The roots of COE began simply in 1970 when Lyman & Lois Coe purchased a catching frame as a way to save money on the harvest of their 10 acre prune ranch and to make some supplemental income by using the machine to custom harvest some neighbor’s prunes. Within a few years the custom harvesting business had grown enough that Lyman decided to quit his day job to focus on growing the custom harvesting business. Lois would run the bookkeeping & run parts during harvest in addition to being a full time mom.
Lyman now had the time to harvest more crops which would take him as far as Texas to harvest pecans & Oregon to harvest cherries in addition to the peaches and prunes he harvested locally. During the off season Lyman would make improvements & modifications to the equipment purchased from shaker manufacturers to improve their reliability & performance. In the late 70s pistachios started to come into production which added another crop to harvest and COE’s first full time employee besides Lyman.
By the mid-80s the decision was made that to keep a steady well trained year round crew for harvest & to help provide more reliable & productive equipment COE would start manufacturing its own equipment. Lyman also thought he could sell a few machines to the public. The response to COEs first simple & affordable catching frame was overwhelming & by the early 90s COE was outselling its competitor in the catching frame business.
Growth continued through the 90s with the introduction of the Thunder Head shaker head & C7 series of wheel motor driven shakers that helped make harvest more productive & reliable than ever before. Early in the 90s COE moved its manufacturing facility from the original prune ranch to a larger facility in Biggs to keep up with demand in both domestic and export markets. In the mid-90s COE introduced the revolutionary L2 series receiver which increased harvest productivity further. By the end of the 1990s Lyman & Lois had purchased a 45 acre prune orchard adjacent to highway 99 between Gridley and Yuba City to develop a brand new manufacturing facility.
In 2001 COE moved into the current factory. The additional space allowed COE to work on development of the new S7 & M7 tree shakers for almond, walnut and pecan harvest as well as additional equipment lines for bulk handling. Domestic & Export markets continued to grow as well as the COE dealer network. In 2010 COE expanded its factory with a 45,000 square foot addition to further meet the growing demand for its products. A new factory expansion is on the horizon for 2016.
COE is a family owned & operated business. Lyman & Lois still own the company & oversee the operation that is run by their son Matthew along with a group of talented and dedicated product managers, service technicians, office staff, machinists, assemblers and fabricators. The COE family & its employees are proud to be part of an industry that helps to deliver innovative harvesting solutions on a global scale.
The Culture of COE
Since the first COE machine entered the field our dedication has been to deliver the most innovative harvesting equipment available. Every machine is designed and built with the foundation of Lyman’s innovative nature and renegade spirit that doesn’t settle for the status quo. COE equipment while sophisticated has a simple attractive design, easy access to components and service points, uses the highest quality components and is made to perform like no other harvest equipment available all while being more reliable.
The success of COE is directly related to the respectful nature of the company. From the ownership, management, employees, to customers as well as vendors COE strives to create a respectful & productive working environment & relationships.
The COE factory is located in the agriculturally rich area of Northern California adjacent to highway 99 about an hour north of Sacramento. Two main buildings make up the factory totaling 100,000 square feet. One shop is dedicated to fabrication & the other to assembly.
Using state of the art tooling allows COE to control more components and processes resulting in the highest quality product. CNC (computer numerically controlled) equipment is used extensively throughout the operations from the machine shop, band saws, press breaks, laser & high def plasma tables to turn out consistent products. The newest addition is a robotic welding station to speed production of complex sub assemblies.
A 12’ x 35’ powder coating oven provides for the best looking & most durable finish on every COE product that we build. Machines are then hand assembled by skilled technicians & fully tested prior to shipment to customers around the world.