The ACT100 Index of North America’s top crane-owning companies saw sustained growth over the past year but gains were not substantial. The top 100 companies added 159,537 tons of capacity for a total index of 2,778,193. The ACT100 charted growth in every category except number of mobile cranes and number of branches. It is hard to say if the indexes were impacted due to the Covid-19 crisis, which started making an impact about two months before surveying began.

In 2019, the ACT100 Index was 2,618,656 tons. In 2018 the ACT100 index was 2,495,860 tons, and it was 2,365,977 tons in 2017. In three years the ACT100 index has gained 412,216 tons of capacity. This growth can be attributed to three factors: sustained economic growth in North America, mergers/acquisitions by the top 10 companies on the list and the addition of several new, higher capacity cranes by the larger-scale companies.

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Photo Credit: Robert Dimmitt Photography 2020

The number of branch offices fell again this year from 730 to 720. While the crane companies on our list may have consolidated their branches, employee growth was quite healthy. Total employees in 2020 is 37,437, a gain of 1,951 over the 2019 employee count of 35,486. Employee growth could be considered flat though, as the eight new companies on the list provided most of the gains. The ACT100 showed 31,907 workers in 2018 and 29,287 in 2017.  The ACT100 has finally surpassed the peak we saw in 2015 of 37,040 workers.

In 2019 our index showed 3,198 crawler cranes while this year there are 3,280 crawlers tallied. In 2019 our ACT100 reported 3,113 crawler cranes. With a net gain of 177 crawlers, the growth is due to the newcomers on the list, namely Sarens North America, Lift Source Machinery and Superior Cranes. Last year this category was down by 111 units. Crawler sales remain flat.

This year there were 16,273 mobile cranes, some 74 units less than the 16,347 mobile cranes on the ACT100 in 2019. There were 15,944 mobile cranes in 2018 and 15,579 units in 2017. This is the first time we have seen the mobile crane category retract.

For the 15th time, Maxim Crane Works is Number 1 on the ACT100 with an ACT index of 704,400 tons up from 698,535 tons capacity last year. Maxim posted 693,464 tons total capacity in 2018. Maxim is still in an acquisition mode, for both new cranes and companies. In 2020, Maxim reports a total crane fleet of 3,265 units, more than double the fleet size of Bigge Crane & Rigging and more than a 1,000 more units than the ALL Family of Companies. Last year Maxim reported a total crane fleet of 3,229, which included 2,715 mobile cranes and 505 crawlers. In 2018, the company reported 3,145 cranes – 2,650 mobile units and 495 crawlers.

Last year, Bigge Crane & Rigging jumped to the Number 2 spot, eclipsing ALL Erection, which had been in that spot for many years. Bigge remained Number 2 with an ACT index of 193,198. Last year Bigge’s ACT Index was 180,858.

Number 3 ALL Family of Companies reported a total capacity of 165,486 tons,  down from 173,733 in 2019. The company still has the second largest fleet of cranes in North  America.

The top five rounded out with Marmon at Number 4 and Lampson International at Number 5.

Mergers and acquisitions continue to impact the ACT100, and we saw more companies swept up this year. Marmon, Barnhart, Maxim and Bigge appear to have led the acquisition and merger activity over the past year.

Biggest gainers this year are Fagioli, NCSG Crane and Heavy Haul, Boss Crane & Rigging, Reliable Crane Service, Texas Crane, Omega Morgan, JK Crane, Anglemeyer Crane and Atlas Crane Service.

The top 25 pretty much stayed the same with Fagioli breaking into the top the top quarter. The largest crawler crane fleet in North America again belongs to Maxim Crane Works with 505, up 10 units from last year. Maxim also has the largest mobile crane fleet with 2,715 units followed by All Erection with 1,903 mobile crane units.

The largest crane on the ACT100 is Mammoet’s 5,000-ton capacity PTC 200 DS and Sarens USA’s SGC-250, both with 5,000 tons capacity. Other heavy lift cranes on the ACT100 are the 3,000-ton capacity Lampson LTL-3000 and Deep South Crane and Rigging VersaCrane TC36000/2.

Our methodology

For this list we sent surveys to close to 500 companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. While the ACT100 is much more comprehensive than it was when we started it 15 years ago, we realize there are probably 10 to 15 major crane-owning companies not represented on the ACT100. Some companies do not want to share information about their fleets, and we respect their decision.

You will see an asterisk by a handful of companies. For these entries, we did not necessarily get updated information and instead relied on an estimate formula based on data obtained last year and through other sources. All these companies on the list were contacted, some several times, and given the opportunity to supply fleet information and related data.

As stated previously, in the largest crane category, different capacities may be listed for the same machine. We rely on the information supplied to us in determining these capacities as rigging variables can change the capacity of the crane.

Because the vast majority of crane-owning companies are privately held, it can be difficult to obtain and verify figures. We use independent industry sources and web-based resources when we use an estimate. The survey forms for the ACT 100 are kept confidential.

Disclaimer

ACT relies on the integrity of the companies that participate, fully assuming the information they provide is accurate and truthful. We work to ensure the accuracy of the information provided but take no responsibility for errors or omissions. We strive to make the ACT100 the most comprehensive list of crane-owning companies in North America. Companies are ranked by their ACT100 Index, which is calculated by adding together the maximum lifting capacities in U.S. tons of all crawler cranes and mobile cranes in a company’s fleet.