At American Crane and Equipment Corporation we proudly uphold a set of core values, with one key principle being the importance of staying humble. In our workplace we believe that there is no task that is beneath anyone, emphasizing the importance of collective responsibility. Our hands-on, humble approach to work signifies a workplace culture where every individual, regardless of their position or title, is ready to roll up their sleeves and contribute to the overall success of the company. By being willing to pitch in and accomplish any task, employees at American Crane foster a sense of camaraderie that goes beyond traditional hierarchical boundaries.
Here are a few ways that we like to practice staying humble in the workplace:
Readily Assist Others: Be proactive in offering help to colleagues, especially during peak workloads or challenging projects. Demonstrating a willingness to share knowledge and expertise with team members fosters a culture of continuous learning.
Acknowledge Mistakes and Embrace Growth: Admitting when you’re wrong or have made a mistake is a sign of humility. Take responsibility, learn from the experience, and use it as an opportunity for personal and professional growth.
Value Others’ Contributions: Recognize and appreciate the efforts of your colleagues. Celebrate their achievements and contributions, creating a positive and supportive atmosphere.
Effective Listening: Practice effective listening, another ACECO core value, during meetings and discussions. Do not interrupt, ask questions, and listen with the intent to understand.
Seek Feedback: Request feedback from peers and supervisors to understand areas for improvement. Demonstrating a willingness to receive constructive criticism reflects a humble and growth-oriented mindset.
Avoid Taking Credit Unnecessarily: If a project’s success is a result of team effort, acknowledge and share credit with your colleagues. Avoid taking undue credit for individual contributions.
Pitch in Regardless of Job Title: Be willing to take on tasks that may fall outside your typical job responsibilities. This could include helping with routine chores or stepping in to assist a colleague facing a tight deadline.
Express Gratitude: Show gratitude for the support and contributions of others. A simple thank-you can go a long way in recognizing and appreciating the collective effort.
Promote a Team-First Mentality: Encourage teamwork and collaboration. Emphasize the collective success of the team over individual accomplishments.
Stay Approachable: Maintain an open-door policy, both physically and metaphorically. Being approachable fosters a culture where communication and collaboration thrive.
Share Success Stories: Use success stories, whether personal or team-based, as opportunities to inspire and motivate others. Share the spotlight to reinforce the idea that achievements are a collective effort.
Embrace a Growth Mindset: Approach challenges with a positive and open mindset. View setbacks as opportunities to learn and improve, reinforcing a commitment to continuous personal and professional development.
The daily reminder that we’re all in this together highlights our belief that success is an ongoing journey, not a solitary destination. From the CEO to the newest team member, each person is a vital part of our company’s machinery. This creates a sincere sense of belonging and purpose in our company, where every contribution, is acknowledged with genuine appreciation. When each team member recognizes their importance and value it creates an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels empowered and essential to the thriving success of American Crane.
Workplace safety is a paramount concern for any company and here at American Crane & Equipment Corporation (ACECO)… we’re grabbing everyone’s attention in a unique way. Meet the Safety Sloth, our charming safety ambassador, who reminds us to take it
slow, whether that’s working with equipment on the shop floor or in our conversations in the office.
Embedded within our core values at ACECO is the belief that ‘Life Matters, Be Safe,’ so let’s dive into the importance of workplace safety and discover some practical tips for maintaining a relaxed and secure environment.
Why Go Slow?
Moving too quickly often leads to mistakes because our brains struggle to process information and make decisions effectively at high speeds. When we rush, our attention becomes divided, and we may overlook critical details or skip essential steps. This can result in errors, accidents, and can reduce the overall quality of work. Additionally, rushing can lead to a lack of coordination, causing us to fumble or mishandle objects. By contrast, when we move deliberately and at a manageable pace, we give our brains the time they need to process information accurately, make thoughtful decisions, and execute tasks with precision, reducing the likelihood of mistakes and ensuring a safer and more efficient work environment.
