Case Studies

Maxim Crane Works LP

National crane rentals, service and sales based in Pennsylvania

Maxim Crane Works LP, via the companies it has acquired, has been serving the needs of contractors across the United States since 1937. As one of the world’s largest crane and equipment service providers, Maxim Crane represents the successful integration of several dominant regional crane rental companies and the culmination of several acquisitions over the years. Maxim Crane currently operates from more than 30 locations across the U.S. and employs approximately 1,350 people.

The executive leadership team at Maxim Crane is built around a regional leadership concept with an average of 25 years or more of industry experience per regional president. “The ability of the team to operate both autonomously within each region as well as our team-oriented cross-regional cooperation is the driving force to the success of Maxim Crane,” says Bryan Carlisle, CEO of Maxim Crane.

With nearly 40 years of experience in the crane rental and specialized service Industry, Carlisle has organized a leadership team with similar backgrounds and industry experience. “Our senior leadership team, comprised of Frank Bardonaro, Randy Johnston, Larry Lis, Mark Swaney and Joe Vacarello, is committed to supporting the entire Maxim Crane team,” Carlisle adds. “This team is further supported by a group of regional sales, operations and safety leaders who work side-by-side with them to provide our employees and customers with the highest level of performance, safety, equipment and resources available in the industry.”

Frank Bardonaro, president of sales and business development has worked for Maxim Crane for more than 20 years combined. “I understood from an early age that our entire industry is built around the philosophy of people and safety, not just iron,” he explains. “It has been an honor to participate in so many aspects of the crane rental, sales and manufacturing side of the crane industry. Maxim has succeeded in developing the only full-service, coast-to-coast crane rental and solutions provider in the industry.”

“Our team is focused on solving our customers’ challenges in the safest and most economical manner possible,” he continues. “We have a team that rises to the challenges our customers present and refuse to say ‘no.’ We understand that every lift will somehow be performed and it is our mission to get the project done safely, on time and under budget.”

Bardonaro’s colleagues share his dedication to quality, service and safety. Around the country, they operate as a team, striving to provide value to the company’s diverse clientele and keep the business moving forward.

Maxim Crane Works LPDedicated professionals

“Working at Maxim Crane today provides the same sense of pride that a player on a championship team would have,” says Bardonaro. “We go out there every day and compete against other professional crane rental teams on a day-to-day basis. Knowing that our guys have the best equipment, the best preparation and the strongest desire to win every deal makes each day a competition and we don’t like to lose. If we are going to lose any deal, we expect to know why before we lose it.”

“The ability of our sales force to work with our leadership team on a real-time basis ensures that our customers are getting the best information, equipment and pricing available at all times,” he adds. “We encourage our team to know the customer, not just the load charts, as we are a relationship-driven team and we align our sales and operations team goals with that of our customers to ensure the best results possible for both parties.”

The Maxim Crane team functions as a support system. With some of the best crane and equipment service experts in the country onboard, employees take pride in the business. The company is set up to function as a single unit with strong regional management.

Not only does the senior leadership team clock in with an average of more than 25 years of crane and rigging experience per-person, per-region, the same experience level and expertise extend to the sales, operations, dispatch and operating crews at Maxim Crane.

This high level of experience means that customers trust Maxim Crane to provide them with the safest and most productive lifting solutions on the market. Expertise is the company’s calling card and the backbone of the business’ reputation.

Doing the heavy lifting

Customers all over the country call on Maxim Crane when it comes to doing heavy lifting. The company’s cranes have been involved in a number of high-profile construction projects from coast to coast. The business has also given NASA a lift – that is, lifting Space Shuttle Endeavour from the cargo hold of a Boeing 747, as well as several specialized projects around the country at the Space Station and military bases everywhere.

The Maxim Crane team has worked on more professional sports stadium projects than any other crane service company. This expertise continues today, as Maxim Crane currently has equipment on-site at several new projects, including the Atlanta Falcons Stadium where Maxim Crane is presently providing nearly a dozen crawler cranes ranging from 230-ton to 300-ton as well as multiple rough terrain cranes. “All lifting equipment is operated and maintained by Maxim Crane employees to ensure safe, qualified, competent and properly trained operators,” says Carlisle.

