The crane and rigging business investing $2.5 million in the business
By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Barry Trimble has worked in the heavy equipment field for many years, but recent years have been ones of growth.
His Fulton-based company has invested $2.5 million in the industry since December 2021. This is one of his biggest investments yet, including a $1.4 million purchase of a new crane in mid-November.
Trimble, LLC, dba Trimble Services, was founded in 2010; however, Trimble said he decided to greatly expand the company in 2021 by his sizable investments, facilitated by Pathfinder Bank and his family’s personal assets. The recent purchase of a crane is further growing the business’s capacity.
Providing crane, rigging, machinery-moving, large-scale hauling and millwrighting services in Central and Western New York requires very large—and very expensive equipment. Trimble said that he wanted to expand his firm as a family business with his sons Josh and Dustin. Debbie, his wife, keeps the books.
He selected 864 Hannibal St. in Fulton in December 2021 as his main headquarters because of its proximity to other Upstate New York cities.
“We previously owned the Eis House in Mexico,” he said. “We heard about this building. We all live up here and it’s close to Rochester and Syracuse, so we have access to two markets.”
One of his crane projects was moving two HVAC units onto the roof for Huhtamaki. Other typical jobs include moving equipment to the top of cellphone towers with the crane, as well as setting drainage structures and bridge components.
“On the millwrighting side, we have done production line installations,” Trimble said. “We set machine tools for various tool and die companies. Some weight 30,000 to 40,000 lbs.”
Including family members, Trimble employs the equivalent of eight full-timers.
Part of the reason for his success is the narrow niche of crane rigging and millwrighting.
“There aren’t a lot of people doing this,” he said.
He plans to stay competitive with low overhead. Employing only eight helps with that.
October’s revenue was $210,000—a good month for Trimble. His 2022 revenue was $1 million.
While the remuneration for this kind of work is profitable, the cost of equipment and the demand for work makes it challenging. One job can pay very well; however, the time lapses between jobs can be tough, especially for retaining workers.
“We do have some ability to expand and contract through the trade unions,” Trimble said. “We’re a union contractor.”
He has seen the markets recover with bigger manufacturers expanding and adding production.
“Or they’re taking old equipment out and putting newer technology in,” he added.
Both of these scenarios bring business his way as his company moves the equipment.
Trimble hopes to increase his business by 35% in 2024 and to open a satellite office to be closer to more businesses.
“Entry into new markets is always a challenge,” Trimble said. “But we have a full-time person who concentrates on that. He does a very good job at penetrating markets, so we’re banking on that.
“The upfront capital cost of tooling another office is significant. We just bought a crane the day before Thanksgiving.”
He has high hopes for further investment and development in Fulton, where he sees plenty of potential for those with the vision to make it happen.