Mastering Mindful Movements
1. Plan Your Actions: Before starting any task, pause for a moment to strategize. Think about the necessary steps, potential hazards, and the best way to approach the task safely and efficiently.
2. Focus on the Task at Hand: Avoid distractions and concentrate on the job you’re doing. Multitasking may seem productive, but it often leads to mistakes. Give your full attention to one task at a time.
3. Maintain a Comfortable Pace: Don’t feel the need to rush through your tasks. Find a pace that allows you to work smoothly without compromising quality. Remember, haste makes waste.
4. Use Proper Techniques: Be certain you’re employing the right methods and equipment for the task at hand. This not only boosts productivity but also minimizes the chances of accidents and those pesky repetitive strain injuries.
5. Prioritize Safety: Keep safety front and center. Make sure you’re wearing the right personal protective gear (PPE), adhere to safety protocols, and don’t hesitate to report any hazards or unsafe situations right away.
6. Communicate Effectively: When you are part of a team, effective communication is key. Ensure everyone is on the same page about their tasks and coordinate your movements to prevent any unintended collisions or mishaps.
7. Inspect Your Workspace: Make it a habit to routinely check your workspace for any potential dangers or obstructions. Maintaining an organized and tidy environment not only fosters a safer work environment but also encourages you to move with purpose and confidence.
8. Take Breaks: Remember, fatigue can increase the chances of errors creeping in. Make it a point to schedule regular breaks, especially when tackling extended or physically demanding tasks. Your well-being and accuracy go hand in hand
9. Seek Training: When in doubt about the right way to handle a task, don’t hesitate to reach out for guidance or training from experienced coworkers or supervisors. Asking questions is a sign of wisdom, and it’s far better to seek help than to risk making mistakes. Proper training equips you to approach your work with greater confidence and make more deliberate, well-informed actions.
10. Staying Present in Repetitive Tasks: When tackling repetitive tasks that have become second nature, it’s tempting to go on autopilot and rush through them. However, it’s crucial to maintain the same level of care and attention as you would with any new or intricate assignment.
11. Learn from Mistakes: If you do make a mistake, don’t let it weigh you down. Instead, take it as a chance to learn and grow. Understand what went wrong, why it happened, and think about how you can avoid it next time.
By following these tips and making a conscious effort to be intentional in your movements, you’ll not only enhance safety but also contribute to a more efficient and productive workplace.
Crafting Mindful Communication
1. Think Before You Speak: Take a moment to consider your words before expressing them. Ask yourself if what you’re about to say is necessary, constructive, and respectful.
2. Practice Active Listening: Give your full focus when someone’s talking to you. Let them know you’re tuned in by nodding and making eye contact. It’s not just about better understanding, but also about keeping the conversation positive and meaningful.
3. Avoid Reactive Responses: When faced with criticism or conflict, resist the urge to react defensively. Instead, take a deep breath and respond thoughtfully. Acknowledge the other person’s perspective and seek to find common ground.
4. Use “I” Statements: When discussing your feelings or opinions, use “I” statements to express yourself without blaming or accusing others. For example, say, “I feel concerned about…” rather than “You always…”
5. Practice Empathy: Put yourself in your colleagues’ shoes and try to grasp their feelings and viewpoints. Showing empathy for their experiences can pave the way for kinder and more successful conversations.
6. Ask for Clarification: If you’re unsure about something, ask for clarification rather than making assumptions. This shows your willingness to understand and learn.
7. Avoid Gossip: Steering clear of gossip and rumor-mongering is key to preserving trust and keeping morale high. Keep an eye on what you discuss about your colleagues and aim for conversations that contribute positively.
8. Be Respectful and Inclusive: Choose words that embrace diversity and respect a variety of perspectives. Stay away from language that could be hurtful or offensive to others, ensuring a more inclusive and comfortable environment.
9. Use Feedback Wisely: When giving feedback, be specific, constructive, and focused on behaviors rather than personal characteristics. When receiving feedback, be open to it and thank the person for their input.
