Komatsu Mining Truck Named “The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois”

Graphic of IMA winner

 Manufactured in Peoria, the truck stands roughly 26-feet tall and features tires that weigh more than 1,000 pounds

Chosen by voters from an initial field of more than 200 entries, the Komatsu mining truck made by Komatsu in Peoria has been crowned the winner of the 2024 “Makers Madness” contest, earning the title of The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois.

Hosted by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and sponsored by Comcast Business, the bracket-style competition celebrates the incredible work of manufacturers across Illinois. Manufacturers have long served as the backbone of our state’s economy and produce everything from nutritious food and snacks to life-saving vaccines and medical treatments. Manufacturers also make electric vehicles, sporting equipment and structural products like steel, rebar and motors, as well as chemicals, high-tech gadgets used for national defense, and energy to power homes and businesses. Manufacturing is the largest contributor of any industry to the state’s Gross Domestic Product, supporting nearly a third of all jobs in Illinois and contributing more than $580 billion to the state’s economy each year.

With nearly 315,000 votes cast throughout the eight-week competition, the Komatsu mining truck was awarded the title of The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois by Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday during a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. Manufactured by Komatsu, a leading maker of construction, mining, forestry, and industrial heavy equipment in Peoria, the truck is a rugged, large capacity vehicle used for construction and mining. With a capacity ranging from 30 to 400 tons, the Komatsu truck is built for meeting productivity targets and it comes equipped with new innovations in suspension, transmission, electric drive technology and autonomous operation. It is engineered for reliability, operator efficiency, high performance, fuel efficiency and has a reduced carbon footprint, meeting U.S. EPA Tier 4 emission standards.

Graphic of bracket style competition

“Congratulations to Komatsu’s mining truck for being named the 2024 Coolest Thing Made in Illinois. This magnificent construction and mining vehicle is a shining example of the innovation and creativity that drives the manufacturing sector, where big ideas become products that can change the world,” said Mark Denzler, President and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “We applaud all the manufacturers that participated in this year’s competition and commend the skilled workers on our shop floors whose contributions guarantee that these fantastic products are made to the highest standards.”

“Komatsu’s ‘Coolest Thing in Illinois’ mining and construction truck takes something fundamental to our economy and infrastructure and continues to improve and innovate on a basic and essential concept—the absolute best of what manufacturing does for our state and a truly exceptional product,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Congratulations to the team of Komatsu and to all the contestants for your exceptional work in continuing to elevate our state’s manufacturing industry.”

“Komatsu is honored to receive this incredible recognition, which is a testament to the talent and skill of our team, who are the best in the business,” said Dan Funcannon, VP North America Engineering and Development, Komatsu. “We are proud of our contributions to Illinois’ strong legacy of manufacturing, where human ingenuity transforms raw materials into modern marvels.”

Other finalists for the title included the Mullen’s Imitation French Dressing, a delicious food dressing based made by Mullen’s in Palestine; the MQ-25 Stingray (Drone Refueler), an unmanned aircraft with aerial refueling capabilities built by Boeing in Mascoutah and Mod Box by Enviro Buildings, a strong, insulated outdoor building with standardized panel sizes manufactured by Craig Industries in Quincy.

“Comcast Business congratulates Komatsu’s mining truck for earning the title of The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois.  It was exciting to watch this year’s contest as it progressed,” said Sean McCarthy, Comcast’s Regional Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Initiatives. “We are proud to support the Makers Madness competition and partner with the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association to showcase the awesome products manufactured across the state.”

To ensure the state’s manufacturing sector remains strong, the IMA is advocating for the passage of several measures this legislative session. Priorities include proposals to support students and families entering the workforce through student loan employer tax credits and scholarships, advancing the development of cutting-edge technology by modernizing the state’s Research & Development tax credit, and allowing carbon capture and sequestration to help the state reach its clean energy goals.

Previous contest winners include the Rosenberg Moon Habitat, a 3D printed polymer structure designed to house humans on the moon, manufactured by Ingersoll Machine Tools in Rockford; Rivian’s all-electric R1T truck made in Normal, the first all-electric truck in production featuring four motors, with one powering each wheel; the Self-Regulating Traffic Signal Heater by Termico Technologies in Elk Grove Village, which uses conductive particles to heat traffic signals so they remain free of ice and snow and traffic can safely navigate our roadways; and the 797F Mining Truck manufactured by Caterpillar, Inc. in Decatur, the world’s largest mechanical truck.

Timeline of events:

  • February 14 – March 3: Nominations accepted at
  • March 5 – March 17: Voting on nominations to determine the Top 16
  • March 19 – March 24: First round of voting to determine Top 8
  • March 26 – March 31: Second round of voting to determine Top 4
  • April 2 – April 7: Final round of voting
  • April 10: Winner of The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois announced

About the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA)

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is the only statewide association dedicated exclusively to advocating, promoting and strengthening the manufacturing sector in Illinois. The IMA is the oldest and largest state manufacturing trade association in the United States, representing nearly 4,000 companies and facilities. For more information, visit

We think you may also like…