Saturday, January 5, 2013

Safety.  In our business, we take it seriously.  The conditions that our technicians work in are not always the best and never pristine.  To do their job effectively and efficiently requires an awareness of conditions and personal responsibility.  We talk about it constantly, we have meetings about it regularly and everyone is expected to point out situations, equipment or practices which they feel are hazardous or potentially so.

Keeping safety above board and on everyones mind pays off.  Each of our service technicians have been with us for many years, they are our "front line" and the individuals most in harms way - every day.  Their experience and training over those years is an investment in them and in our company.  Keeping our people healthy and productive is second to nothing - they are our most valuable asset, our co-workers and our friends.  Some may feel that luck plays a part, but we prefer to use a professional approach.  In 2012, we succeeded once again - everybody safe, no accidents, no lost time


Friday, June 1, 2012

Our Service Department is looking for the right technician to hire. 

Here is the ad:

HELP WANTED: Crane Repair Tech


Repair and maintain truck mounted cranes and related computer controlled operating and safety related systems. Hydraulic, welding, electrical trouble shooting experience needed. Union 701 shop.

FAX or email resume to Jim Hopkinson at 708-447-3730 or apply in person at:

Runnion Equipment Company, 7950 West 47th Street. Lyons, Illinois 60534

As the equipment soldl and serviced by Runnion Equipment Company becomes more sophisticated, our needs for the right technician have changed as well.  Hint:  We used to call them "mechanics".  Now, mechanical ability is only the basic knowledge required.  Among the changes: Familiarity with computers and file management as well as an ability to troubleshoot error codes and trace electrical connections through traditional wiring harnesses as well as circuit boards is a necessity.  The new hydraulics require the basic knowledge of pressure and flow as well as a familiarity with piping materials and the chemical properties of various hydraulic fluids.       

If you think you have what it takes, contact Jim Hopkinson our Product Support Manager.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


It's the Holidays! 

What better time to thank our customers.

Our Parts Department is offering some sweet deals on crane parts in general.  Right now for a limited time, they have a discount on parts you may need for your boom truck.  In addition, there is a very good price on pallet forks, also for a limited time. 

Get them now and be ready for the spring thaw!

Check out the specials in the "NEWS" section on our website. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011


13 ton HIAB knuckleboom Ready to go to work.  This knuckleboom has had an OSHA inspection completed in our shop effective date of  08/19/2012.                                   


Behind the cab mount with an Air-Lift tag axle - coupled with a 66,000 GVWR, we are talking payload.

13 1/4   ton maximum capacity, wireless remotes, pintle hook, 7 way electrical plug, Air-Ride driver's seat, Mercedes 410hp with a 10 speed Fuller... this is a real nice unit.

Check the Runnion website for more info. 

UNIT 3505U

Friday, September 23, 2011

23 Ton National Crane 990

Taken in trade, just run through our shop - serviced, painted, lubed, fueled and ready to work.

Unit has an OSHA inspection sticker current through February 2012. 


Unit includes a front outrigger for 360 degree stability, Burst-O-Speed winch, hydraulic oil cooler - excellent roofing machine (or any continuous, repetitive cycle duty).

The truck has a 240 horsepower Ford 7.8 liter deisel, Fuller Road Ranger RT-7608LL 10 speed trans with a driver controlled differential.  GVW rated at 52,000lbs - 18,000lb front axle.

 118,000 miles on truck, 7,360 hours on the crane.

 Check the Runnion website for more info. 

UNIT 3501U

Friday, September 9, 2011


Runnion Equipment Company has been selling cranes since 1975.
We think that is a long time.

 Earle Runnion sold this National 5T to a customer way back in 1963 - only the second crane manufactured by National Crane back in the Waverly, Nebraska days.

1963 - NATIONAL CRANE 5T46  S/N N6307

This crane was traded-in in 1999, fully operational and is now owned by Runnion Equipment Company

Stop by and see it if you are in our area.


Let’s say you need to regularly lift 6 tons and - after finding the crane you have been looking for - you pull out of the Runnion parking lot with your new Palfinger knuckleboom – happy with the state of the art in cranes …..wondering how you ever got along without it.

In fact, since you just got back from a trip to visit the family in Athens, you think, "Boy, I could have shown those guys how to lift some stone."

But then, there is this –

FOR SALE:  638bc Model Year Polyspastos.  3 ton capacity with winch.  6 ton capacity with optional treadmill.  Will consider trade for good condition War Chariot or Athens Time Share.