10. Stay Calm in Difficult Situations: In stressful or challenging situations, maintain your composure. Responding with anger or frustration rarely leads to positive outcomes.
11. Seek Guidance if Needed: If you find yourself facing challenges in communication or emotional intelligence, think about reaching out to a mentor, coach, or HR expert. They can offer valuable guidance and effective strategies that can make a significant difference.
By being intentional with your words, practicing emotional intelligence and nurturing a workplace culture built on respect and effective interaction, you can play a part in creating a more upbeat and harmonious work atmosphere.
In a busy professional setting, it’s easy to get caught up in the fast-paced flow of tasks and conversations. But at American Crane & Equipment Corporation, we’ve recognized the importance of taking a more intentional approach to put safety first. With the introduction of our beloved Safety Sloth, we’ve found a unique way to remind ourselves to be cautious in everything that we do, whether it’s on the shop floor or in the office. With the above tips in mind, you too will find yourself taking on a calmer and more deliberate approach to your work.
Here at American Crane & Equipment Corporation (ACECO), our core values are more than just words on paper – they are the guiding principles that shape our company culture and drive our actions. Each month, we highlight one of these values to further emphasize its importance and foster a culture of excellence. For the month of October, we turn our focus to the value, “Have Integrity.”
Integrity: The Bedrock of Trust
Integrity is not just a virtue; it is the foundation upon which relationships are built, and trust is earned. At ACECO, we understand the significance of upholding the highest standards of integrity in all that we do. We believe that integrity is not just about doing the right thing when someone is watching, but rather about consistently making ethical choices even when no one is around. When we talk about integrity, we refer to a commitment to being honest, kind, and generous and practicing gratitude in every interaction. This commitment extends to how we treat our customers, partners, colleagues, and the community at large.
Be Generous, Be Kind: Spreading Positivity
In a world that can sometimes be consumed by self-interest, ACECO stands out as a beacon of generosity and kindness. We believe that true success is not measured solely by profits, but by the positive impact we make on those around us. Whether it’s supporting charitable initiatives, lending a helping hand to a colleague, or simply spreading kindness through our interactions, we are dedicated to making a difference. Kindness is contagious, and its ripple effects can transform not just our workplace, but also the broader world we inhabit. By being kind, we create an environment where people feel valued and respected, leading to greater collaboration, innovation, and harmony.
Be Honest, Practice Gratitude: Nurturing Authenticity
Honesty is the cornerstone of trust, and we hold ourselves to the highest standard of truthfulness. We recognize that being honest means admitting mistakes, taking responsibility, and continually striving to improve. Our commitment to honesty extends to our communication with customers, colleagues, and partners – fostering relationships based on transparency and mutual respect.
Additionally, practicing gratitude is a powerful way to acknowledge the efforts of others and cultivate a culture of appreciation. We believe that expressing gratitude not only uplifts individuals but also strengthens the bonds that tie our ACECO family together.
The Golden Rule: Do unto Others
At ACECO, we firmly believe in the age-old principle of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This golden rule is not just a platitude; it is a guiding principle that shapes our interactions and decisions. We understand that treating others with respect, empathy, and fairness creates a harmonious environment where everyone can thrive. By embodying this principle in all our actions, we build a culture of trust and unity that extends beyond the workplace and into the broader community.
As October unfolds, we embrace the value of having integrity at ACECO with open hearts and unwavering commitment. We understand that integrity is not just a value, but a way of life – a compass that directs us toward the path of excellence and compassion. We invite you to join us on this journey, as we strive to uphold integrity, be generous, be kind, be honest, practice gratitude, and treat others as we would want to be treated. Together, we can create a world where integrity is not just a word, but a way of being. Contact us today, and to learn more about Our Vision, Mission, and values, visit https://www.americancrane.com/mission-values.
In a world brimming with promises and intentions, there’s a distinctive trait that sets exceptional companies apart – their commitment to Practice Follow Through. At American Crane & Equipment Corporation (ACECO), this core value is more than a mere slogan; it’s a way of life that defines the very essence of the company’s operations and interactions. In this blog, we delve into the significance of Practicing Follow-Through and how ACECO embodies this value to create lasting impacts and build trust.
