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Manitowoc Reaches New Heights With Acquisition of Aspen

Wed December 22, 2021 - Midwest Edition #26

Aaron Carlson, director of sales of Aspen Equipment LLC
Aaron Carlson, director of sales of Aspen Equipment LLC

In 2021, a long-time crane manufacturer looked to reach new heights by focusing on the ground, at the grass roots level.

In September, Milwaukee-based Manitowoc Company Inc. acquired Aspen Equipment of Bloomington, Minn., a crane dealer and a final-stage, purpose-built work truck upfitter.

This transaction allowed the global manufacturer of cranes and lifting equipment to expand its footprint in Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota.

According to Aaron Carlson, director of sales of Aspen Equipment LLC (which continues to operate as a free-standing entity), the acquisition fits with Manitowoc's growth strategy by working with contractors at the grass roots, personal level.

"Manitowoc felt that this acquisition will bring them closer to the customer, allowing them to partner with a dealer with a great history and support in the industry," said Carlson. "Aspen was looking for a company to allow the previous ownership group a company that would maintain the business excellence and customer support that had been built over the years."

In effect, the partnership provides Manitowoc with robust customer feedback.

"This allows the company to make necessary changes to equipment, parts and services," said Carlson.

In October, Manitowoc also acquired the crane business of H&E Equipment, one of the largest equipment rental services in the United States.

Carlson said this acquisition gives the company a bigger footprint that complements Aspen's regional territory.

"Allowing the manufacturer to have a pulse on its customers is a unique opportunity," he said. "The VOC [voice of the customer] process gives Manitowoc a chance to bring synergy and speed to production."

Selling and servicing directly to the customer offers Manitowoc an added benefit. With a greater dealer network, the customer is ensured faster turnaround times and improved product support, according to Carlson.

Customers also benefit from Aspen's success and reputation.

Since 1926, Aspen has stood behind its products and has a reputation for living up to its company motto: "Helping People Succeed."

"Aspen has a long legacy of success," he added. "The Aspen name is recognized in the industry and brings a long history of customer support and excellence."

Manitowoc has retained all of Aspen's employees, which has provided customers with consistency and continuity.

"All of the employees were retained in the sale with the thought being that these are the people that have the relationships and the product knowledge and sales, service and parts experience," said Carlson. "They know the industry, the region and most importantly, their customers."

Aaron H. Ravenscroft, president and chief executive officer of The Manitowoc Company Inc., said the two companies would combine for growth opportunities.

"We are pleased to welcome the Aspen team to the Manitowoc family," said Ravenscroft. "Our combined businesses provide unique synergies to accelerate our growth in the coming years. From a new machine perspective, Aspen's upfitting business fits nicely with our National Crane boom truck business and will enable us to better serve key end markets, such as utility and telecommunications customers.

"Additionally, Aspen's aftermarket business will complement our previously announced acquisition of H&E's Crane business," he said.

For more information, visit and CEG

This story also appears on Crane Equipment Guide.

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