What’s the big news from the USA crane market this year?

Mergers and acquisitions dominate the crane and specialized transportation landscape. Crane Briefing highlights several transactions spanning across the USA thus far in 2024.

While we are only five months into 2024, mergers and acquisitions have dominated news in the crane and specialized transportation sector, shaking up the industry. Many of American Crane and Transport magazine’s top lists, such as the ACT100 and ACTTransport50 will be significantly impacted by these developments.

Lifting and logistics contractor Barnhart Crane and Rigging has purchased South Carolina, USA-based White Crane. (Photo: Barnhart)

Here are a few of the most noteworthy transactions:


In early January 2024, Barnhart Crane and Rigging purchased South Carolina-based White Crane, giving the company its second branch in the state.

In the company’s second acquisition of 2024, Barnhart acquired Baxter Crane and Rigging of Tupelo, Mississippi. The purchase agreement includes Baxter’s crane rental service, equipment and employees.


Barnhart purchased CR Holland Crane Service of Forest City, Iowa. The acquisition marks Barnhart’s fifth branch in the state, further solidifying the Memphis-based company’s presence in the upper Midwest, where it also operates branches in Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

North American specialized transport operator Daseke was acquired by TFI International in an all-cash transaction worth $1.1 billion. TFI is a Canadian general transport and logistics company that has made 126 acquisitions in the USA and Canada since 2008.

Daseke is more involved in specialized transport. It has a fleet of 4,900 tractors, 11,000 flatbed and specialized trailers, plus one million square feet of industrial warehousing. It is the sixth largest specialized transport company in the world, according to the 2023 IC Transport50 ranking.

In the ACT Transport50 ranking, just for North America, Daseke is ranked in second place.

Industrial services group Steel River in the USA purchased crane and equipment repair specialist Wheco. Wheco repairs, restores and inspects cranes and other heavy equipment worldwide. It specializes in repairing accident-damaged cranes and offers certificates and warranties. Facilities include shops down the west of the USA and one in South Carolina.

Steel River said it aims to build a lifting equipment solutions platform across the nation. The company said, “The acquisition significantly expands Steel River’s capabilities in its existing markets, bringing expansive new facilities and additional technical expertise on board.”

Adding Wheco’s team of more than 60 employees to Steel River, mostly on the west coast, takes the total above 250. The acquisition reinforces the Steel River CraneTech division by expanding capability in mobile cranes and aerial work platforms.

Rope company Samson acquired French rope company Corderie Henri Lancelin. The deal between Washington-based Samson and Ernée-based Lancelin was for an undisclosed sum.

Lancelin is a fourth-generation family company started in 1907. It is known as an innovator, especially in the field of maritime ropes. It has a testing facility with a machine capable of breaking ropes with a strength of up to 600 tonnes.

Boss Heavy Haul has purchased super heavy haul transport equipment, along with drivers and operational managers, from Cowboy’s Services’ division CSI Heavy Haul. (Photo: Boss)

The Bay Crane Companies has purchased two crane service companies in the Mid-Atlantic region from ML Holdings: United Crane & Rigging and Crane Rental Company. This acquisition adds to Bay Crane’s two full service locations in Baltimore and Capital Heights, Maryland, along with a fleet of 88 cranes and hoists and almost 200 trucks, trailers and other support equipment.

Bennett On-Site Services, operating as BOSS Crane & Rigging and its subsidiary BOSS Heavy Haul, affiliates of the Bennett Family of Companies, has acquired over-the-road super heavy haul transport equipment, along with drivers and operational managers, from Cowboy’s Services’ division CSI Heavy Haul. CSI Heavy Haul, formerly operating from Channelview, Texas, brings decades of experience as an expert in specialized super heavy haul, heavy haul and trucking services since its establishment in 1983.

United Rentals completed the acquisition of temporary roadway rental business Yak Access, Yak Mat and New South Access & Environmental Solutions from Platinum Equity for $1.1 billion in cash. Yak rents a fleet of 600,000 hardwood, softwood and composite mats to provide surface protection in construction and maintenance and repair operations, in particular for utility and midstream oil and gas customers. Yak generated revenues of US$ 353 million in the year to 31 December 2023.


Manitex International, an international provider of truck cranes, specialized industrial equipment and construction equipment rental solutions to infrastructure and construction markets, announced the first US deliveries of the recently launched PM 70.5 SP articulated truck mounted crane built in Italy by its subsidiary PM Group.

Sany America is rolling out its third rough terrain crane in two years, the SRA550A, a 55 US ton (50 tonne) unit that was “designed for a multitude of jobsites,” says general manager of cranes Brian Smoot.

The new Sany America SRA550A rough terrain crane has an advanced and user-friendly LMI system, a spacious cab with high visibility and a flat deck design with multiple access points. It is powered by a Cummins diesel engine, Dana transmission and Meritor axles.

“It has the longest boom and is the strongest RT in its class,” adds Smoot. The new unit was designed to be used for municipality work, refinery work, power plant maintenance, laydown yard staging and as a general construction support crane.

North American crane sales rebounding

Chris Sleight, managing director at global market research and forecasting company, Off Highway Research, discusses the US crane market.

While sales of many types of construction equipment boomed in 2021and 2022 in response to low interest rates and other economic stimulus, the North American mobile crane market (the US specifically) remained stubbornly low. It is only this year which is seeing crane sales return to a normal level.

The problem throughout 2021 and 2022 was a shortage of components for crane manufacturers, which significantly hindered production. These bottlenecks were compounded by shipping and logistics constraints, which stretched out lead times even further. This was most apparent in the US market, which is roughly ten times the size of the Canadian market, meaning the sheer volume of cranes required to meet demand was a barrier to growth.

As frustrating as this has been, it means there is significant up-side in the industry this year and into the mid-2020s.

“The USA has more potential for growth than Canada, though Canada has made the better recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic of three years ago. In 2023, there was still some pent-up demand due to long lead times and delivery delays, and lots of potential from infrastructure, oil and gas and wind power investments, in the case of wind particularly if government incentives are available. This is a positive for producers of lattice boom crawler cranes, which are used for installing and repowering wind turbines, and for manufacturers of all terrain cranes, which perform general maintenance functions in the industry,” says the report.

Tower Cranes North America

Tower Cranes North America (TCNA) conference will be head this June, 11 and 12, in Nashville, Tennessee.

The conference, organized by American Cranes & Transport and International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazines, in exclusive partnership with the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA), is the only conference and networking event for North America’s tower crane industry in 2024.

For more information see: www.khl-tcna.com


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