When Clay Electric Co-Op called to place the company’s 2015 equipment purchase order, they had a big surprise for Altec Account Manager, Chuck Martin.

The company had located the 50-year-old purchase order for an Altec digger derrick and a hydraulic ladder. In 1964, the hydraulic ladder sticker price was $4,000 and the derrick was $11,000, including the chassis, which was a Ford F750.

On November 13, the group celebrated the 50th anniversary of the partnership with a luncheon and invited several Altec associates. Clay has worked with three account managers in its history with Altec beginning with Dan Cox, then Frank Lamb, and for the past 25 years, Chuck Martin.

Dan Cox, who is now retired, was Altec’s first sales team member. As a young account manager in his mid twenties, Cox was excited to receive that first order from Clay Electric.

“Orders were a little scarce during that time of our business,” says Cox. “There was a lot of competition and we were thrilled to have an order—$15,000 was a lot of money back then!”

Cox decided to demonstrate the Telelect 10E2X in April of 1964 after the company came to him with the goal of increasing line crew productivity. In the early 1960s a utility line crew consisted of about 7-10 men without the help of a digger derrick. Digging holes and setting poles required lots of manual labor. After purchasing the derrick from Altec, the company was able to cut their crew sizes in half and perform twice as much work in the same amount of time.

“It was fun talking about old times,” says Cox about the 50-year luncheon celebration. “Altec has a great working relationship with Clay that over the years has turned into a friendship.”