History of the HARDER Dump Box Spreader

Kenneth A. Harder 

The Harder Dump Box Spreader was invented
by a highway superintendent FOR highway superintendents 

It is named for its inventor, Kenneth A. Harder, who envisioned and created the spreader as he served as highway superintendent for the town of Newark, N.Y.

Being a true innovator, Harder made a declaration one night as he watched the dump boxes from town trucks being removed to mount V-box sanders. According to his son, he asserted, “There has to be a better way!” 

Harder drew his ideas upon napkins at the local coffee shop and teamed up with a metal-fabrication business to make his dreams a reality — ultimately leading to the HARDER Dump Box Spreader being patented in the United States and Canada in 1984.

“It seems they had come up with an idea that utilized a steel conveyor as a material spreader that utilized the dump body of a truck as the “hopper” for the material (sand or salt),” said Harder’s son, David K. Harder, who followed his dad into the role of highway superintendent. “The conveyor would be turned on using the hydraulic controls, just like any other sander. The materials would flow out the adjustable tailgate door and drop down to a spinner assembly.”

“One of the wonderfully thought-out and patentable features of this unique material spreader is that it allowed you to dump the load with the spreader unit in place,” the younger Harder said. “Suddenly there were no more trucks following the other to do half the job. Now it was a single truck with a plow a wing and a sander. Time and safety-wise, a much better and safer operation and soon all the other surrounding towns were following suit.”

David K. Harder entrusted LaGasse Works (now LaGasse Machine & Fabrication) with the manufacture of his father’s legacy product, which over time has made many improvements and remains today a much sought-after spreader.