J.H. Fletcher – leading innovator in underground development

James Herbert Fletcher is the underground development inductee to the IM Technology Hall of Fame. He began his company intent on developing technology that would greatly improve mine productivity and reduce personnel risk by using rubber-tyre, non-track-mounted vehicles in underground applications. In 1938, the company showed its first products at a coal show in Cincinnati; a rubber-tyre tractor and drop-bottom conveyor.

Since that time, J.H. Fletcher & Co.â„¢ has operated with a singular vision: to work with a vigilant focus on finding ways to improve mining processes and reducing risk for the people who work there. Look at the timeline. Isn’t this the kind of company you want working for you?

As Chairman of the Board and President of J.H. Fletcher & Co 1937-1960 he gave dynamic leadership to the organization, and as a consulting engineer, was at the forefront of the mining industry.

Mining men, both in the US and abroad, came to know his capabilities as a straight thinker, constantly ahead of the field. His opinion and studies influenced many of the finest and most progressive mining installations of the 20th Century.

In 1937, to manufacture equipment needed for furthering of rubber-tyre haulage, he organized J.H. Fletcher & Co.

He lived during the transition of the coal industry from the day of the “two track tipple” to the technological marvels of the present mines. He was a part of the fraternity of men ever pressing forward, building together.

Product timeline
1937 – Roof Supported by timbers prepared on-site, placed by hand. Fletcher opens for business.
1938 – A rubber-tyred, battery powered tractor, the first Fletcher product, demonstrated at Cincinnati Coal Show.
1939 – First Shuttle car with 4-wheel steer and elevating conveyor.
1940 – First Fletcher timbering machine.
1947 – Opened Office in Huntington, WV.
1950 – Early 50s First shelf propelled roof bolter. Fletcher patents internal dust collection system.
1950 – Late 50s First dual head roof bolter.
1957 – First dual-boom face drill.
1960 – Early 60s The first Fletcher track tampers and first Fletcher ANFO loaders
1960 – Mid 60s First protective operator’s canopy.
1960 – Mid 60s First four-head roof bolters.
1960 – Late 60s First Temporary Roof Support patented.
1970 – First Longhole Degasification Drill.
1980 – Early 80s First Fletcher Drill Jumbo.
1980 – Mid 80s First Fletcher Mobile Roof Supports
1980 – Mid 80s First Remote Control and Operator-Up Roof Bolters
1980 – Mid 80s First Bolters with Walk-Thru Chassis
1980 – Mid 80s First Fletcher Scaling Machine
1990 – Mid 90s First On-Board Microprocessor Controlled Feedback System
1990 – Late 90s First Bolter with Material Handling
2000 – Early 2000s First 50′ High Reach Scaler
2000 – Early 2000s First Fletcher Dual Drill Jumbo
2002 – First Automated Roof Mapping System
2006 – First Fletcher Diesel Tractors