Chicago-based Walter Payton Power Equipment has been appointed a dealer for Manitowoc and Grove cranes.

From its new sales and parts distribution centre in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park, Payton Power will be responsible for sales and support of the Manitowoc lattice boom cranes and Grove telescopics in northeastern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, eastern Wisconsin and parts of Michigan.

Payton Power is a construction equipment distributor founded in 1993 by the late Walter Payton, who played American football for the Chicago Bears from 1975 to 1987. Payton died in 1999. The business is co-owned by his widow Connie and his former team mate Matt Suhey, as well as Mike Lanigan, owner of Mi-Jack, another Chicago equipment distributor. Payton Power will now focus solely on cranes.

‘Manitowoc Crane Group was looking to provide strong customer support for their line of lattice boom and hydraulic cranes and we feel we can provide our customers a real advantage,’ said Payton Power general manager Robert Johnson.

In charge of sales at Payton Power is Ken Martinek, who was previously with the former Grove dealer Gleason that shut its doors last year. Martinek was more recently general manager of North Central Crane, the Manitowoc company store in Chicago which took over Grove sales after Gleason closed.

North Central Crane has now ceased its sales activities, having handed over to the new distributor, but will continue in business as a service centre for national accounts across the Americas.