The Essence of Practicing Follow-Through:
At its core, Practicing Follow Through means translating words into actions consistently and reliably. It’s about demonstrating dedication and integrity by delivering on promises, even when no one is watching. As the saying goes, “You are what you do, not what you say you do.” This principle resonates deeply at ACECO, where every commitment made is a vow etched in stone, backed by an unwavering dedication to execution.
Building Trust and Credibility:
In an era of rapid communication and information exchange, building trust has never been more crucial. ACECO understands that trust is not simply gained through words; it’s earned through consistent actions. When customers, partners, and employees witness the Practicing of Follow Through in action, a strong foundation of trust is laid. ACECO’s reputation for delivering results fosters credibility and cultivates long-lasting relationships.
Delivering Excellence in Every Endeavor:
ACECO’s commitment to Practice Follow-Through is evident in every project, from intricate engineering feats to streamlined logistical operations. Its value becomes especially pronounced when challenges arise. Instead of shying away from difficulties, ACECO rises to the occasion, standing behind our commitments and finding innovative solutions to ensure successful project completion.
This practice isn’t limited to external interactions; it permeates the internal culture of ACECO as well. The company empowers its employees to take ownership of their responsibilities and deliver results. When employees witness their leaders embodying the Practice Follow Through core value, it inspires them to follow suit, creating a culture of accountability and excellence.
Driving Continuous Improvement:
At ACECO, resting on laurels is not an option. We are in the business of continually improving and surpassing expectations. We view each project as an opportunity to learn, adapt, and enhance our processes. By consistently evaluating performance and seeking ways to optimize outcomes, ACECO demonstrates a commitment to Practicing Follow-Through at every stage of its operations.
Practicing Follow-Through is more than a core value at American Crane & Equipment Corporation; it’s the heartbeat that propels the company’s success. Through unwavering dedication to turning words into actions, ACECO has not only earned the trust and respect of its customers but has also cultivated a culture of excellence that permeates every facet of its operations.
Welcome to the American Crane & Equipment Corporation blog! Today, we want to highlight one of our core values that sets us apart: effective communication. We believe that clear and impactful communication is the foundation of strong relationships, both internally and externally. In this blog post, we will explore why effective communication is vital, provide practical tips for achieving it, and showcase how we incorporate this core value into our daily operations.
Why Effective Communication Matters:
Effective communication plays a pivotal role in every aspect of our lives. In a business setting, it is even more crucial as it drives productivity, builds trust, fosters collaboration, and enhances customer satisfaction. Here at American Crane, we understand that by communicating well, we can minimize misunderstandings, align expectations, and achieve remarkable results.
Communicate Well: Be clear with expectations, listen intently, know your audience – speak in a way they can understand, share information, get the facts – don’t make assumptions.
1. Be Clear with Expectations
Clear expectations lay the foundation for successful outcomes. At ACECO, we emphasize the importance of clearly defining project objectives, roles, and responsibilities. By doing so, we ensure that everyone involved has a clear understanding of what is expected, leading to improved efficiency and accountability.
2. Listen Intently:
Listening is an often overlooked yet critical aspect of effective communication. We value active listening at American Crane. By actively listening to our team members, customers, and partners, we gain valuable insights, understand their needs and concerns, and build stronger relationships. Active listening enables us to respond appropriately, address issues proactively, and foster an atmosphere of trust and collaboration.
3. Know Your Audience – Speak in a Way They Can Understand:
Effective communication involves tailoring your message to the audience you’re addressing. At ACECO, we recognize the diverse backgrounds and expertise of our stakeholders. Therefore, we strive to communicate in a manner that is easily understandable, avoiding technical jargon when necessary. By doing so, we ensure that our message resonates with our audience, facilitating effective dialogue and promoting mutual understanding.
