but critical ways. For this company to have grown in both product offerings and worldwide manufacturing and distribution capabilities, it had to have strong prime movers. And for a company with such unique products to have succeeded for nearly a century, its leaders must have learned to seize its moments as well as anticipate the future.
The Battens, P.H., John and Michael, have provided three generations of vision and dedication to the development of Twin Disc products and markets. Each has brought his own management style, business culture and individual accomplishments to Twin Disc's rich history. P.H. Batten, one of the founders, started the company with the first "twin disc" clutch for farm tractors and construction equipment. Under his direction the company went on to develop a variety of power transmission products, including marine transmissions and industrial torque converters. Under John Batten's leadership the company continued its product development with drivelines and power-shift transmissions. During his tenure the company experienced significant growth during the construction boom of the 1960s and 1970s. He was the architect of international expansion in both manufacturing and distribution that made Twin Disc a major player in the global marketplace. Michael Batten took over during the bottom of the recession in the early 1980s and has refocused Twin Disc's product and market strategies and restructured the company's manufacturing operations to succeed in the more competitive global economy. During his tenure, the company has become a major player - if not the market leader - in each of its market segments and has added new technologies such as electronic controls and propulsion products to the product mix.
The fourth generation of Batten leadership began when John Batten joined Twin Disc in 1996. Elected President, Chief Operating Officer in May of 2008, John has seen the company confronted with global economic extremes and increasing competition. True to the Batten legacy of strength of character, John has demonstrated the wisdom, commitment and fortitude to lead Twin Disc through these challenging times and sustain its market leadership. Yet the story and success of Twin Disc goes beyond its leadership. Countless employees have provided creativity and ingenuity in the design, manufacture and application of its products to a wide variety of machines and equipment in the off-highway markets. Their dedication and loyalty to the company and its mission has been a powerful engine for success over the years. From a farm tractor near Racine eighty-seven years ago to a contemporary Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting vehicle at an airbase in Belgium, Twin Disc has put horsepower to work for nearly a century. It has contributed to vital markets and critical industries. That is its past. That is its future.