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Giuffre Brothers Cranes: A Half-Century of Innovation, Service

Five decades ago, Frank Giuffre started out with one dump truck - and a lot of determination.

Fri June 07, 2013 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

In 1963, Frank Giuffre and his younger brother Dominic started a small trucking company in Milwaukee, Wis., with just one dump truck and a lot of grit, determination and originality.

Fifty years later, Giuffre Brothers Cranes Inc. is the country’s largest supplier of boom trucks for the construction and roofing industry, and its sister company, Mallory Properties, owns, markets and manages millions of sq. ft. of real estate throughout the United States.

“I started the business right out of high school as an owner-operator with one used dump truck,” said Frank P. Giuffre, Sr., president of Giuffre Brothers Cranes Inc., and Mallory Properties. “In the early days, we would take any work we could find hauling, delivering, and even snowplowing. When Dominic joined me full-time in 1965, we bought our first 5-ton crane and we’ve never looked back.”

Early on, Dominic worked in the field and Frank handled the administrative side of the business. By 1972, the brothers had acquired about a dozen pieces of machinery, including trucks, cranes and excavators, and their entrepreneurial instincts and business savvy helped them identify a new niche in the construction, roofing and tree trimming business.

“After we started, we began to recognize how truck-mounted cranes could increase efficiency and safety in a few industry sectors,” said Dominic J. Giuffre Sr., vice president of Giuffre Brothers Cranes Inc. “Introducing truck-mounted, contractor operated cranes was difficult in the beginning. Then we came up with the idea of teaching our clients’ workers how to operate the equipment right on the job site. Very quickly everyone was appreciating how truck-mounted cranes made their roofing, construction and signage jobs easier.”

The roofing market was the first to embrace truck-mounted cranes, and soon the Giuffres began renting, leasing and developing machinery and attachments to make the cranes indispensible to the industry.

“Before truck-mounted cranes,” Dominic said, “roofers, drywallers and sign installers used all sorts of dangerous means to get their supplies up to the job, such as A-frame hoists. Our cranes save time, money and lives.”

As word of the success of the truck-mounted cranes grew, so did Giuffre Brothers Cranes, expanding into the Chicago, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Palm Beach markets. The Giuffre brothers became industry innovators helping customers put together packages to design, purchase, finance and maintain their equipment.

“It’s been exciting to be part of this industry from its infancy,” said Frank. “Truck-mounted cranes revolutionized the commercial roofing industry overnight. And nearly everything in construction has a roof, so we were always busy meeting the demand for new construction projects. But reflecting on our history, I am most proud of our commitment to customer service. Our new customers and return customers have become good friends.”

In addition to their crane business, the Giuffre brothers also formed Mallory Properties in 1967, a real estate development firm which has a history of buying distressed commercial and industrial properties and transforming them into marketable properties throughout southeastern Wisconsin and the United States. Past and current tenants of Mallory include Johnson Controls, Manpower, Emjay and Zimmerman Architectural Studios.

The Giuffre brothers have also included another generation into their family businesses. Frank’s daughter Nicholette Reinhardt and son Frank Jr. work alongside Dominic’s daughter Angela Peardon, son-in-law Paul Peardon, and son Dominic Jr. to maintain the family’s customer relationships.

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