Post-war America in 1948 saw a number of electrical contractors and utility workers laboring to find ways to efficiently set poles and string power lines along many of the newly built highways across the country. Stepping up to meet this need was Richard Elliott, an industrial pioneer who subsequently developed the first truck-mounted telescoping aerial platform and crane.
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As the product took off, what began with one man turned into Elliott Equipment Company, which today is headquartered out of Omaha, Neb., employs hundreds of individuals, and, through its global dealership, has grown to become a world leader in the design, manufacture, and supply of aerial work platforms and truck-mounted cranes. Steve Engelhardt reports.
Here at Elliott Equipment Company, our mission is to create the best solutions for lifting loads and positioning people,” says the company’s Global Sales and Marketing Manager, David Elliott. “On the surface it may seem like a simple focus, but our commitment to it has brought us the success we enjoy today.”
A Pair of Solutions
In terms of their current product line, Elliott Equipment offers two distinct models. The first is their HiReach™ aerial work platform, which features a telescopic boom design and comes in a wide variety of sizes and length, from 45 feet all the way up to 215 feet. “It uniquely features an optional material handling winch package that includes both a 5,900 to 14,000 lb main winch, as well as a 500 to 1,500 lb platform jib winch crane.” It also features a full hydraulic boom extension system with zero cables and chains and our ‘piggyback’ cylinder provides users with a smooth, precise ride,” he says, adding, “We offer a number of special platform features, pressure washers, body and tool packages, and more to create a tailor-made, custom product which is simply unmatched when looking at other options in the market.” In addition to their add-on components, Phillips says the machines are built with heavy duty, oversized work platforms to create a maximum amount of space for the user operating within.
All of Elliott’s HiReach products offer the optional jib winch—a miniature crane—in the man basket that lets workers effectively lift materials up onto the platform or hold them in place for installation. “When you look at the HiReach’s telescopic boom, its oversized cable carrier, the main winch capabilities, optional add-on, and its overall heavy duty nature, it’s really a product whose versatility has allowed us to successfully impact and serve a multitude of markets here in the United States and around the world.”
Aside from Elliott’s HiReach platforms, the company also offers BoomTruck™ truck-mounted cranes. With a diverse range of products from 10 to 50 tons and boom lengths to 142’, the BoomTruck serves as a high-performance, high-efficiency product that can thrive in number of industries, from utilities and highways, to oil fields and construction. “It has a high-speed outrigger set-up, wide range of customized options, and a variety of control station arrangements from standup to enclosed crane cabins,” he says, adding, “and we offer a one year warranty on our parts and labor, and a lifetime structural warranty as well.”
And last year, during their attendance at the 2014 Conexpo, they unveiled a new addition to their line of BoomTruck models, the 45142 45-ton boom truck.
The 4514214 BoomTruck™ model is designed to mount on a five-axle chassis with a total overall weight of approximately 75,800 pounds, including a 32-55-foot two-section telescopic jib and a detachable two-man work platform. “The configuration is designed for a wide range of applications including electrical transmission construction and oil and gas services that require a combination of exceptionally long main boom lengths and powerful lifting capabilities in configurations that maximize permit-free mobility on federal highways,” Phillips says.
In addition to the 45142’s strong lifting capability of 45 tons, he adds that the machine can be used for personnel lifting by utilizing Elliott’s new OSHA-compliant hydraulic yoke two-man work platform and jib for a maximum working height of over 215 feet. “The new work platform features a yoke system that elevates hydraulically for attachment to the boom or jib tip, which reduces attachment time and the potential for strain injuries.”
Phillips says that a large part of their ability to continuously improve upon their products as well as develop new ones like the 45142 BoomTruck comes from their extensive network of dealers around the world and the deep partnerships they enjoy with them. “We work very closely with our dealers to understand where the market is currently, and where it is headed,” he says, adding, “and along with this comes an understanding of what the needs of our customers are in the present and what they could be down the road and we try to design our new products to meet such needs.”
The company’s commitment to comprehensively understanding their customers is what has led to the position they enjoy today, which includes the fact that Elliott Equipment Company is the number one option for the U.S. sign and lighting industry, and a leading player in a number of others, including mining, utilities, and oil and gas.
Phillips says that while their ability to understand and predict the needs of their customers around the world is a distinguishing trait of the company, none of it would be possible without the dynamic nature of their manufacturing facilities in Omaha, Neb. He adds that their facilities are unique in that they’re not necessarily like typical linear mass production centers, but rather a number of different stations set up to allow for a variety of production processes to be run. “Our setup allows us to have the capability to do highly customized solutions within our factory,” he says, adding, “you have a synergy of welders, fabrication groups, installation teams, and a number of other internal resources that all work together to create a highly flexible manufacturing presence.”
It’s a presence that has allowed to them to be free of boundaries and limitations, and has facilitated an open-minded approach when entering into partnerships with customers. For example, Phillips recalls a recent contract with a very large public utilities company in the western U.S., who were looking to perform heavy transmission work in remote areas while using less equipment and manpower.
“We didn’t have an existing product in our line that could meet their complex needs, so we went to our team of engineers and had them develop a unique 30-ton crane with a 20,000 pound auger system, a two-man work platform for aerial work, and a hydraulic recovery which was then mounted upon an all-wheel drive truck,” he says, adding that “the utility company was then able to do everything they wanted and were extremely pleased with our ability to meet what was a highly specific request.
Phillips adds that projects like these are where the company shines, because there’s simply no other business that can provide a solution like they do. “We have an extremely diverse portfolio of products in our line, but we really enjoy the ability to go outside of it and manufacture customized solutions for our customers as well.”
Running like a well-oiled machine, Elliott Equipment Company looks to continue its expansion across regions and industries for many decades to come. Phillips says that the company has been around for over 65 years, and they plan to be around for at least 65 more years as well. And why wouldn’t they? Elliott Equipment Company is a dynamic business that is well positioned to serve an increasingly fast-paced, interconnected industrial world.