Henry Thomas "Tom" Loberg, founder and chairman of the board of the Hytrol Conveyor Company, died November 8, 2004, following heart surgery.
Mr. Loberg received an early grounding in the mechanics of material handling by starting his career in 1935 at Allen-Bradley, a maker of electronic controls and components. Later, at the end of the Depression, he became the first apprentice to be hired by Allis-Chalmers.
While working at Allis-Chalmers, Mr. Loberg and a friend started their own machine shop business. He later left Allis-Chalmers and started Hydro-Controls, where he started manufacturing a small line of feed-and-seed-handling conveyors. That product line soon grew in popularity, and with the new emphasis on conveyors, the name of the company was changed to Hytrol Conveyor Company.
Hytrol grew steadily and established a strong reputation among customers for its insistence on selling only through distributors. The company eventually relocated to Jonesboro, Arkansas, where today it employs 700 people and is one of industry's leading conveyor manufacturers.