4. Share Information, Get the Facts – Don’t Make Assumptions:
Accurate and timely information is the lifeblood of any organization. At American Crane, we foster a culture of sharing information openly and transparently. We encourage our team members to verify facts before sharing them and to avoid making assumptions. By doing so, we prevent miscommunication, maintain trust, and make well-informed decisions.
Incorporating Effective Communication at American Crane
At ACECO, our commitment to effective communication is engrained in our company culture. We provide ongoing training and workshops to develop our team’s communication skills, ensuring that everyone is equipped to express themselves clearly and confidently. We also foster an environment where open and honest communication is valued, enabling us to address issues promptly and find innovative solutions together.
By practicing effective communication, we have seen numerous benefits within our organization. Our teams collaborate seamlessly, productivity soars, and our customers feel heard and understood. Ultimately, effective communication is the key to our success.
At American Crane & Equipment Corporation, we take immense pride in delivering superior quality products and services to our valued customers. As a leading provider of cranes and lifting equipment, we understand the importance of precise engineering and impeccable structural integrity. In our pursuit of excellence, we utilize various techniques to ensure that every component meets the highest standards. One such technique that plays a crucial role in achieving optimal beam alignment is heat straightening. In today’s blog, we will explore the general heat straightening procedure for rolled shapes and frames, shedding light on its benefits and applications within our industry.
The Heat Straightening Process:
Heat straightening involves the controlled application of heat to adjust the curvature of rolled steel sections and box girders, ultimately improving dimensional tolerances in terms of camber and sweep. By carefully manipulating the temperature of the steel, we can correct any deviations and align the beams according to our precise specifications.
To initiate the straightening process, we employ an oxygen-propylene combination with torch equipment fitted with a multi-orifice tip. The size of the torch tip is determined by the fitter based on factors such as base material thickness, the location of the heat pattern, and the magnitude of incremental straightening required. We utilize an oxygen-propylene combination at approximately 20 psi propylene and 60 psi oxygen for optimal results.
The heating process follows a specific pattern to gradually straighten the beam. Predetermined marks are placed on the flange of the member prior to heating. The heat is then applied in a truncated triangle or semi-circular pattern, commencing from the concave side of the member. For a triangular pattern, the heating pattern may begin at the apex and progress towards the base at an included angle of 15 to 45 degrees. Alternatively, for a semi-circular pattern, the heating pattern starts at the flange edge and progresses up to a maximum of 4r, with the base of the pattern not exceeding 12 inches. Between heating cycles, the beam is allowed to cool to a maximum temperature of 250°F before subsequent reheating.
Careful temperature control is crucial to prevent overheating and ensure the integrity of the steel. The goal is to bring the temperature of the steel to between 1000°F and 1100°F as rapidly as possible without exceeding safe limits. Temperature-sensitive crayons are used to monitor the heat levels, with a minimum temperature range of 1000°F to 1250°F. Any heating that causes the material to exceed 1250°F is deemed unsatisfactory and requires rejection.
After reaching a temperature of 600°F, quenching with water is strictly prohibited. Instead, we cool the material using dry compressed air. This controlled cooling process helps maintain the desired alignment achieved through heat straightening.
Applications and Benefits:
Heat straightening plays a vital role in our commitment to delivering beams that meet the stringent requirements of our customers. By employing this technique, we can rectify deviations in camber and sweep, ensuring that the rolled steel sections and box girders conform to the precise specifications needed for various applications. The benefits of heat straightening include:
Enhanced Structural Integrity: Heat straightening allows us to correct the curvature of beams, thereby improving their dimensional tolerances and overall structural integrity.
Precision Alignment: By employing precise heating patterns and temperature control, we can achieve optimal beam alignment, meeting the specific requirements of each project.
Cost and Time Efficiency: Heat straightening offers a cost-effective alternative to sourcing new beams, reducing the need for extensive replacements and minimizing project delays.
Sustainable Approach: By salvaging and straightening existing beams, we contribute to a sustainable construction approach by reducing waste and conserving resources.
