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One of Michigan’s Best: ’Mr. Boom Truck’ Dennis Berling Passes Away

His love for sales and people along with his gift of gab launched him into a career seemingly designed just for him.

Thu March 26, 2015 - Midwest Edition

Dennis Berling.
Dennis Berling.

One of Michigan’s top and best-known boom truck salesmen, Dennis “Berls” Berling passed away on March 5, 2015 in White Lake, Mich., after a three-year battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. He was 71.

Mr. Berling worked for Ford Motor Company’s Rouge Plant in an office setting responsible for shipping cars from 1966 to 1987. After three years as owner of his own business (Denny’s Dairy Mart), he landed a job as an equipment salesman for KMH Equipment Co. in Novi.

Mr. Berling sold boom trucks for KMH for the next 10 years, from 1990 to 2000, and gained a reputation as “Mr. Boom Truck.” His love for sales and people along, with his gift of gab, launched him into a career seemingly designed just for him. He became one of the country’s top boom truck salesman, and certainly number one in Michigan.

Mr. Berling left KMH in 2000 to take a job as “boom truck specialist,” with Cloverdale Equipment Co. in Oak Park, Mich. There, he left his mark on the industry for another eight years before deciding to retire at age 65.

According to family and friends, Mr. Berling “was the guy who caused many episodes of hysterical laughter, sometimes at very inappropriate times. He had a no ’edit’ button. He loved life, was fearless and thought he was invincible. He did not want to go, but the illness decided otherwise.”

Mr. Berling is survived by his wife of 12 years, Jo, his children Amy (Gary) Harper and Michael (Kim) Berling. He also leaves behind a blended family of three step-sons, 18 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He will be missed by his two sisters, Martha (Wayne) Crimson and Barbara (Stan) Bell.