By Matt Jones
By Matt Jones
Nebraska’s Elliott Equipment Company has a long tradition of innovation. Today, that tradition continues as the company continues to develop newproducts for the material handling sector. With this year being the company’s 70th anniversary, president Jim Glazer spoke with us about the company’s past and future.
“Elliott Equipment Company was founded in 1948 by Richard Elliott,” says Glazer. “He was a pioneer in aerial devices and material handling aerial devices. The company primarily served the utility and infrastructure industries.”
The company was eventually sold to new owners who kept it running, but it eventually went into receivership and Glazer’s family purchased the company in 1991.
“It had a very good brand name, but the previous owners had not done anything with it,” says Glazer. “We saw the value in the equipment that Elliott made and the customer base, and we purchased it.”
When Glazer’s family purchased the company there were only two models of equipment: 50-foot and 80-foot HiReach aerial platforms. Since 1991, the company has developed more than 38 new products, including HiReach models that reach as high as 240 feet and, since 2005, a line of truck-mounted cranes.
“Starting from scratch, we now have about 20 models of cranes that range in tonnage from 10 to 50 tons and in boom lengths from 39 to 142 feet of main boom and up to 215 feet of jib. And we recently introduced our first dirt digger machine, which is suited for the utility transmission application. They have tip height of up to 115 feet and high torque, bigger motors, so 20,000 pounds of torque and very high lifting capacity of 10,000 pounds of digging radius.”
Elliott Equipment Company’s customers tend to be involved in energy and infrastructure applications – utility construction, oil field service, highway maintenance, sign and lighting installation and maintenance, municipal construction and mining. Doing its best to serve such wide-ranging customers is how the company’s product line has developed – Glazer notes that their machines are customizable and that the best features in their products have been developed through extensive customer input. The company is able to achieve exactly what its customers are looking for due to its engineering team.
“We have an excellent engineering team; and an excellent quality and support team as well,” says Glazer. “They’ve got, probably, combined well over 120 years of experience. And they have worked in the industry, so that’s all industry experience.”
Glazer notes that due to his company’s high-quality components and the time and attention that goes into the designs, the company is able to offer a two-year parts and labour warranty standard on its cranes.
The Canadian market is a significant portion of Elliott Equipment Company’s sales – roughly 15 per cent. Glazer says they are looking to continue to grow that portion of their business going forward.
Luckily, other than some minor regulatory differences, the market is very similar on both sides of the border.
“The trucks are slightly different specifications than the American trucks, but other than that, people still want the same thing,” says Glazer. “They still want a truck that’s going to do the job, increase their efficiency, be able to last a long time and stay on the job.”
The company’s plans are largely to stay the course in the future – to continue to refine its product line and to add products that are appropriate to the opportunities that become available in the markets they serve.
Glazer says the company is always innovating with regards to its service and support aspects; ability to improve the quality and reliability of its products; and in the efficiency of its manufacturing.
“The biggest thing that is a challenge is making people aware of all we can do,” says Glazer. “Although we’re 70 years old, we’re still a relatively new company in the market. And, I think the more people know about what we can do and run in Elliott, then you know they become repeat customers. We have outstanding customer retention.”