How a Family Company Became the ALL Family of Companies
ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp.
"There's a way to do it better – find it." ~ Thomas A. Edison
The largest privately owned crane sales and rental company in North America started with one crane … and one family with a vision.
It was 1964 when Michael C. Liptak, Jr. and his brothers, Jake and Larry, first recognized the need for the equipment rental industry. Mike and Jake had been working in the quarries, running cranes. Larry had just returned from serving in the Army. The brothers, along with Mike’s wife, Marvine, knew that contractors usually owned their equipment, including all the headaches and expense of maintaining it. And that expensive equipment on their books didn’t necessarily pay for itself very fast.
The light bulb went on.
In a flash of entrepreneurial clarity, the Liptak brothers bought themselves a crane and began renting it. Marvine provided administrative support. The fleet began to grow with cranes and trucks they bought and sold at auctions … and a family business, not to mention a new industry, was born.
By backing their business with hard work, reliable products, and outstanding customer service, they believed they had laid the foundation for a company that would stand the test of time.
They were right.
Over the years, the brothers built their own engine shop, weld shop, paint shop, and other support in order to service and maintain all their own equipment.
They acquired other established crane companies to help serve their growing customer base, and the family company became The ALL Family of Companies. Central Contactors Service in Chicago joined in 1977. Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental in Wisconsin joined in 1978. Jeffers Crane Service in Ohio and Michigan joined in 1995. Today, the company’s many strategic locations dot the map.
The Liptak family’s drive to succeed, their dedication to each other and the business, and their pride in their reliability and exceptional customer service didn’t go unrewarded. Today, ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp. is a world-class organization with over 1,400 dedicated employees and thousands of satisfied customers, with locations in 13 U.S. states as well as Ontario and Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada.
The ALL Family of Companies today still thinks and works like a family, thanks to the combined efforts of several generations of Liptaks and the dedicated team they have assembled. The original founders remain active in day-to-day operations, and second- and third-generation family members can be found in a variety of roles throughout the company.
The original vision of a dynamic, forward-thinking company, able to anticipate and meet the changing needs of its customers, has flourished. The ALL Family of Companies’ global reach, customized local support, and commitment to investing in long-term incremental growth have made them a world leader in lift equipment.
CENTRAL: Our History
In 1946, George Carlson came home to Chicago after serving in the military, planning to join the post-war construction boom using "war surplus" equipment he had purchased in the South Pacific. He formed Central Contractors as a taxi crane business, renting cranes with operators on an hourly basis to contractors and builders in the greater Chicago area. In 1949, the company landed its first large commercial job with Standard Oil of Indiana (now Amoco), in Whiting, Indiana. He set up a second company, Central Rent-a-Crane, to service the refinery and growing steel mill activity in the area.
The businesses grew. George married Mary Hartline, a Chicago radio and television personality, who later became an absentee owner after George's death. The business was sold to a Chicago contractor in the late 1970s and in 1977 to the owners of ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corporation, an 13-year-old family company in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Liptaks expanded both of Central's operations, adding crawler cranes, industrial equipment, and bigger capacity taxi cranes, and began offering bare equipment rentals. In the 1980s, manlifts and aerial work platforms were added to their rental inventory, and the Snorkel Economy Division of Figgie International appointed both locations as franchised dealers.
ALL continued to upgrade both locations, changing facilities to meet customer needs. Central Contractors moved to its current facility in Crestwood, Illinois, just outside Chicago's city limits and expanded to dispatch equipment from Palatine and downtown Chicago locations.
Today, Central is a close-knit organization, employing just over 120 employees. Central maintains personal relationships with its customers in greater Chicago, northern Indiana, southern Illinois, St. Louis, and Iowa. And, as a member of the ALL family of companies, Central can tap the resources of ALL Crane's nationwide network of companies and fleets to provide responsive service to its entire service area.
Joined the ALL family of companies: 1977
DAWES: Our History
Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, Inc. traces its roots to the 1945 merger of two Wisconsin firms-the Shea Drayage Company of Racine and the Matson Company of Kenosha. The Shea-Matson Company, located in Milwaukee, became one of the area's largest specialized carrier and rigging companies. Besides working with the breweries, the company served the area's heavy industrial base, anchored by such companies as Allen Bradley Corp., A.O. Smith, Allis-Chalmers, Bucyrus Erie, and Harnischfeger.
In 1946, the Shea-Matson Company opened a second office and shop in the heart of Chicago. This new location became the base of operations for managing and setting up trade shows throughout the nation. (The company also helped create the organization that eventually became the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association.) Over the next 25 years, the Shea-Matson Company would rank among the top specialized carriers and rigging companies for trade shows.
In 1973, Dawes Transfer of Milwaukee purchased the Shea-Matson Company to form the Shea-Matson-Dawes Company. The owners of Dawes Transfer-Thomas Freckmann, Dan O'Gorman, Ted Lehninger, and Dick Grimsrud-were all former employees of Shea-Matson. A few years later, Shea-Matson was dropped from the company name and Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, Inc. emerged.
In 1978, the partners sold the company to ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. Tom Freckmann stayed on as the general manager of Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, Inc.
AS part of the ALL family, Dawes opened its first branch office in 1987 in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, primarily to provide service to the booming paper industry in northeastern Wisconsin.
As the crane rental portion of Dawes grew, its machinery moving and rigging services became a subsidiary, DST, Inc. (Dawes Specialized Transportation) in 1988. Headquartered in Milwaukee, DST began operation with 48-state authority.
Tom Freckmann retired in 1989 and was succeeded by his son, Steve Freckmann, who is General Manager of Dawes today. Under Steve's stewardship and with the support of ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp., Dawes prospered, opening two more Wisconsin branches in Madison and Chippewa Falls in 1993.
Joined the ALL family of companies: 1978
Jeffers: Our History
In 1948, Paul R. Jeffers opened a small crane rental company near Toledo in Oregon, Ohio, with two cranes. The company prospered and grew, moving to a larger location in 1982.
Jeffers was purchased in 1995 by ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. Today, Jeffers Crane Service has locations in Oregon and Lima, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, and operates a fleet of more than 300 pieces of equipment consisting of cranes, aerials, and forklifts. The company concentrates on crane and aerial lift rental and also sells new and used equipment.
As part of the ALL family of companies, Jeffers Crane Service can call on the resources of ALL Crane's nationwide network of companies and reliable equipment to provide responsive service to its entire service area.
Joined the ALL family of companies: 1995