Pioneers in the farming industry

From humble beginnings, Cross Manufacturing, Inc. was birthed in a barn in South Central Kansas with a dream that farmers could produce more with the help of farm equipment automation. In 1949, James H. Cross and Charles R. Cross pioneered a new era of farming by channeling a powerful new source of energy - the hydraulic cylinder. Applying hydraulic technology to farm equipment allowed fluid power to do the heavy lifting, reduce manual labor and improve farm productivity.

Farming industry on the verge of revolution

The Cross brothers saw the challenges farmers faced, and visualized a way to minimize the burdensome manual labor involved through the use of hydraulic components.  The demand for the hydraulic cylinder on agricultural equipment grew rapidly. Cross quickly expanded to new plants and developed more efficient and reliable products for farmers, thus earning the reputation of innovators in the agricultural equipment industry.

Feeding the world

By the 1970s, Cross experienced huge growth with products being shipped worldwide and multiple factories operating across North America, helping farmers feed the world. In order to keep up with the demands of an ever-evolving industry, John H. Cross, son of founder James H. Cross, became President in 1982. Under his leadership, John implemented a new set of principles, led a successful reorganization of the company, and positioned Cross for a debt-free future.

Leader in the industry

Cross is the recognized brand in the agricultural sector and supplies hydraulic components for many markets, including mobile, material handling, logging, utility, construction, mining, and forestry.  Products are marketed directly to manufacturers and distributors throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Cross’ global markets continue to expand with customers in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, and South America.

The company has been ISO 9001 quality certified since 1998 and is serving the world from its three Kansas manufacturing facilities.


1949 – Cross Manufacturing, Inc. is founded by two brothers, James and Charles Cross, who want to make farming easier by using the power of hydraulics.

1954 – The first building is constructed exclusively for Cross Manufacturing, Inc. in Lewis, Kansas.

1965 – The Lewis factory grows to occupy nearly 100,000 square feet of space and produces 100,000 cylinders a year.  The Pratt Adapter Division is acquired.

1966 – Valve production begins at a new facility in Kinsley, Kansas.

1969 – The Lewis cylinder plant is rebuilt after a disastrous fire, and production begins at a second cylinder plant in Lamar, Colorado.

1970 – The Hays, Kansas plant opens for operation.

1970’s – Cross expands to multiple facilities in Kansas, Colorado, Mississippi and Puerto Rico, with affiliate ventures in Mexico and Australia.

1973 – Gear pumps and motors are added to broaden the product line.

1976 – The Cross SQV sequence valve for row markers is introduced.

1982 – John H. Cross is appointed President shortly after the company enters Chapter 11, in the midst of a severe recession.  He commits our works to the Lord, trusting Him to establish our plans (Proverbs 16:3).

1988 – With the Lord’s help, the hard work of the Cross team, and strong customer loyalty, the company successfully emerges from Chapter 11 reorganization.

1990 –The standard stock warehouse is expanded to better serve the customer.

1992 – Several environmental initiatives are implemented to reduce waste and pollution.

1994 – Cross unveils the 3000 PSI cylinder.  An evaporation unit for non-hazardous industrial wastewater is installed as an environmental initiative.

1995-1996 – The company voluntarily repays creditors in full who had chosen a discounted settlement in the Chapter 11 reorganization.

1996 – Cross is the recipient of the New Product Award of the Year from the Western Kansas Manufacturer’s Association for the 3000 PSI DH Series Tie Rod Cylinder.

1998 – All three Kansas manufacturing plants receive ISO 9001 Quality Certification.  The SS Valve is launched in the marketplace.

2001 – Cross is honored with the Pollution Prevention Award for Excellence by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) for outstanding efforts in reducing or eliminating pollution.  Cross’ ongoing commitment to environmental compliance, waste reduction, and recycling receives commendation in several areas.

2004 – Cross is recognized for Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) by Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

2005 – The new compact DV loader valve is introduced.

2008 – The first position sensor cylinder is released for production.  Sensors are embedded within the cylinder for superior accuracy and durability.

2010 – Cross receives the New Product of the Year award from the Western Kansas Manufacturer’s Association for the position sensor cylinder.

2015 – The Environmental Business Journal recognizes Cross and environmental partners WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and RSI with the Business Achievement Award for successfully completing innovative in-situ chrome remediation at the Lewis, Kansas facility.

2017 – Cross Quality Management System achieves certification to the ISO 9001:2015 standard!

2018 – Cross implements a modern, sophisticated ERP system to increase our manufacturing efficiency and provide exceptional service to our customers.

2019 – Cross celebrates 70 years of manufacturing hydraulic components in the heartland to meet fluid power needs around the world.