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Lift-All Crane Service’s Grove Truck Cranes Navigate Roads with Ease


March 10, 2021 - Lift-All Crane Service’s distinctive baby-blue cranes have been a common sight on the highways and jobsites of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa ever since the company was founded in 1977.

This long-time Grove customer bought a TMS9000-2 at the end of 2018 and a TMS500-2 in the spring of 2020 to fill gaps in its fleet’s capacity range. Both new Groves came from nearby dealer Aspen Equipment.

Lift-All owner Joe Hylok is particularly pleased with how well the new 100 USt TMS9000-2 has fit in. “We had 80-ton and 120-ton cranes, so there was always this ambiguous middle ground. The TMS9000-2 has filled that void. It worked out fantastic; it really hit the ground running.”

One key reason for the instant success is superb driving experience. “Typically, every time you get in a bigger crane, the further you get away from base, the more of a hindrance it becomes,” Hylok continued. “Half of the battle is just getting the crane to the jobsite. But with this crane, the cab is comfortable, and it roads almost as nice as a tractor-trailer, so it’s easy on the operator. It’s efficient and it’s fast.”

Wiggle Room
That drivability comes largely from the TMS9000-2’s compactness, lively maneuvering, and its light roading weight, thanks to removable counterweights. This enables up to 48,500 lbs. to be hydraulically withdrawn from around the superstructure cab, greatly simplifying transport. With Lift-All working across many different sectors, including roofing, cell towers, trusses, steel erection and HVAC, the greater flexibility, along with the easy setup, frequently comes in very useful.

“One of the great things about the crane is that it has the ability to wear a lot of hats. If we have a heavier pick, we can add extra counterweight later. That’s an extra 12,000 lbs. the crane doesn’t have to carry on the road,” Hylok explained. “We can just take the crane along with one small support truck for the extra counterweight; it’s the perfect little package.”

“We also work in a lot of residential neighborhoods where you have to tread lightly, with roundabouts, narrow streets, etc.,” Hylok added. “The machine is set up to be light and nimble enough to access these areas and perform picks without any issues. Previously, we would always put a jib on our 80-ton crane when setting pools in swim spas, but even without a jib on the TMS9000-2, we can set a pool at 150’. It’s just incredible to be able to go that far without putting a jib on.”

That reach is made possible by the shape of the TMS9000-2’s MegaForm boom, which increases capacity over conventional designs. Extending from 36’ to 169’, the six-section boom makes optimum use of the Twin-Lock pinning system that reduces the boom’s weight and automatically locks the sections together. Optional luffing extensions offer improved up-and-over reach.

Joining the Old-Timers
Two new machines follow in the distinguished tire-tracks of Lift-All’s first-ever truck crane, a Grove TMS528B acquired in 1987. Although no longer a daily runner, this is still used as a “filler” crane when needed.

In more frequent service is the company’s first boom truck, a 1991 National Crane 566B, along with two other long-serving Grove truck cranes, a 1999 TMS640 and 2000 TMS540.
Lift-All Crane Service now operates 15 cranes ranging from 12 USt to 120 USt, and employs 10 NCCCO-certified operators, each with at least a decade of experience.

It has certainly come a long way since Joe Hylok’s father, Joe Senior, and mother, Yvonne, started the company with one crane in the late 1970s, painting it the color of the sky he remembered from growing up on a dairy farm near Green Bay, Wisconsin — all while continuing to dabble in the sign-installation business.

“Eventually we morphed and went strictly crane rental only,” Hylok concluded. “Dad’s philosophy was ‘you have to focus on one thing and do one thing well only’, which we tend to hear from businesspeople everywhere. Over the decades, Grove truck cranes have really helped us make that an easy mantra to live up to!”

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