Joined the ALL family of companies: 1978
DAWES: Our History
Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, Inc. traces its roots to the 1945 merger of two Wisconsin firms—the Shea Drayage Company of Racine and the Matson Company of Kenosha. The Shea-Matson Company, located in Milwaukee, became one of the area's largest specialized carrier and rigging companies. Besides working with the breweries, the company served the area's heavy industrial base, anchored by such companies as Allen Bradley Corp., A.O. Smith, Allis-Chalmers, Bucyrus Erie, and Harnischfeger.
In 1946, the Shea-Matson Company opened a second office and shop in the heart of Chicago. This new location became the base of operations for managing and setting up trade shows throughout the nation. (The company also helped create the organization that eventually became the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association.) Over the next 25 years, the Shea-Matson Company would rank among the top specialized carriers and rigging companies for trade shows.
In 1973, Dawes Transfer of Milwaukee purchased the Shea-Matson Company to form the Shea-Matson-Dawes Company. The owners of Dawes Transfer—Thomas Freckmann, Dan O'Gorman, Ted Lehninger, and Dick Grimsrud—were all former employees of Shea-Matson. A few years later, Shea-Matson was dropped from the company name and Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, Inc. emerged.
In 1978, the partners sold the company to ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. Tom Freckmann stayed on as the general manager of Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, Inc.
AS part of the ALL family, Dawes opened its first branch office in 1987 in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, primarily to provide service to the booming paper industry in northeastern Wisconsin.
As the crane rental portion of Dawes grew, its machinery moving and rigging services became a subsidiary, DST, Inc. (Dawes Specialized Transportation) in 1988. Headquartered in Milwaukee, DST began operation with 48-state authority.
Tom Freckmann retired in 1989 and was succeeded by his son, Steve Freckmann, who is General Manager of Dawes today. Under Steve's stewardship and with the support of ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp., Dawes prospered, opening two more Wisconsin branches in Madison and Chippewa Falls in 1993.
ALL: Our History
In 1964, Lyndon Johnson was in the White House. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace prize. The Beatles came to America. That was the year that the Liptak brothers began a family company that grew into an entire family of companies—the largest privately owned crane sales and rental company in North America.
That year, Michael C. Liptak, Jr. and his brother Jake had been working in the steel industry, running cranes. Another brother, Lawrence (Larry), was returning from serving in the Army. The brothers, along with Michael's wife, Marvine, began to recognize a customer need. In a moment of entrepreneurial genius, they bought themselves a crane and began renting it. Then they grew the fleet with cranes and trucks they bought and sold at auctions ... and a family business was born.
Their new equipment rental enterprise filled a need for contractors who, until that time, usually owned their own equipment—and all the headaches and expense of maintaining it.
By creating the new category—crane rental—and backing it with hard work, reliable products, and outstanding customer service, they believed they had laid the foundation for a company that would stand the test of time.
They were right.
Over the years, the brothers built their own engine shop, weld shop, paint shop, and other support in order to service and maintain all their own equipment. Their drive to succeed, their dedication to each other and the business, and their pride in their reliability and exceptional customer service didn't go unrewarded. Today, ALL Erection & Crane Rental comprises 30 locations in the United States and Canada—a world-class organization with over 1400 dedicated employees and thousands of satisfied customers.
This phenomenal success is due in part to the combined efforts of several generations of the Liptak family. The original founders remain active in day-to-day operations, and second- and third-generation family members can be found in a variety of roles throughout the company. The Liptak brothers' original vision of a dynamic, forward-thinking company, able to anticipate and meet the changing needs of a diverse customer base, has flourished.