As Your Expert, Craftsman, and Partner, American Crane continuously strives to provide innovative solutions that meet and exceed our customer’s expectations. Heat straightening is one of the techniques we employ to ensure optimal beam alignment, guaranteeing the flawless performance of our cranes and lifting equipment. By leveraging our expertise in this field, we can rectify deviations in camber and sweep, resulting in structurally sound and precisely engineered beams. With our unwavering commitment to excellence, American Crane stands as a trusted industry leader, delivering reliable and high-quality solutions to our valued customers. Contact us or request a quote today, and together we will achieve new heights of success.
Regular maintenance and repair are crucial for ensuring the safety and functionality of bridges. American Crane & Equipment Corporation (ACECO) specializes in providing innovative lifting solutions tailored to streamline bridge maintenance and repair operations. Our expertise lies in the development and deployment of advanced travelers designed specifically for bridge maintenance.
Maintenance and Repair Travelers
Our maintenance and repair travelers are movable platforms engineered to enable easy access to the undersides of bridge structures for inspection and maintenance tasks. Unlike traditional scaffolds, these travelers allow technicians to reach critical areas without disrupting traffic flow.
To ensure optimal performance and user safety, our bridge maintenance and repair travelers are equipped with essential features including:
Anti-skewing technology: Facilitates operation on uneven or misaligned runways, ensuring stability and precise movement.
Fully enclosed work platforms: Provide a safe environment by preventing personnel from falling while working on the platforms.
Slip-resistant platform surfaces: Minimizes the risk of accidents caused by slipping and falling during maintenance activities.
Convenient on-board personnel access lifts: Enhances accessibility for technicians, enabling them to reach their work areas efficiently.
Portable operator controls: User-friendly controls that are easy to operate and maneuver.
Redundant drop capture systems: Prevents accidental separation of the traveler from the bridge,
Key Features of ACECO’s Bridge Maintenance and Repair Travelers
Our bridge maintenance and repair travelers are available in various configurations, including self-propelled gas, diesel, or electric options. While each traveler is customized to meet specific requirements, they share several features, such as:
Durable construction: Stainless, galvanized, or plated steel construction on non-painted surfaces ensures longevity and corrosion resistance.
Weather-resistant design: Specially designed for heavy-duty performance with corrosion-resistant coatings to withstand challenging environmental conditions.
On-board personnel lifts: Facilitate easy access for technicians to their designated work areas.
ACECO’s bridge maintenance and repair travelers stand out due to our exclusive SAFTRACK technology. By integrating proprietary control software with proven bridge crane components, SAFTRACK offers several advantages, including:
Implementation of anti-skewing technology
Utilization of conventional crane components
Independent control of each traveler’s drive
Smooth acceleration and deceleration
Partner with ACECO for Expert Bridge Maintenance Equipment Solutions
ACECO is your trusted Expert, Craftsman, and Partner for all your bridge maintenance equipment needs. We strive to simplify your tasks by offering comprehensive material handling solutions supported by extensive experience and top-quality resources. Our custom bridge maintenance and repair travelers empower your technicians to safely access critical bridge points without the need for road or lane closures. To learn more about our products or discuss your specific requirements, please contact us, or request a quote today.
At American Crane and Equipment Corporation (ACECO), we have been proudly serving the overhead lifting industry for over 50 years. Our commitment to being Expert, Craftsman, and Partner has made us a trusted name in the industry. In this blog post, we will explore how our mission to make your life easier aligns with our involvement in industry associations like MHI and CMAA, as well as the benefits of repurposing content to provide you with the best possible solutions.
The Power of Partnerships: MHI and CMAA
The Material Handling Industry (MHI) and the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) hold significant importance in the overhead lifting industry. At ACECO, we recognize the value of these associations and actively participate in them to ensure that we provide the best possible solutions to our clients.
