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Sweeping Industry News Bulletin

Vactor Celebrates 101 Years in Business;
Looks Ahead to Next 100 Years of Growth and Innovation


This year, Vactor Manufacturing proudly celebrates 101 years of providing customers around the world with a wide range of material handling equipment.

Originally founded in Chicago in 1911 as the Myers-Sherman Company, a manufacturer of pneumatic farm equipment, Vactor Manufacturing has evolved to become the industry leader in sewer and catch basin cleaners, industrial vacuum loaders and vacuum excavators featuring innovative technology and custom configurable designs.

Streator, IL – January 31, 2012

Federal Signal Logo With one of the largest and most developed distributor networks in the sewer cleaning industry, Vactor Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Federal Signal Corporation – and part of its Environmental Solutions Group – has more than 50 North American distributors in 100 locations to serve the municipal market, and six factory direct locations for industrial customers.

Grain Cleaner "Our history began with the design and manufacture of products such as milking machines, feed blenders and mixers, and grain storage and conveying systems," said Mark Weber, president of Federal Signal Corporation's Environmental Solutions Group. "The pneumatic conveying systems in these original products provided the impetus for our success as a global leader in the sewer cleaning industry.

While Vactor Manufacturing has changed and expanded considerably over the years, we remain dedicated to the original spirit of innovation and hard work upon which our business was founded. Our dedication to innovation and service will continue to guide us into our second century of business."

A history of innovation

In the mid-1930s, Myers-Sherman moved its operations from Chicago to the community of Streator, Ill. Years later, in the early 1960s, the company began to design and manufacture a line of sewer and catch basin cleaners for the municipal market to clear clogged sewer lines and catch basins. In 1969, the company engineered the first combination sewer cleaner featuring water jetting and vacuuming. That same year, the company introduced the Vactor Jet RodderTM Water Pump, the first pump designed specifically for sewer cleaning.

A decade later, in 1979, Myers-Sherman was purchased by Peabody International, which was then purchased by The Pullman Company in 1985. The company name then changed to Peabody Myers. By this point, the company exited the agricultural business to focus on the growing sewer cleaning market. In 1989, the company introduced the popular Vactor 2100 Series combination sewer cleaner, which has become the industry standard for the municipal market. To date, the company has sold more than 13,000 sewer cleaners.

The Pullman Company sold to Forstmann, Little & Co., a leverage buyout firm, that sold Peabody Myers to Federal Signal Corporation in 1994. Upon purchase, Peabody Myers was renamed Vactor Manufacturing. Today, Vactor Manufacturing's 170,000-acre facility in Streator is staffed by more than 500 employees.

Vactor In 2000, Federal Signal consolidated the manufacturing of its Guzzler brand of industrial vacuum loaders into Vactor's location in Streator to take advantage of the product synergies and manufacturing economies. Popular Guzzler products include the Guzzler CL, ACE and NX. Today, this brand still enjoys a leadership position in the industrial vacuum loader market.

In addition, Vactor Manufacturing also produces vacuum excavators, including the full-sized Vactor HXX hydro-excavator and the compact Vactor HXX Prodigy vacuum excavator. Vacuum excavation uses similar technology as that used to clean sewer lines and catch basins – high-pressure water and vacuum – as a non-destructive digging medium for a variety of utility and municipal excavation applications, including slot trenching, potholing, water valve box repair and locating of existing fiber optic lines, cables and other utilities.

Vactor Manufacturing has created a legacy of sound financial performance, employee empowerment, customer-driven innovation and social responsibility that includes a commitment to the community and the environment.

"Everyone at Vactor Manufacturing is proud of their contribution to this longstanding, successful company," Weber said. "Even as we celebrate 101 years in business, our employees are building upon our heritage of expertise and innovation. Having a talented workforce that can adapt to changes in the industry is another important component of our past – and future – successes."

For more information about Vactor products, please visit To schedule a product demonstration, please see your local Vactor dealer, or call 800/627-3171.

The industry leader in sewer and catch basin cleaners, Vactor Manufacturing produces a wide range of combination sewer cleaners and jetters for sewer line maintenance, as well as specialty products including vacuum excavators. Vactor has one of the largest and most developed distributor networks in the sewer cleaning industry, with more than 50 North American distributors and more than 100 locations. Vactor Manufacturing is a subsidiary of Federal Signal Corporation's (NYSE:FSS) Environmental Solutions Group, which also includes Elgin Sweeper, Guzzler Manufacturing and Jetstream. For more information, visit

Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE: FSS) is a leader in advancing security and well-being for communities and workplaces around the world. The company designs and manufactures a suite of products and integrated solutions for municipal, governmental, industrial and airport customers. Federal Signal's portfolio of trusted, high-priority products include Bronto aerial devices; Diamond Consulting automatic vehicle detection and classification technology; Elgin street sweepers; Federal Automated Parking Division parking, access and revenue control systems; Federal Signal safety and security systems; Guzzler industrial vacuums; Jetstream waterblasters; PIPS Technology automated license plate recognition systems; SIRIT radio frequency identification technology; Vactor sewer cleaners and vacuum excavators; and VESystems software applications and customer management systems and services. Federal Signal was founded in 1901 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois. For more information, visit

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