Maxim Crane is the crane provider for several high-profile projects in California including a new facility for a major tech company. “We purchased several new cranes to meet the local Tier-4 requirement,” notes Mark Swaney, western regional president. “This upgrade involved a $20 million investment in new equipment and demonstrated our ability to act quickly and responsively to our customers’ rapidly changing requirements, as the cranes were needed within 30 days of receiving the order. The focus on modern technology, equipment and emissions has allowed Maxim Crane to develop a specialty fleet of equipment specifically for the demands of the California and Southwest U.S. markets.”

The company is also involved in what is currently one of the largest single-tower crane projects in the U.S. Maxim Crane is providing services for the construction of Brickell City Center in downtown Miami. “The project involves three city blocks and we had 11 cranes on-site,” says Carlisle. “Our team was able to provide the best solution for coordination of the climb schedules and working conditions needed to ensure the safest and most time efficient models for the project.”

The company’s nationwide footprint and broad resources are trumped only by Maxim Crane’s professional staff. Despite its size, the business maintains a customer-oriented approach to operation. “We like relationships and working with the right people,” explains Bardonaro. “We really respect the expertise involved in the bigger projects. Proper project management and working with engineers is critical.”

Staying ahead of industry trends

Beyond project performance, Maxim Crane is constantly looking ahead at industry trends and needs of the future. “We have gotten away from a lot of the ‘tree removal and 4-hour minimum’ types of jobs,” says Bardonaro. “We are placing a greater emphasis on projects that require newer, larger, state-of-the-art equipment with appreciation for the value-added services and safety management that we provide.”

For equipment, the business prioritizes value. Randy Johnston, president of the central region for Maxim Crane, has more than 25 years of industry expertise and is one of the leading forecasters and trend analysis experts of the crane fleet needs.

Johnston and his colleagues steer away from jumping on short-term trends or investing in inferior equipment just to meet a short-term supply issue. Maxim Crane has established longstanding relationships with suppliers such as Liebherr, Manitowoc, Terex and Linkbelt. The corporation has mechanics and trained technicians to perform in-house maintenance on all equipment.

“We have the equipment and ability to succeed in every type of lifting environment,” says Johnston. “In particular, our history and expertise in the refinery and heavy industrial base of the Gulf Coast has positioned Maxim Crane as the premier provider of turnkey maintenance and capital projects throughout the region.”

“Our team has long-standing relationships with the field team and engineering departments of all our major accounts,” he continues. “Our understanding of the specific customer needs with the focus on safety, zero incidents and zero downtime helps keep Maxim Crane as the preferred provider in the market.”

Adapting to a changing market

Though Maxim Crane maintains a steady market share, there are always challenges to running a business. From an ownership standpoint, the cost of new equipment continues to rise. Meanwhile, the construction market is still competitive and rates are not following the same trend.

“As the markets continue to change, our customers have found the need to do a greater variety of work in greater distances from their offices and our central branches,” explains Larry Lis, vice president of Maxim Cranes Northeast region. “This has enabled Maxim Crane to work closely with the manufacturers and our customers to help develop and operate newer, lighter cranes that provide better economics for freight, permits and multistate utilization.”

“We cover 15 states out of the Northeast,” he continues. “This means our fleet must be highly transportable and compatible with several different types of customers and local operating engineers. Our ability to ramp up the purchases of new equipment that meets the needs of these projects continues to provide Maxim Crane and our customers with a competitive advantage.”

In order to stay ahead of competitors, the Maxim Crane team focuses on controllable aspects of the business. The company has the largest team of qualified and trained operating engineers in the U.S. employed on a daily basis. This provides an advantage in the business’ ability to ensure on-time, on-budget and safe turnkey lifting operations.

Maxim Crane’s sales and operations team is its greatest asset. The business employs a strong regional leadership network. Randy Johnston is president of the central and petrochemical sector, Mark Swaney leads the west region and Larry Lis manages the Northeast.

“These leaders have followed the lead of our CEO, Bryan Carlisle to focus daily on the needs of our local markets,” says Bardonaro. “Bryan Carlisle has been in the industry for more than 40 years and has put together a matrix management strategy that empowers each of our team members to make the call within their region that best benefits the company, the employees and the customer. In addition to the unmatched strengths of each regional president and vice president, we have regional sales and operations team leaders that are 100 percent aligned with the Maxim Crane goal of getting the job done safely, on time and on budget.”

This team-driven approach is the core value for the Maxim Crane team to ensure its customers that Maxim Crane Works LP is the one-stop shop for every heavy lifting need.

Published on: July 8, 2015

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