Altec, a privately owned manufacturer of utility equipment such as digger derricks and vehicle-mounted access platforms, is gearing up for growth despite tough conditions in the North American equipment market.

The company, based in Birmingham, Alabama, has taken on several employees who lost their jobs when Terex closed its RO boom truck factory in Olathe, Kansas, but denied that it was preparing to begin production of cranes.

The manufacturing skills involved in producing Altec’s range of equipment was comparable to those involved in producing boom trucks, the company said. There are no plans to recruit from those losing their jobs through the closure of National Crane’s plant in Waveley, Nebraska, however, since that is too far away from Birmingham.

Altec has also made a bid to buy Mobile Tool International (MTI) out of bankruptcy, reportedly for $20.5m. MTI also produces aerial work platforms and digger derricks. The assets of MTI will be auctioned on 10 June.

According to local press reports, court documents show Birmingham-based Altec plans to bid $20.5 million for Mobile Tool’s business and the majority of its assets. Other bidders are also expected.

MTI filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors in the US bankruptcy court in Delaware on 30 September 2002.