Big company is big fan of Burr Ridge
Kyle Dooley, an employee at Case New Holland, poses with the playground his company helped build at Harvester Park. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
NamE: Case New Holland
SPECIALIZING IN: development and manufacture of agricultural and construction equipment
2011 REVENUE: $19.2 billion
Updated: November 26, 2012 2:20AM
BURR RIDGE — Few who pass by the Case New Holland building on Veterans Boulevard in Burr Ridge would guess its front doors lead to a building that covers 11 acres of the company’s 112-acre property.
Inside the hallways and offices at 6900 Veterans Boulevard, 800 employees, including engineers and designers, work to develop the next best thing in farm and construction equipment. The engines and machines developed and tested at the Burr Ridge location end up on job sites and on farms all over the world.
While it has carried the moniker for only a few years, CNH (formerly International Harvester and Case IH) has been part of Burr Ridge since long before the village existed. In 1917, International Harvester owned 400 acres that stretched from Interstate 55 to Plainfield Road and from Madison Street to County Line.
Some of that property is now known as Harvester Park, owned by the Burr Ridge Park District.
The company that rests under the red and white water tower west of County Line Road is more than just a neighbor to the park district. It also is a big supporter.
As a sponsor of the park district’s annual Harvest Fest, set to take place Sept. 29, CNH will provide tractors to pull the hayrides and a large piece of equipment on which children can climb and explore.
“They love it,” said Liana Iacobelli of corporate communications.
CNH has left its mark at Harvester Park with what employees refer to as the CNH Pavilion. Along with a covered picnic structure with a fireplace, the area at the north end of Harvester Park features a specially designed play area built around an actual piece of CNH farm equipment.
“We’re really, really proud of that,” said Lisa Moran, human resources manager.
They also are proud of what goes on inside the sprawling building. Here, new technology is used to make products better and more energy efficient.
Bryce Pankratz is a test engineer who works in the building’s high-temperature test cell.
“Every product, before it goes on the market, will come through here,” Pankratz said.
This particular test cell — one of many at CNH — simulates extreme weather conditions, including high heat, humidity and wind.
“We can make it pretty nasty in here,” Pankratz said.
Another test cell checks for endurance. Known as the vehicle shake lab, it tests a product’s ability to withstand the harsh terrain of a construction site or farm.
Moran said it isn’t enough to be one of the village’s biggest employers. CNH, she said, is also one of its biggest fans.
“It is important to us to be involved in our community,” she said.