MHI serves as a reputable trade association, acting as the voice of the material handling and logistics industry. By being a part of MHI, ACECO stays informed about industry trends, standards, and technological advancements. Our membership in MHI grants us access to valuable resources and networking opportunities, enabling us to deliver cutting-edge solutions that make our customers’ lives easier and more efficient.
Similarly, ACECO’s affiliation with CMAA, a respected trade association representing manufacturers of overhead cranes and hoists, highlights our commitment to upholding the highest quality and safety standards. CMAA plays a vital role in establishing specifications and guidelines for overhead cranes, ensuring that they meet industry regulations. By aligning our operations with CMAA standards, we prioritize the reliability and safety of our lifting equipment, providing our customers with solutions they can trust.
Our participation with MHI and CMAA showcases our dedication to staying informed, collaborating with industry leaders, and contributing to the advancement of the industry. These affiliations reflect our company’s commitment to being your Expert, Craftsman, and Partner. We strive to deliver superior products and services while upholding the highest standards of quality, safety, and professionalism. Through these associations, we leverage knowledge, resources, and networking opportunities to lead the industry with our new Smart Crane Technology and other innovative solutions.
At ACECO, we recognize the importance of knowledge in making well-informed decisions. That’s why we embrace dynamic information dissemination strategies. By adapting and sharing valuable insights across multiple platforms, we ensure industry expertise is accessible to a broader audience, including our esteemed partners.
Through collaborative efforts, we reinforce our position as thought leaders in the overhead lifting industry. Whether it’s through our blog, social media channels (YouTube, Facebook), or contributions to reputable industry publications, we offer diverse formats to cater to various learning preferences. The inclusive approach enables us to actively engage with our partners, providing the essential information necessary to navigate the ever-changing landscape of our industry.
At ACECO, we do what we commit to do, we do it well, and we do it on-schedule. Our goal is to make your life easier, and we are dedicated to solving your most complex problems.
Together, we evolve, innovate, and build a brighter future in the overhead lifting industry.
On the anniversary of our nation’s independence, we are reminded of the framework that makes our nation stand out among the many great nations of the world, particularly the rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Even though we have waivered as a nation throughout the years, the heroes of this land fight to make sure that freedom is felt from sea to shining sea. Therefore, we have been a beacon to the world, “This is where you can make a name for yourself, the land of opportunity where anything is possible,” Lady Liberty says as she gazes upon glistening skyscrapers that stand as testaments to the heights one can reach if they dream big.
Oddvar Norheim was one of those dreamers, born on a small island off the coast of Bergen Norway called Lygra. After receiving his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering, from Bergan Technical College, in Norway, and serving in the Norwegian NATO army, Oddvar sought to travel to the United States where he built our company, American Crane & Equipment Corporation. He created several patents, such as SafLift™ (a process used to transport nuclear fuel). He fostered a friendly and collaborative environment within his company, where no idea was out of the question and the impossible seemed possible; and in 2010, he visited the White House, to discuss trade policy alongside government officials and President Obama.
When Oddvar became a U.S. citizen, on May 6, 1987, he was given the opportunity to present a speech to the recipients about why he decided to become an American citizen:
“I believe that America is the country that gives the most opportunities to its people and that the American dream is still achievable. The traditional spirit of the U.S. society that describes the nation as a democratic land of opportunity in which social, political, economic, and religious freedoms prevail—is alive and well; one man is as good as another and any man can achieve his dreams, if only he will. America took on a difficult task after the second world war when it became the nation to protect the freedoms of the world. Of course, this has given many countries and individuals the opportunity to blame America for everything that is wrong, but the strength and determination of this society continues the fight to achieve peace and freedom—showing the kind of people this country is made up of and the strength of our Constitution and the values we so strongly believe in. The willingness of this country to defend freedom around the world is something we all should be proud of. The beauty of this country is no better described then through the words of Samuel A. Ward when he wrote “America the Beautiful” – spacious skies, majestic mountains, and amber waves of grain. America surely does have it all. And we cannot forget the bountiful American highways and king size American cars. It’s hard to find words to express my feelings today as I become part of this grand society, and there is not one factor that made me decide to become a U.S. citizen, but all the things mentioned above and more.”
