85 Years of Doing One Thing

New Leader Manufacturing was founded with a singular focus: to build the best equipment possible. Whether that’s spreading salt to deice a highway or nutrients to fertilize a crop, we’ve made our business making sure you have the tools to apply precisely what you need, when you need it. Because we believe that precision on the back end translates to precision on the front line where the work gets done. It’s something we started in 1939, and it’s what makes us leaders today.

Our History

  • 1939
    Roy Giaddis in front of Highway Equipment Company Building

    Company Founded

    The Highway Equipment Company is founded by Roy Gaddis

  • 1939

    First Hi-Way product

    Model P consisting of a hopper and hand-operated spinner

  • 1940

    First New Leader product

    Today it would be called a snowmobile. It is used to pull a sleigh carrying people and provisions, replacing a dog team, thereby becoming the “New Leader”

  • 1958
    Cliff Jordan purchases company from Roy Gaddis

    New Ownership

    Cliff Jordan purchases company from Roy Gaddis

  • 1960

    A New Partnership

    New Leader Manufacturing partners with Ag-Chem, a leading manufacturer of off-road equipment used to fertilize agricultural crops

  • 1978
    William T. Rissi and Columbus “Cal” Basile purchase the company from Cliff Jordan

    New Ownership

    William T. Rissi and Columbus “Cal” Basile purchase the company from Cliff Jordan

  • 1990
    Case IH Logo

    A New Partnership

    New Leader Manufacturing partners with Case IH, a leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment systems

  • 1991
    Matt Rissi and Rocki Shepard

    New Leadership

    Current owners Matt Rissi and Rocki Shepard assume operational control of the company

  • 2000
    G4 Spinner in a field

    A Major Advancement

    Revolutionary G4 spinner assembly released

  • 2000
    Oxbo Spreaders

    A New Partnership

    New Leader Manufacturing enters into a new partnership with Oxbo

  • 2002
    Arial view of company headquarters.

    New Location

    Company moves from 4-acre location on D Ave to current 50-acre location on 76th Ave

  • 2002
    The XT3 Type I

    XT3 Arrives

    The Hi-Way XT3 multi-purpose dump body with a pre-wet system is released

  • 2004
    John Deere

    A New Partnership

    New Leader Manufacturing and John Deere’s Nutrient Application Division partner

  • 2007

    A New Partnership

    New Leader Manufacturing and RBR enter into a new partnership

  • 2010
    The Hi-Way Xzalt

    Xzalt Arrives

    Hi-Way Xzalt Precision Applicator released

  • 2017
    The New Leader NL5000 G5

    A New Level

    NL5000 G5 with 16-section swath width control released

  • 2018
    New Leader Comércio de Equipamentos Agrícolas e Serviços Limitada


    First international facility, New Leader Comércio de Equipamentos Agrícolas e Serviços Limitada, opens in Assis, São Paulo, Brazil

  • 2018
    New Leader Testing Facility

    Testing Facility

    Company finishes construction on 32,000 square foot testing facility, a one of a kind in North America

  • 2019
    New Leader Manufacturing Logo

    New Name, Same Company

    Company rebrands to New Leader Manufacturing

Spreading Good Locally & Globally

Spreading good is a cornerstone of New Leader Manufacturing.



We are passionate about the Cedar Rapids area and are committed to helping it thrive by spreading goodwill, good deeds, good fortune, and good cheer through its communities. To celebrate our 80 years in business, we are thrilled to open this social mission to our community through our new philanthropy program, 380.

380 is about spreading generosity and kindness by sharing our resources with those who are working to improve life in the I-380 region.

Our communities are filled with people, organizations, and causes that do great things and inspire us, and others, to do more. Through our 380 initiative, we are honored to support those causes in their efforts to spread good both locally and globally.

New Leader accepts, reviews, and funds donation requests based on specific application periods. Please visit https://newleader.com/spreading-good-landing/ for more information.



Today, one in eight people on our planet do not have access to clean water. Nowhere is that more prevalent than in Africa. H20 is a program designed to bring accessible supplies of clean water to African communities. This effort focuses on environmental and sanitation training and infrastructure, as well as building and rehabbing wells and natural springs. With each NL5000 G5 spreader sale, we help provide clean water to rural communities half a world away.

Thank you to these past partners for joining us in the journey to spread good.

  • American Red Cross
  • Area Substance Abuse Control
  • Arc of East Central IA
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Camp Courageous
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
  • Cedar Rapids Police Protection
  • Discovery Living
  • Eastern Iowa Arts Academy
  • Especially for You
  • Four Oaks
  • Goodwill
  • Hiawatha Public Library
  • Horizons Family Services
  • Iowa College Foundation
  • Indian Creek Nature Center
  • Junior Achievement
  • Kirkwood Foundation
  • Linn County Deputy Sheriff’s Charitable Association
  • Linn County Fire Fighters Association
  • Matthew 25
  • Mercy Medical
  • Miracles in Motion
  • Mount Mercy University
  • National Czech and Slovak Museum
  • NewBo City Market
  • Prairie of Miracles 5K
  • Prospect Meadows
  • Regis Middle School
  • St. John XXIII
  • St. Luke’s Foundation
  • Tanager Place
  • The History Center
  • Theatre Cedar Rapids
  • United Way
  • University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
  • Variety Club
  • Waypoint
  • Willis Dady Homeless Services