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Guy M. Turner Invests in New Equipment

When Jimmy Clark purchased the company in 1985, it consisted of four or five cranes, a few trucks and about five rigging crews.

Mon November 23, 2015 - Southeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

Guy M. Turner Inc. of Greensboro, N.C., has been in business since 1924. When Jimmy Clark purchased the company in 1985, it consisted of four or five cranes, a few trucks and about five rigging crews. There are several factors that determine how a company grows and what it does. In the case of Guy M. Turner it boils down to one thing — hard work and delivering and doing what he says.

Over the last 30 years, the company has grown, the current numbers include about 55 cranes, 15 rigging crews and seven heavy haul locations. Every division has increased and become diverse, allowing the company to cover most of the United States.

Doug Gilliam serves as Guy M. Turner Inc.’s vice president. He came to the company as a crane operator in 1984 and moved to his current position a few years later. He said he’s seen a lot of change in the company and the industry.

“There is more and more emphasis on crane safety and we have made purchases to have the latest technology available,” he said. “Training our people and monitoring our jobs is also vital to providing quality service to our customers.”

He explained that as the company grew, they reinvested in new equipment.

We’re in the equipment business, and reinvesting in it was important to minimize downtime, he explained. You need the up to date machines; that are well made and backed by a dealer who we can trust. We serve many industries, and I’d say one of the major keys of success for the company is providing quality service and thus having repeat customers.

“The thing that I haven’t seen change in — and that’s been the key to our success — is the way people are treated. That has remained the same from the company we were in 1984 to the company we are in 2015. I think that’s a very major thing. We’ve been fortunate that as the market has offered opportunities, we’ve been able to take those. Through our investments, our employees, and our equipment, we’ve gone from a very small office to the facilities that we have now. It has been 30 years of growth.”

Gilliam explained that on the transportation side, the company has multiple 19-axle rigs that are capable of hauling 250,000 lbs. (113,398 kg) over the road — steerable trailers that can handle long heavy pieces.

“We have a very diverse group of trailers with various capabilities,” he said.

In the crane division, Gilliam said the company has found there are brands that are better in certain categories, and purchases have been made based on that.

We’ve had a long history with Pinnacle Cranes, and with Link-Belt; we’ve had good service from the product in the type of cranes we purchased — being truck mounted cranes and rough terrain cranes — we’ve had good success. Most recently, Link-Belt has introduced the 210-ton all terrain crane that is roadable in North Carolina while leaving the boom in it. This was a major factor in making the decision to buy this crane. First, we had the confidence in the crane — we visited the factory several times and looked at the crane and the manufacturing processes. Then, when they were able to get the crane roadable in N.C., this was a big reason for making the purchase.

Previously, we’d been able to run only a 175-ton (158 t) crane in North Carolina with the boom still in it.” According to Gilliam, the company bought the first crane and had it in service for about 8 months before they decided to buy the second one.

“We were very comfortable with the Link-Belt product and the service from Pinnacle Cranes,” Gilliam said. We previously purchased 40 and 50 ton Manitex cranes from Pinnacle. We like those and the operators like the style of unit because of the commercial truck factor. The operators like their ride at highway speeds, and we’ve found that we’re having lower carrier-related issues on a commercial truck than on a carrier-type crane. Those were all factors in making those purchases. The lifting capacities of these Manitex cranes are very close to, or in some cases exceed, what we’ve found in comparable 50- and 60-ton cranes.”

The company’s cranes primarily work in the Carolinas and Virginia, with the home office in Greensboro and other locations in Winston-Salem, Martinsville, Va., and the Raleigh-Durham area.

The largest hydraulic crane the company has is a Liebherr 500-ton machine. They also have lattice boom cranes, including a 300-ton Link-Belt. We’re about to receive our largest piece, a new Manitowoc MLC 300.

“Pinnacle has provided excellent service,” Gilliam said. “They do a great job.” Link-Belt makes parts availability good, and service manager Ken Gamble at Pinnacle is very customer-oriented, and has made them what I’d say one of the best dealerships around in dealing with cranes. They’re easy to work with, easy to deal with, and it’s just been a good relationship with them.

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