California Dream - The Dirt

posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 in The Dirt


California Dream

Until the 1950s, Los Angeles County was the top agricultural county in the United States. When Herbert Newman arrived in the county in the early 1950s, he saw an opportunity. “Back then it was all dairies,” says Nikki Worden, vice president, Newman Backhoe Service. “My grandfather saw a need for construction equipment at these dairies, so he purchased a Ford backhoe. After a while he thought, ‘You know what? I can make a business of this.’”

The dream became a reality in 1954 when Herbert and his wife Swanna founded Newman Backhoe. Newman bought additional machines and enticed a few of his cousins from Oklahoma to run them. “He was probably the first in Southern California to offer operated equipment services,” says Worden.

And Newman always put his employees first. “So many people have said that if it wasn’t for Herbert, they don’t know how they could have supported their families,” says Worden. “He helped so many operators and employees.”