Our Story

Our Story

About Us

In the early 1900s, Benjamin Holt invented the Caterpillar®–the first successful track-type tractor. Soon after, both Holt and Caterpillar® became household names in the farming and industrial space industry. Back then, we distinguished ourselves with dealerships that provided superior products and responsive service.

Our legendary customer service helped us transform the company with a people-first approach to business through Values-Based Leadership®. We realized that connecting employees, customers, and shareholders through ethical values is the foundation of a successful company and the HOLT Group difference.

A Heritage of Innovation


Stockton Wheel Co.

In 1883, the Stockton Wheel Company was established by Benjamin Holt and his brother, Charles, in California’s Central Valley to manufacture wagon wheels, wagons and related products.



Benjamin Holt in 1884 at the age of 45. Holt received 47 patents during his lifetime.


Link Belt Chains

Holt’s innovative “link belt” combined harvester used link belt chains instead of unreliable mechanical gears, greatly increasing productivity. By the turn of the century, Holt was the largest combine manufacturer in America and was exporting machines to other countries.


Steam Traction Engine

Holt produced his first steam traction engine with a new patented innovation… steering clutches.


The First Caterpillar

Benjamin Holt replaced the wheels on a steam traction engine, Holt No. 77, with self-laying tracks to develop the world’s first successful track type tractor, named the “Caterpillar.”


HOLT Caterpillar Company

Growth and prosperity in the Midwest farm equipment market led Holt to purchase a factory site in Peoria, Illinois. The new Holt Caterpillar Company began producing track type tractors in early 1910 and was consolidated into The Holt Manufacturing Company in 1913.

William K. Holt Machinery Co.

William K. “Bill” Holt, Benjamin’s second son, established the William K. Holt Machinery Co. in San Antonio, Texas with one store and less than 10 employees. In 1937, the Cat dealership relocated to a 46,000 square foot facility leased from the H.B. Zachry Co.


Twin D8

The Twin D8, a monstrous tractor joining two D8 powertrains, was developed by Peterson Tractor, a California Cat dealer. Wm. K. Holt Machinery bought two of the custom tractors as part of a machine solution for the King Ranch’s need to clear large mesquite trees on thousands of acres of cattle production land in South Texas. The massive Holt Root Plow was designed for the Twin D8 to King Ranch specs. The operator would use a Holt Funnel Dozer to knock the large trees down and the Holt Root Plow would cut them below the bud zone, ensuring they did not re-sprout. These custom tools allowed a Twin D8 to plow four acres per hour.


Spray King® Water Wagon

The Holt Spray King® Water Wagon was developed to help increase soil compaction and provide dust control during construction of the Interstate Highway System.


Peter M. Holt

The oldest son of B.D., joined the B.D. Holt Co. He became President in 1984.


Darr Equipment Acquisition

Holt Company of Texas acquired Darr Equipment, the Cat dealer in North Texas, creating a 118-county territory called HOLT CAT. This acquisition more than doubled HOLT's opportunity and provided one of the best markets for heavy equipment and engines in the U.S.


Peter John Holt and Corinna Holt Richter Join HOLT CAT

... and begin a comprehensive leadership training program. They represent the fifth generation of the Holt family business dedicated to a distinguished legacy of service and innovation. In 2017, Peter and Corinna became principals of HOLT CAT, beginning the next chapter in the Holt family legacy.

The HOLT Family

The Holt name has been associated with heavy equipment and Caterpillar for over 100 years. Owners Peter J. Holt and Corinna Holt Richter are direct descendants of Benjamin Holt, who in 1904 developed the first successful track-type tractor which he named the “Caterpillar.”

In 1925 Benjamin Holt merged his company, the Holt Manufacturing Company, with competitor, CL Best Tractor, to form the company known today as Caterpillar Inc.  In 1933 Benjamin Holt’s son, William K. Holt opened a Caterpillar dealership based in San Antonio, Texas.

As the company grew, Bill Holt brought in his nephews: B.D. “Pete” Holt and Holt Atherton to help run the company. Eventually B.D. purchased the southern portion of the dealership and Holt Atherton acquired the northern counties. B.D. would then go on to purchase his cousins dealership, bringing the two companies together as the BD Holt Company and hired his son, Peter M. Holt, to help him run the business. When Peter Holt became Chief Executive Officer he moved the company headquarters to San Antonio.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Peter’s two children, Peter John and Corinna joined the company in 2011.  In 2017, Peter John and Corinna became the fifth generation of Holts to lead the company known for quality, integrity, and commitment to customer service, beginning the next chapter in the Holt family legacy.

Safety as a Core Value

As one of our core values, safety is essential to our management style. We provide appropriate tools
and equipment to our employees so they can perform their jobs safely, but we also go beyond that. We prepare for the worst outcome but plan for the best conclusion. We never accept shortcuts or normalize risky behavior. We hold ourselves and each other accountable.

With our award-winning safety program, we consistently exceed our customers’ expectations since we provide ongoing safety support, education, training, and technical expertise.

Our Safety Culture benefits our customers in many ways, including fewer accident claims; lower workers’ compensation program costs; reduced property damage; decreased employee turnover; lower insurance costs; and increased productivity and efficiency, among others.