In what seems to be a strange coincidence, Carolina Crane and Carolina Cranes – two unrelated rental companies in neighbouring US states – separately agreed to join with major consolidators on the very same day.

On 15 December Maxim Crane Works (formerly Anthony Crane Rental) purchased the assets of Carolina Cranes Inc. of North Augusta, South Carolina.

At the same time the owners of Carolina Crane Corporation of Raleigh, North Carolina agreed to sell their business to All Erection.

“It is pure coincidence,” said Earl Johnson III, son of the founder/ owner of Carolina Crane. Earl Johnson Jr established Carolina Crane in 1962 to support his main business, Southern Industrial Constructors. Selling the crane operation to All was regarded as the best way of safeguarding the future growth of both business, explained Earl Johnson III, who stays with the crane business and will run what is now to be called All Carolina Crane.

All Carolina’s depots in Raleigh and Wilmington, North Carolina fill the gaps in All’s geographic spread between Charleston, West Virginia and Atlanta, Georgia. These depots, which generate revenues of $10m a year, will be enhanced by the addition of crawler and rough terrain cranes to add to the 34 hydraulic truck and all-terrain cranes owned by Carolina Crane. Carolina Crane’s biggest AT is a Liebherr LTM 1300, rated at 300t (365 US ton) capacity. Jack Swan, vice president of All, said that Carolina Crane’s business was all operator maintained rental, while All’s business is mostly bare rental (without an operator). All’s depots in Ohio, Georgia and Florida all do bare rental work in North and South Carolina and a bare rental service, with RTs and crawlers, would now be offered by the Raleigh and Wilmington depots. “These two will grow,” said Swan. “We’ll put in equipment that they haven’t had the opportunity to rent out before.”