Gearmatic began in 1946 in Vancouver, British Columbia, when founder Frank Lawrence introduced the quick-shift Gearmatic transmission. In addition to this and other innovative products, Lawrence developed a mechanical winch which was enthusiastically accepted by the logging industry in the Pacific Northwest. In 1960, the company built the first winch driven by a hydraulic motor with planetary gearing and a hydraulic motor (Model 11/11E).
In 1963, Pacific Car and Foundry Company (now PACCAR) acquired Gearmatic. An early pioneer in planetary gear train designs known for producing well-built products and maintaining exceptionally high standards of quality, Gearmatic introduced ROTO-VERSAL drives in 1968 receiving the trademark the following year.
Today, the Gearmatic brand is focused on hydraulic planetary winches and hoists for mobile crane, marine and pipelaying applications.