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Lift-A-Loft Corporation: The Original Aerial Manufacturer of Custom-engineered Solutions
Lift-A-Loft Corporation (Lift-A-Loft) has been reaching new heights for more than 62 years. The Indiana-based manufacturer specializes in the design, engineering and customization of aerial lifts. Lift-A-Loft started out as a streetlight maintenance operation, and is now a major supplier of aerial work platforms, ground support equipment (GSE) and custom applications throughout North America and the world over.
“Our name has become synonymous with aerial lifts in the industry,” explains Todd Hunt, current president of Lift-A-Loft. “Lift-A-Loft is now a generic term. Even some of the largest companies in the world like Boeing use our name to refer to other brands of aerial lifts. I’ll hear them say, ‘Go get the Lift-A-Loft’; that just goes to show how long we’ve been around.”
Lift-A-Loft Takes Off
In the 1940s Lift-A-Loft began manufacturing outdoor truck-mounted vertical lifts to service streetlights. “The cities in Indiana had no way to maintain the streetlights,” adds Hunt. When the first Lift-A-Loft model was produced in October 1952, the concept of aerial lifts revolutionized maintenance work.
“We’re the oldest aerial lift manufacturer in the world,” shares Hunt. “We’ve been doing it longer than anyone in the industry and we pride ourselves on remaining 100-percent made in the U.S.”
As its idea took off, Lift-A-Loft began to broaden its focus outside of city maintenance. The company now services industrial, airline, railroad, government contracting, aerospace and many other customer groups. Hunt, a business man from Michigan, saw the opportunity to grow Lift-A-Loft and purchased the company in January 2012.
“I also own an automotive supply company and a structural aerospace business, so I was very comfortable buying Lift-A-Loft, because I was already familiar with similar distribution chains and fabrication processes in my other ventures,” reveals Hunt. “I saw a longstanding, well-known company that was struggling, and I wanted to bring it back to life.
Hunt has worked relentlessly to revitalize Lift-A-Loft, expanding the company’s territory and markets. Today, the company is still based in Muncie, Ind., but has the capability to sell throughout North America and the world over.
“We’ve grown our international presence significantly with GSE for airlines all over the globe,” he details. “Domestically, we’re mainly in the Midwest, but we’re also shipping product to Texas. We just delivered a big contract to United Airlines in San Francisco and for a large East Coast construction company.”
Lift-A-Loft is more than a manufacturer, but an engineered solutions provider. “Our core business and what really sets us apart is our willingness to involve ourselves in custom solutions,” stresses Hunt. “We view our customers as partners and we believe in building long-term relationships with them. For the most part, we’re building a system specific to a particular customer’s needs.”
Hunt reveals Lift-A-Loft often has between 10 and 15 custom jobs per year. “There’s always something new,” he says. “We have designed equipment specific to the needs of industrial settings for railroads, aerospace companies, the offshore oil industry and some of the world’s largest airlines.”
Lift-A-Loft designed a delivery system to suit the specific needs of Gate Gourmet worth more than $1.5 million. Additionally, the company is also developing products for FedEx and UPS. “One of the most exciting projects we have in the works is the Fall Arrest Mast system we’ve designed,” details Hunt. “We’ve developed a retracting mast that extends over the fuselage of an aircraft. It allows maintenance crews to walk across the body of the craft securely without falling. I think this application is very promising in other areas as well. We are expecting five-or-more contracts for the Fall Arrest Mast system in 2013.”
Aside from Lift-A-Loft’s custom solutions, the company also relies heavily on more standardized products such as scissor lifts and vertical mast lifts. “Over the last year-and-a-half I’ve reorganized our distribution network to sell these lifts through industrial fork truck dealers,” explains Hunt. “These lifts make up our branded, lower cost product line, which is actually more profitable for the business. By reintroducing this product as an easily accessible, off-the-shelf kind of tool, I’m hoping for more consistency to take us through the peaks and valleys of custom work.”
By maximizing both sides of Lift-A-Loft’s business and revitalizing the trusted name, Hunt has seen intense growth over the past couple of years. “We’ve doubled since I purchased the company in 2012,” he says. “I think we’ll see more progression and profit through the emphasis of our branded products and continuing to partner with customers for specific projects.”
Lift-A-Loft has become synonymous with its quality products over the past 62 years. “We have a niche company,” shares Hunt. “Couple that with the fact that we treat our customers in the same manner in which we’d like to be treated and it makes for long-term, profitable relationships on both sides.” Lift-A-Loft Corporation was the first to raise the bar for aerial solutions and continues to set the industry standard today, with Hunt proudly leading the way.
For more information about Lift-A-Loft Corporation, please visit: www.liftaloft.com.