SpecializedLifting50: Change up

14 April 2020


Rigging and lifting jobs are becoming more complex and require solutions that involve all types of specialized lifting equipment. From power plants to oil and gas, jobs continue to grow alongside the demand for equipment. Over the course of the last year, the ACT SpecializedLifting50 list has seen a both increases and decreases across categories. Employment has increased by 702 people, while gantries, rubber-tired gantries and strand jack fleets have decreased slightly. While there is no lack of specialized lifting projects, this could be an indicator of more streamlined fleets and stronger usage of the rental market versus actual equipment ownership.


The SpecializedLifting50  posted an index of 1,391,662, decreasing 69,035 tons over the 2019 index. This decrease is attributed to the absence of two big industry players this year. Bigge Crane and Rigging transitioned from service providers to suppliers of heavy lift equipment through bare rentals and sales. The general contracting world is more competitive than ever, and as a result, these types of businesses are seeking to become more autonomous in their niche markets, the company said. Bigge has converted its business into a rent, lease to purchase and sell model for this type of work. In addition, during the summer of 2019, Burkhalter Rigging was acquired by Barnhart Crane and Rigging. This knocked them off the SpecializedLifting50 list, but explains the growth of Barnhart as a result. With the transition of these companies, we saw changes in rankings, with some companies moving up.


ACT began distributing survey forms for the SpecializedLifting50 list via email in January 2020 and followed up with phone calls and more emails in February. The companies that completed and returned these surveys over the course of the last two months were included in this year’s list.

For some companies, we were forced to use their data from our 2019 list. In these cases, an asterisk will appear next to that company’s name. As a result, the SpecializedLifting50 is an estimate.

While every effort was made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information in this list, ACT, and its editors and its publishers do not assume responsibility for any errors or omissions. We strive to improve this list, as well as our other annual lists, every year.

To be a part of our 2021 SpecializedLifting50, email Editor D.Ann Shiffler, to request a survey form. She can be reached at [email protected]. Or you may email Assistant Editor Hannah Sundermeyer at [email protected].

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