One Company’s Drive to Lift Itself to Success

G.W. Becker, Inc.
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

Over 40 years, G.W. Becker, Inc. has grown from a local, family-owned business into one of North America’s foremost designers and manufacturers of industry-leading overhead crane solutions.

A trusted full-service company, G.W. Becker boasts a staff of about 70, including the requisite team of skilled and experienced lifting-technology tradespeople. Mechanical and structural engineers, welders, electricians, machine operators, and service technicians round out the team, giving customers the overhead crane-related products that precisely meet their needs.

At G.W. Becker, custom overhead cranes are made to Crane Manufacturers Association of America Inc. (CMAA) specifications (Class A through F), or to the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (ASIT) Technical Report No. 6, covering electrical overhead traveling cranes for steel mill service.

A complete overhead-lifting solutions business, G.W. Becker is much more than a seller of cranes and crane solutions. The company is a passionate manufacturer of its own line of cranes and a distributor of the world’s premier crane brands. It also provides everything its clients need, including parts, service and repairs, inspections, and more.

Self-performing almost all of its work, including crane installation and service, ensures the highest degree of professionalism and safety. This vital aspect of the company’s activities includes a robust health and safety program that is second to none in the industry, bi-weekly Toolbox Talks, and monthly safety committee meetings. Safety here is everyone’s responsibility, and the attitude permeates the entire company.

Staff members are required, as a condition of employment, to actively participate in the company’s safety program and adhere to its policies. According to the company’s stand on the matter, “It is our goal to completely eliminate accidents and injuries. Because of the many different hazards of our industry, we must maintain a constant safety awareness to achieve this goal.”

As a further commitment to safety and quality, G.W. Becker is affiliated with some of the best-known industry associations in America. This includes executive membership in the CMAA.

Founded in 1927, the CMAA is a voluntary independent trade association in the material handling industry and a leading advocate for the safe application and operation of overhead traveling cranes and related activities.

The company is also proud to be part of the Material Handling Industry of America (MHI). Incorporated in 1945, the MHI is America’s biggest logistics, supply chain, and material handling association. Additionally, some G.W. Becker employees hold membership in the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST), a non-profit organization with 22 local member chapters across six continents.

Since building its first pre-engineered packaged overhead crane in 1981 soon after its founding, the company has achieved a plethora of milestones in the industry. In 1989, G.W. Becker saw its first West Coast overhead crane installation. About a decade later, the business purchased a manufacturing facility in Wheatland, Pennsylvania. By 2000, the company was designing and manufacturing custom overhead cranes, and in 2008, it installed 104 cranes in Alabama, a startling achievement in those days. This was followed a few years later by its first crane installation in Canada and installations in Mexico.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2020, the company soon found it necessary to expand its production facility.

Indeed, in the past year and a half, G. W. Becker has been busy producing jib cranes, workstations, packaged cranes, fully automated cranes, DC-powered cranes, and more, says Sales Manager Ron Piso. Last year, the company installed and commissioned its first fully automated coil handling crane, which is in full service. Then, at the beginning of 2023, it designed and fabricated its second fully automated coil handling crane. Installed and commissioned in late spring, it is also in full service.

“Another automated coil handling crane is currently on the production floor, as well as a high-capacity DC-powered crane with three hoists,” explains Piso. “G.W. Becker continues to develop opportunities with customers that range from 1/8-ton jib cranes to high-capacity customer-built overhead cranes,” he shares.

“Our service department is involved in quite a few control and electrical upgrades, and our fully-staffed engineering department is in the process of multiple crane projects,” Piso continues. “More are coming through the sales department every day.”

The clients served by G.W. Becker come from a wide range of industries. A few of the sectors served include aeronautics, automotive, chemical, concrete, defense, food, heavy machinery, mining, oil and gas, steel—both primary and secondary producers—tool and die, warehousing, and water treatment.

“G.W. Becker, Inc. is quite diversified in our customer base, but if I had to pinpoint industries that are strong, they would be metals, steel, processing, and manufacturing,” says Piso.

Headquartered in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, the company provides overhead crane solutions, fabricating, machining, and other services to customers primarily in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, and New York, with cranes installed and in operation in the Southeast, Southwest, South Central and Midwest United States as well as Canada and Mexico. And although the company has a long list of clients, the team strives to promote the many advantages of working with a full-service, single-source provider of choice for overhead cranes and solutions.

“This is an everyday, every-employee effort to communicate to our customers, both externally and internally, that we’re providing a unique package of offerings,” says Piso.

Clearly, this success is the result of overflowing enthusiasm, years of experience, hard work, dedication, and hiring bright, motivated individuals to the team. Holding to a consistent and clear-minded strategy that comes from being family-owned also makes a difference, says Piso. “G.W. Becker is a family-owned private company that allows its employees to participate in the success each and every day.”

As a family business, G.W. Becker believes in treating its staff with respect and believes in a positive workplace that promotes safety and teamwork while valuing employees for their input and abilities.

“An open door policy is the norm,” says Piso. “Ideas are shared and acknowledged, and success is part of the culture.”

And what of the future? The company’s long-held mission statement will not change: “To become an extension of our customers’ management teams in the area of Cranes/Overhead Material Handling Systems, providing premium products and quality service.”

At the same time, G.W. Becker will continue providing employees with a work environment that’s safe, fair, and diverse, and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth. “With the ever-changing world we live in, staying true to our mission and values is super-critical,” says Piso. “We’ll continue to work to provide our customers quality products and services, while at the same time supporting the livelihood of our employees.”

After more than 40 successful years in business, G.W. Becker looks forward to meeting the overhead crane needs of existing customers and attracting new clients. “G.W. Becker, Inc. has been on an aggressive growth path over the last five-plus years,” concludes Piso, “and we’ll continue that well into the future.”

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