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Inducted December 1999

Bill Swisher


Bill Swisher is responsible for major innovations that have changed the way the Hot Mix Asphalt industry does business. His inventions have served to automate the construction process, allowing HMA producers and contractors to increase their production, and to build roads faster, better, and smoother.


Among Mr. Swisher's innovations are:

  • the Autograde base preparation and finish-grading machine, which revolutinized grade, base and pavement technology;
  • the Roto-Mill Pavement Profiler, the machine that made the dream of pavement recovery and recycling a practical, cost-effective reality; and 
  • the Mid-Drum mix recycling plant which allowed high-quality HMA paving material to be produced using reclaimed asphalt pavement.

Having worked previously in sales and management for an equipment manufacturing company, Bill Swisher founded CMI Corporation in 1964 and served as its chairman from that time until his retirement in 1999.


As CMI Corporation prospered, Mr. Swisher invested its proceeds in a major industry acquisitions, including manufacturers of HMA production plants and manufacturers of storage systems for liquid asphalt and Hot Mix Asphalt. Under his leadership, in 1969, CMI was the first HMA plant manufacturer to build a drum mix asphalt plant, and he led efforts to build acceptance of this new technology in the HMA industry.


Mr. Swisher has been involved in the development and issuance of more than 50 United States and foreign patents, and has served on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Advisory Council. He was one of the first inductees into the Construction Equiment Hall of Fame, and was recognized by the Equipment Manufacturers Institute as one of the most significant contributors to the mechanization and automation of construction.


Mr. Swisher has been inducted into the Oklahoma Heritage Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Commerce and Industry Hall of Honor, and received the Silver Buffalo, the highest national leadership honor, from the Boy Scouts of America. He has served on or led the national boards of many industry boards, including TRIP, ARTBA, IRF, and CIMA. He has been a champion of industry causes, and has tirelessly carried the message of "Good Roads" to all.