Caterpillar Inc. is an American Fortune 100 corporation that designs, develops, engineers, manufactures, markets, and sells machinery, engines, financial products, and insurance to customers via a worldwide dealer network. It is the world's largest construction-equipment manufacturer.
In 2018, Caterpillar was ranked number 65 on the Fortune 500 list and number 238 on the Global Fortune 500 list. Caterpillar stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Caterpillar Inc. traces its origins to the 1925 merger of the Holt Manufacturing Company and the C. L. Best Tractor Company, creating a new entity, California-based Caterpillar Tractor Company. In 1986, the company reorganized itself as a Delaware corporation under the current name, Caterpillar Inc. Its headquarters are located in Deerfield, Illinois; it announced in January 2017 that over the course of that year, it would relocate its headquarters from Peoria, Illinois, to Deerfield, Illinois, scrapping plans from 2015 of building an $800 million new headquarters complex in downtown Peoria.
The company also licenses and markets a line of clothing and workwear boots under its Cat / Caterpillar name.
Caterpillar machinery is recognizable by its trademark "Caterpillar Yellow" livery and the "CAT" logo.
The steam tractors of the 1890s and early 1900s were extremely heavy, sometimes weighing 1,000 pounds per horsepower, and often sank into the earth of the San Joaquin Valley Delta farmland surrounding Stockton, California. Benjamin Holt attempted to fix the problem by increasing the size and width of the wheels up to 7.5 feet tall and 6 feet wide, producing a tractor 46 feet wide, but this also made the tractors increasingly complex, expensive, and difficult to maintain.