Rudd, Link-Belt Help McAdoo Crane Service Thrive

Thu August 30, 2012 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Bill (L)?and Scott McAdoo proudly pose with one of their Link-Belt cranes.
Bill (L)?and Scott McAdoo proudly pose with one of their Link-Belt cranes.

When Bill McAdoo started his towing business back in 1965, he had no idea that one day he also would be operating a crane service. When he started the business, he was towing cars and light trucks and soon expanded to include heavy towing. Frequently called upon to help out after tractor trailer accidents, the state police encouraged McAdoo to consider adding a crane to his fleet as it would be useful for lifting trucks and trailers in rollover accidents and other cleanup situations.

After acquiring his first crane, he found that it opened up a whole new set of business opportunities and launched McAdoo’s Crane Service. While the company still maintains its towing operations, the crane service has grown to 75 percent of the business. Crane service operations have expanded to include not only the state police work, but placement of pre-engineered building structures, oil field service work and other miscellaneous crane-related jobs.

With McAdoo’s sons, Bill Jr. and Scott, on board, along with Bill Jr.’s wife, Marci, and several cousins and nephews, McAdoo’s Crane Service is a true family enterprise.

Currently, the company owns a total of five cranes — two 40-ton (36 t) cranes, two 60-ton (54.4 t) cranes and a 100-ton (90.7 t) crane. Of their five cranes, their three most recent acquisitions have been Link-Belt cranes. For the towing side of the business, they also maintain a fleet of three road tractors, two tilt bed trucks and four heavy haulers.

According to Scott McAdoo, the Marcellus Shale gas and oil well development in Pennsylvania has provided a real boost not only to the company, but to the entire region. Scott said that the oil field industry has had a positive impact on business development in the area including new banks, restaurants and other businesses either directly or indirectly involved with the gas and oil industry. The company’s service area primarily covers Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio.

McAdoo Crane Service work at gas and oil well sites is largely on the production side of the operations; setting tanks and skidmounted equipment such as generators, separators and line heaters. Scott McAdoo feels that along with the benefit provided by the steady work in the oilfield business, the emphasis on safety at these sites also is a big plus for the company. Scott explained that while McAdoo’s Crane Service employees are state and national certified (NCCCO), many of the energy companies they work for require ongoing safety training courses. McAdoo Crane Service employees regularly attend safety meetings conducted by energy companies like Range Resources, and they have retained the services of RJR Safety Inc., an independent safety advisor, to conduct reviews of their business practices and daily reports and advise them on safety and health related issues for the company.

Link-Belt cranes first caught Bill and Scott’s attention on job sites where they saw other companies using the cranes. They were impressed with how the Link-Belt cranes handled. When it was time to shop for a new crane, Link-Belt was a natural choice. However, Scott explained that while they were well aware of their local Link-Belt dealer, Rudd Equipment Company’s solid reputation as a provider of heavy earth moving equipment, they did have some initial concerns about Rudd’s expertise regarding cranes. After meeting with the folks at Rudd Equipment, and learning more about the company’s resources, experience and commitment to service in crane sales, their concerns were quickly set aside. With 13 locations in Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Rudd Equipment Company is the authorized dealer for Link-Belt cranes as well as Volvo, Hitachi and Champion motorgraders. Earning a solid reputation in the crane industry marketplace, Rudd Equipment Company was recently recognized by Link-Belt as one of five of its top dealers for 2011.

According to Scott, Rudd Equipment Company sales representatives are highly knowledgeable and coordinate their efforts effectively with Link-Belt factory representatives throughout the sales process. Scott McAdoo visited Link-Belt’s headquarters in Lexington, Ky., where he was given a complete tour of the manufacturing facility and had an opportunity to try out several Link-Belt cranes. Scott appreciated the fact that, while he considers McAdoo’s Crane Service a small company, both Link-Belt and Rudd Equipment Company went out of their way to let him know that his business is important to them. For example, Scott explained that on taking delivery of their latest crane, two Link-Belt factory representatives came to their facility, one reviewing specifications and tools while the other provided operational training.

McAdoo’s Crane Service bought its first Link-Belt, an HTC8660 60-ton hydraulic truck crane in 2009. Since then, the company has purchased two more Link-Belt’s; another HTC8660, and an HTC86100 100-ton hydraulic truck crane. Bill McAdoo claims Link-Belt is the “Cadillac” of cranes and feels they’re the most user-friendly cranes on the market.

The Link-Belt HTC8660 hydraulic truck crane features excellent transportability with easily stored outrigger pontoons, a pull-out cab walk for access from the operators’ cab and outstanding operator visibility. The four-section boom extends from 35.5 to 110 ft. (10.8 to 33.5 m) and an outrigger spread of 20 ft. 6.25 in. (6.2 m) and a maximum tip height of 167 ft. (51 m).

The Link-Belt HTC86100 hydraulic truck crane also is easy to get to the job site, sharing many of the same features as the HTC8660 but with a five section boom extending from 38 to 140 ft. (11.6 to 42.7 m) and a maximum tip height of 237 ft. (72.2 m). The transport height of the crane is 11 ft. 7 in. (3.5 m), 8 ft. 6 in. (2.6 m) wide and 45 ft. 7 in. (13.9 m) long and the crane is equipped with a ZF AS-Tronic automated 12-speed transmission.

Scott feels that Link-Belt and Rudd Equipment Company are a great combination. Rudd Equipment provides excellent support, with two crane service specialist on staff, a nearby drop off box for parts replacement and personalized service by both service technicians and sales people. McAdoo’s Rudd Equipment sales representative Denny Burt will often personally deliver parts to ensure that they’re well taken care of.

McAdoo Crane Service’s oilfield work is a 24-hour a day proposition so the access that Rudd Equipment Company provides the company is extremely important.

As an example of the kind of service Rudd provides, Scott recalls a glitch they ran into three days after acquiring their Link-Belt 86100. After experiencing problems on the job site, they placed a call to their Rudd Equipment service technician, Shawn Mulligan at 5 a.m. Mulligan was on the site within 90 minutes, ready to tackle the problem. He quickly located a loose wire on the boom and within 20 minutes the crane was back at work. According to Scott McAdoo, the kind of service that Rudd Equipment Company provides is one of the key benefits to owning Link-Belt cranes.

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