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. 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.
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 and run parts during harvest in addition to being a full time mom.
Lyman would now have the time to harvest more crops which would take him as far as New Mexico to harvest pecans and Oregon to harvest cherries in addition to the peaches and prunes he harvested locally. During the off season Lyman would make improvements and modifications to the equipment purchased from shaker manufacturers to improve their reliability and performance. In the late 70s pistachios started coming 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 and to help provide more reliable and 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 and affordable catching frame was overwhelming and 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 and C7 series of wheel motor driven shakers that helped make harvest more productive 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 and 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 started plans to add an additional 45,000 square foot facility on the current site to further expand production.
COE is a family owned and operated business. Lyman & Lois still own the company and oversee the operations. Their 3 children and children’s spouse’s also work at the company in management positions along with a group of talented and dedicated product manager’s, service technicians, office staff, machinists, assemblers and fabricators.
The COE family and its employees are proud to be part of an industry that helps to deliver innovative agricultural 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 working environment and relationships.
The COE factory is filled with state of the art tooling that allows COE to control more components and processes resulting in a higher quality product. The in house CNC machining center is equipped with 2 CNC lathes, 3 CNC mills, and surface and rotary grinders.
Chassis and frames are built on turn tables to speed up the manufacturing process. Jigs and set up tables are used to produce consistently accurate chassis and sub-assemblies.
A high definition plasma table cuts out parts accurately and quickly. A 12’ shear and several breaks allow forming capability. CNC band saws cut material accurately every time. State of the art Pulse welders are used for welding of components. The latest addition is a new 12’ x 35’ powder coating oven to assure COE products have the best looking and most durable finish possible.
In 2012 after years of planning a factory expansion is planned. This will see the main shop (south shop) becoming the welding shop. The new 45,000 square foot shop (north shop) will be used for final assembly as well as the new location for the machining center and cutting and processing equipment. Customer parts and office locations will remain in their current locations.