Published Feb 5, 2015

More Than Rental: An Authorized Distributor Dawes: A Trusted Source for Link-Belt Since 1995

Link-Belt Crane

Although the ALL Family of Companies has been known as a crane rental leader since 1964, it has also made a name in the industry as an authorized distributor for many of the top brands of lift equipment: Link-Belt Cranes, Broderson carry deck cranes, Genie and Skyjack aerial lifts, JLG and SkyTrak aerials and telehandlers, Terex Cranes, and three crane brands manufactured by Manitowoc (National boom trucks, Shuttlelift carry deck cranes, and Potain self erecting tower cranes).

Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, a member of the 37-branch ALL Family of Companies, has been a Link-Belt retail distributor in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for 20 years. Dawes also offers Link-Belt cranes from their world-class rental fleet. This fleet is assembled at their four separate locations spread out across Wisconsin, with deeper access to the wide-ranging ALL fleet stationed like a supply chain throughout North America.

“There are two main reasons Dawes and Link-Belt make a good partnership,” explained Steve Challoner, retail sales manager at Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental. “First, because the ALL Family of Companies and Dawes own almost every Link-Belt model made, we have gained deep knowledge of these machines through our experience renting and selling these cranes. Second, we have the know-how, the personnel, and the resources to maintain, service, and support these machines in the field.”

The Link-Belt Difference
“We believe in the high quality of Link-Belt lift equipment or we wouldn’t buy so many for our own fleet,” Challoner added. “And they stand behind their product. We respect the iconic Link-Belt brand, the first American all-terrain crane, for its constant innovation, its responsiveness to its customers’ needs, and its reliability. The company treats their customers in much the same way as ALL strives to treat theirs.”

Similarly, said Challoner, Link-Belt is a large corporation with a family atmosphere, much like the ALL Family. Dawes and ALL management have established an excellent rapport and strong connection with Link-Belt management. “Link-Belt knows their customers and are able to respond with timely support,” he added. “They often send Link-Belt field service specialists to ALL branches to familiarize operators and technicians with new models. They will even go to a job site to assist our customers in the field. They really stand out in that area.”

On its website, Link-Belt explains the Link-Belt Difference. When asked if he thinks there really is a difference, Challoner gave an enthusiastic yes. He explained that it all began with founder William Dana Ewart’s idea for a linked-belt drive chain, patented in 1874. Then Ewart firmly established the Link-Belt Difference with his Link-Belt Machinery Company in 1880 and the Link-Belt Engineering Company in 1888. Around 1890, these two Link-Belt companies developed the forerunner of today’s Link-Belt construction equipment: the first wide-gauge, steam-powered, coal-handling clamshell crane. Almost 100 years of growth and innovation later, the company formally became the Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company, headquartered in Lexington (KY), and a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries.

Innovation is still the driving force of the American company today, said Challoner. And in 2013, both Link-Belt and ALL celebrated milestones in their histories — 140 years for Link-Belt and 50 for ALL. The two companies represent some of the “best in the crane business.”

Every three years, Link-Belt holds CraneFest at the factory to introduce new models and give distributors and their customers a chance to talk with factory representatives. Challoner remembers his own experience being invited to bring a customer to the Link-Belt factory to watch their crane coming down the production line. “The factory experience is great for our people and customers alike,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the 2015 event.”

Dawes and Link-Belt: A Win-Win
When customers purchase a Link-Belt crane from Dawes, they get a quality machine supported by a quality distributor. “Link-Belt equipment has a well-respected presence in almost every industry,” said Challoner, “and so do Dawes and ALL. So Dawes’ customers who buy new Link-Belt equipment trust that we can offer decades’ worth of acumen and all the support they need after the purchase.”

As Dawes and ALL continue to grow their influence in the new equipment market, one thing is clear. “We’re selling more new equipment every year, and Link-Belt is an important brand in the mix,” Challoner said. “And customers like knowing that Dawes and ALL rent and sell only lifting equipment — we don’t handle any other type of construction equipment like some other distributors. With that focus, we can give the customer the benefit of our cumulative professional experience. It’s a win-win.”

Challoner summed up, “No one else in our geographic area can match our fleet size and quality. And because all 37 branches of the ALL Family of Companies have access to the entire national fleet, we can always get customers exactly what they need. And if that happens to be a Link-Belt crane, we’re ready to go.”

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Originally published:  Spring 2015 Lift Line magazine