Oddvar saw hope in the aspects of America we often take for granted, and in that hope, he achieved his dreams and was able to forge a legacy grand enough to influence the lives of many and present a future for his kin, before passing in October of 2021. Oddvar saw and came to represent the true essence of what it means to be an American; the idea that no matter where you are from, your beliefs, or background—if you are willing to work hard and out of love, not hate, you can elevate your life and the lives of those around you. That’s why here at ACECO we honor Oddvar’s GRIT and determination every day, committing to foster the growth, empowerment, and safety of the people we work with and the customers that hire us.
At ACECO we value our people and everything they have to contribute; so, on this 4th of July, we ask that you remember to value the people of this nation, because without our differences and melting pot of ideas…America would not be the great nation it is today.
Just a couple of months ago, in December 2021, I was honored to be named to the MHIBoard of Governors. Established in 1945, MHI is an international trade association that has represented the material handling, logistics, and supply chain industry for more than 75 years. The organization offers education, standards development, networking, and solution sourcing for its members, their customers, and the industry through programming and events — including the MODEX and ProMat tradeshows.
Leading MHI is its appointed Board of Governors. This group consists of the Officers and Board Governors of MHI plus the Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of the corporation. The Board of Governors serves as the Board of Directors for MHI.
In American Crane’s 50 years of operation, participation in MHI has always been important to our company. As a forward-thinking, innovative company, taking leadership within the material handling field as a whole has been part of our organization’s vision from the beginning.
I was particularly honored to discover that I am only the second woman to ever have been appointed to MHI’s Board of Governors. It’s no secret that the material handling field — like many industries — has long been dominated by men. As a woman who grew up in this industry, I feel that increasing diversity among all levels is critically important to its continued success. For that reason, I was delighted to join MHI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee when it was first formed a year ago.
Creating inclusive and diverse workplaces brings different perspectives together on the same team. That variety of viewpoints and experiences allows companies — and industries — to solve problems more effectively. It’s a perspective we embrace fully at American Crane. It’s been a delight to share our company’s vision with other MHI members as they work to create an environment that fosters the appreciation of all employees’ creative diversity through trust, respect, and openness.
Further, American Crane has proudly served as a long-standing Executive Member of Crane Manufacturer’s Association of America (CMAA). An independent trade association that is affiliated with MHI, CMAA’s vision is to be the most trusted knowledge resource for overhead cranes. It works to achieve that objective through its mission: to deliver technical specifications and resources that promote safety in the design, operation, and maintenance of overhead cranes. CMAA’s engineering specifications are widely recognized as the preferred design standard for overhead traveling cranes, integrated crane systems, and crane components.
My father, Oddvar Norheim — American Crane’s past President and CEO — believed strongly in MHI, and in CMAA’s mission in particular. Not only did he serve a term as CMAA’s President, but he also assisted in the development of those recommended standards and specifications by dedicating several of American Crane’s own engineers to help in their development. Today, that tradition continues as I, too, have been heavily involved in CMAA since I joined American Crane two decades ago. Currently, I serve as CMAA’s President.
My involvement in these industry groups was among the reasons MHI CEO John Paxton cited when announcing my new Board of Governors role. He writes:
Karen provides clear, direct, and results-focused leadership of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA). She brings her leadership experience as the President and CEO of American Crane and applies that to raise the Overhead Crane industry for all members. Based on her success leading CMAA, Karen was recently elected to the MHI Board of Governors’ where she provides those same leadership skills into the MHI strategic planning process.
In addition, she is a member of the MHI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee. I really enjoy working with Karen. She is a collaborative leader who is direct, to the point, and has a passion for delivering results. Her company mantra is “GRIT Matters,” and she brings that GRIT to the MHI Board. We really appreciate her time as a volunteer supporting several MHI initiatives.
I look forward to continuing to give back to the industry while helping to chart its course for the future as a member of the MHI Board of Governors.