We have belatedly received the sad news that Jerome ‘Jake’ Liptak, one of the co-founders of ALL Erection & Crane Rental and a pioneer of the US crane rental industry, has died. He was only just 83.
He and his brothers Larry and Mike with his wife Marvine, founded the company in Independence (Cleveland), Ohio in 1964 with the purchase of a 46 tonne/52.5 ton American #20. Jake spent many years operating a Galion cab down Rough Terrain crane in the steel mills of Cleveland and gained a reputation for his cheery disposition and work ethic. While he never married, he loved his family, his friends, his work, travelling, slot machines and attending equipment auctions.
The brothers expanded the business organically and then in 1978 acquired Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental of Wisconsin. It then opened an aerial work platform division in 1980. That same year it moved into West Virginia, buying branch in Nitro from ACE. The company continued opening new branches and spreading its coverage, moving into Georgia in 1989 and acquiring Jeffers Crane Service in North Western Ohio in 1995. It moved into Tennessee in 1999 and also acquired a branch in Elkhart, Indiana from Central-Rent-A-Cranes. Branches were also opened in the Carolinas, Alabama and Louisiana.
Today the ALL group claims to be the largest privately owned crane sales and rental business in North America, with 33 branches, 1,500 employees, and a fleet of around 3,500 machines.
A statement from the company said: “Jake Liptak is remembered as an industrious man who loved his work in the field, even after ALL became a leading brand across all of North America. He remained active in the company until just a few years ago, when he retired from his day to day work to focus more on his health. He passed away on Wednesday, January 27th, with his family by his side.”
Nephew, and current ALL chief executive, Michael Liptak, added: “I have been overwhelmed with tales of my uncle’s generosity. It seems everyone has a Jake story. He was a ‘shirt off his back’ type of person and we are finding out how many times he came to someone’s aid, without seeking attention and without expecting anything in return. He had friends everywhere and will be missed by so many people.”
“The brothers and my mother all complemented one another. In those early days, each was crucial to establishing the company we know today. They worked 100 hour weeks to get this company up and running. I am still amazed by what they built. Without Jake, ALL Crane as we know it would not exist.”
Another nephew, Lawrence Liptak, said: “Jake was vital to maintaining the family atmosphere as the company grew. Jake would say that he ‘never met a stranger’. He was accessible, knew everyone’s name, and always had time to listen. That went a long way toward creating the type of culture we are now so blessed to have here at ALL.”