Compiling the ACT 50 list in 2008 was a highlight in our publishing year for two reasons. The first reason is assessing the change that has taken place and the second is enjoying the growth of the list.

Some 75 companies are included this year, 25 more than we had on the list in 2007. Many of these new companies on the list are the reason for so much of the change in the ACT 50 from 2007 to 2008.

But then there was a lot of change in data in many of the veteran members on the list, too.

Developing a credible list of America's largest crane owning companies turns out to be a year-long effort, with most companies involved very co-operative and pleased to make the ranking.

For the ACT 50, we mailed survey forms to more than 720 companies throughout the US, Canada and Mexico, asking them for information about their crane fleets and capacities. While our list is much more comprehensive than last year, we still concede we're missing a few major players in the top 20 area of the list.

As well, note the asterisk by company names in which we didn't necessarily get updated information and relied on an estimate formula based on data we obtained last year or through other sources. All companies in the list were contacted and given the opportunity to supply fleet information and other data.

As the vast majority of crane-owning companies are privately held, it can be difficult to obtain and verify figures, although we do approach independent industry sources to assist when we decide to use an estimate.

We rely on the integrity of the companies that participate, assuming that the information they provide is accurate to the best of their knowledge. Suffice it to say, we will continue to work on making the ACT 50 the most comprehensive list of crane owning companies in North America.

We will doggedly pursue the companies we've missed in our listing with the goal of getting them on the list next year. We continue to strive to see our list at the 100 mark in 2009.

Companies are listed by their ACT 50 Index, which is calculated by adding together the maximum lifting capacities in US tons of all crawler cranes and mobile cranes in a company's fleet.

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