AED History

Our History

Courage and gumption. These are honestly the two best words to describe how AED members have managed to survive and thrive for more than 100 years. The Association deserves similar recognition for doing a phenomenal job of shepherding its members through both good and bad times. The industry that effectively built this country has endured many trials over the years. From the Great Depression to world wars and the economic crisis of the 80s, AED members have found a way to survive. The Association has been unwavering since its inception, continually finding ways to navigate challenges that are thrown its way.

AED has made great strides over the years to make the industry stronger and to help our members become more successful. We aim to continue to provide our members with the tools they need for ongoing success and profitability by strengthening our advocacy and public policy efforts, education, career, and workforce development, as well as industry-specific research. We’ve come a long way to reach these goals, yet we still have a long way to go.

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Our History

Look Back At 100 Years Of AED!

  • First Order of Business

    The first AED meeting is held on January 27.
  • AED Gets Off to A Great Start and Hits the Ground Running

    AED is officially recognized by manufacturers of construction equipment. Morton Hunter is both president and secretary.
  • Manufacturers are admitted to AED for the first time (as allied members), and 20 join this year.
  • AED Past Presidents Club is inaugurated.
  • CONDEX (Conference, Display and Exhibit Center, where manufacturers showcase products) is initiated at the annual meetings.
  • Distributor ethics are a key component of discussion at the 1962 AED meeting. AED hires a firm to manage public relations.
  • CE News is renamed “Construction Equipment Distribution” to more clearly define the industry it serves. A career brochure is created for high schools, trade schools, and colleges, designed to attract people to the industry.
  • P.D. “Bud” Hermann, who has led AED since 1950, is voted Association Executive of the Year in a nationwide poll of association managers. Hermann is also on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. President Reagan sends a letter thanking Hermann for supporting his economic reform program.
  • AED begins a new series of videos, seminars and publications on rental management. Plans to form The AED Foundation are revealed this year. The Washington office prepares an “Environmental Compliance Handbook,” and an environmental hotline, to answer compliance responsibility questions, is installed.
  • AED develops online resources for members, putting its magazines, directories, catalogs and other resources online. The AED Foundation helps strengthen vocational school programs for equipment mechanics. AED restarts its MATRIX data analysis program with significant changes to provide more timely and useful data.
  • For the first time ever, AED’s annual meeting features four separate programming tracks: sales, rental, parts and service managers. An industry roundtable conference this year says that the future of equipment distribution lies in leveraging capital, intellectual capital and relationships to be proactive instead of reactive.
  • Brian P. McGuire joins AED as president and CEO.
  • AED 100 years

    AED celebrates its 100-year anniversary.
  • 1920

  • 1925

  • 1933

  • 1942

  • 1957

  • 1962

  • 1968

  • 1981

  • 1991

  • 1996

  • 2003

  • 2014

  • 2019

Over the last few years, the communications department has created ways for our members to be more involved and up-to-date with the Association than ever before. With the revamp of AED Magazine,, and the launch of AED360 and event mobile apps, we are providing our members with more access to the Association in a variety of ways.

We know how important it will be to continue to make the Association as accessible as possible. We will continue to push for easy access to the latest information, news and much more. A large part of this accessibility comes from our regional managers. This team works tirelessly to be your Association liaisons to keep you updated, involved and engaged, and has seen much success. This team is and will continue to be, an excellent resource for helping AED members get the most out of their membership.

The AED Foundation has also worked hard over the past years to bridge the skills gap in the industry through research, creating educational opportunities and career promotion. As we move forward, The AED Foundation has five main goals for the future. These include aggressively accrediting construction equipment technology programs, expanding The AED Foundation’s recognized high school programs, hosting career day events at accredited colleges, expanding educational opportunities to middle school students, and expanding the certified technician program to serve as a leader in delivering industry-specific education programs to members. These goals will help to give our members a pipeline of potential technicians to keep up with demand and create a more stable future.

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Also helping to create a stable future, the government relations team has continued to expand its efforts, making strides by encouraging legislation that will benefit our members. AED has recently focused on creating unparalleled engagement between its members and policymakers to forge meaningful relationships.

Looking to the future, action (or lack thereof) in Washington, D.C., state capitals and Ottawa will continue to be an integral part of the long-term viability of the construction equipment industry. Threats and opportunities abound during the policymaking process and there’s little indication, despite all the rhetoric, that government is reducing in size. Consequently, the impact legislators, regulators and government officials have on equipment dealers, profitability and cost of doing business will continue, if not increase, moving forward. The stakes of government action and inaction will remain high, and the Association will continue to be the collective voice of the equipment industry to ensure positive policy outcomes for AED members.


As we move forward to the next 100 years, AED will continue to do everything it can to support the success of our members. We will grow with them, support them and encourage them to rise to their highest standards, as we also hope to do along the way. Because when our members succeed, so do we.

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With our growing network of companies and organizations working together to advance the success of the Equipment Distribution Industry.

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