CalContractor Crane & High Reach 2016

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Precision Crane Service

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onoma County stretches from the Pacific coast in the west to the Mayacamas Mountains in the east, and is home to almost 60,000 acres of vineyards. Folks from all over the world visit Sonoma’s more than 400 wineries, contributing billions of dollars to the local economy every year. Sounds like a pretty nice place to set up a business and that is just what Budd and Moe Elliff did some 36 years ago. However, back then, Sonoma County was in the middle of a transition from an area known more for their dairy, grain and fruit crops, with grapes coming in fourth. Budd and his father, Moe, could see


that big changes were on the horizon and that got their wheels to spinning. Budd and Moe started out working for Von Arx Drayage, in the heavy haul industry. When trucking was slow, they would work for Santa Rosa Crane, who shared a yard with Von Arx Drayage. Eventually, Budd and Moe went to work full time for Santa Rosa Crane, which was owned by Mac Graves, a well-known and respected figure in the crane industry, who also formerly owned Peninsula Crane & Rigging in San Jose. In 1980, Mac decided to semi-retire and that meant a management shift,

2016 crane & high reach ISSUE CALCONTRACTOR

which changed things for Budd and his father and so, together, they decided to start their own small crane enterprise. “I said, ‘Hey dad, whatta ya say we go buy a crane’, and he said, ‘shoot I’m all for it’,” says Elliff. “So we bought our first crane in 1980, a 1974 Drott 2510 30-ton crane.” The Drott got the father and son team started with your typical crane rental work. Things were a bit slow at first as the two went all over North County hustling up business, one customer at a time. “When I left Santa Rosa Crane, I promised Mac, who I very much admired that I would not compete with him in

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