                                                                                  638BC ?????    

                                                          Like they say, what is old is new again........

This whole crane thing starts with a Greek gentleman by the name of ARCHIMEDES. He spent a great deal of time investigating “mechanical advantage” and is usually remembered for popularizing the use of the lever. Arguably the most famous quote attributed to him is:

         "Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the earth."

Check it out here:

While churning out a whole stable of inventions based on geometry, area, weight and volume, he had time to come up with the block and tackle which, together with his knowledge and experience with the lever led him to create a crane of sorts which has been known through the ages as Archimedes Claw – a crane like device with a boom, tackle, winch and hook which was to be used to protect the Greek city of Syracuse from attack by the sea.

If an enemy ship approached the sea wall, the boom was swung over the wall, the iron hook lowered (winched down) to the ships hull (preferably below the waterline) the operator was given the signal to “boom-up” and the bad guys on the ship (along with their weapons and equipment) were abruptly moved opposite the lift point of the ship.

More models of The Claw here:

While the Greeks brought the mobile crane into general use, it was the Romans (as you would expect) who perfected the device adding capacity and mobility and assigning engineers specifically for crane development and crane operation in the field.   Using multiple cranes, they were able to lift stone weighing 60 tons.  Multiple crane lifts and coordination are difficult today even with our modern communication systems. 
Maybe the first Operator's Union?


Relief Carving on a Roman Contractor's Tomb showing building material being hoisted onto the roof of a construction project - by a good sized crane with some serious reach.


Great information from a fellow crane company:

More on the tomb of a Roman contractor:

For a short look at ancient cranes:

For the best primer on the subject of crane history, look no further than “Low Tech” magazine:

Don’t overlook Wikipedia’s entry:

More about cranes through the middle ages here:

Friday, June 3, 2011


Who does your annual crane inspection?

Why should I have my boom truck inspected by a dealer like   Runnion – I can get it done cheaper by an inspection service??

Runnion Equipment Company can offer you choices - something you don't get from the inspection service guys with the clipboards.  You can decide on our full service, top-of-the-line annual “OSHA Inspection Service” or you can choose our basic “Annual Inspection”. You can choose to do the easy repairs yourself or you can have us do all the repairs. You can choose to have the inspection done here at Runnion Equipment Company or you can have it done at your location. You can choose from several optional dealer services that we offer to keep your crane in top operating condition and you can also choose to drop your crane off and use one of our chase cars (subject to insurance requirements), or we can arrange to send a driver to pick up and drop off your unit.

It’s no secret, boom trucks are getting more and more complicated and the new OSHA standards are strict. Current inspections are required on all government jobs and General Contractors, Construction Managers and site owners are developing their own requirements for cranes operating on their jobsites which can be even more restrictive. Cranes are high profile and OSHA is very active in regard to crane safety.  At Runnion, the factory trained technicians who inspect your cranes are also the same people who operate and repair your crane. They will recognize things that are going wrong with your crane that others may miss - things that need to be addressed and acted on before they turn into major issues.

Runnion Equipment Company has inspected thousands of cranes during our 35years of business. Our technicians know boom trucks and can draw from 10 to over 25 years of repairing and operating cranes here at Runnion. We take pride in the fact that Runnion Equipment Company is the oldest National Crane dealer in the country and that we are classified as a National Crane “Elite” dealer. The unique “Elite” designation is awarded by the factory after careful scrutiny - it requires regular factory schooling by our technicians and our Parts Department personnel as well. Among the requirements, we are also expected to maintain a large amount of stocked parts and to be able to provide emergency field service. National Crane wants to make sure that customers are receiving professional service, timely turnaround and equipment that is fixed properly as per factory recommendations. To maintain our Elite status, we go through a compliance review twice a year. We invest time and money in our Product Support people and our diagnostic tools in order to provide you with the solutions to your crane problems. 



The premium annual “OSHA Inspection Service” offered by Runnion Equipment Company is a thorough, invasive, diagnostic “physical” and operational test, which includes preventive maintenance aspects. This is the same service that we perform on our own rental fleet each year. It is designed to get your crane in top operating condition and to give the crane owner detailed information that is needed to make decisions about the equipment he or she owns.

To that end, included as part of the premium service, when we complete the in-depth inspection, diagnostics and operational tests, we are able to provide the owner with a detailed written estimate for the repairs that are required in order to correct the deficiencies noted. The estimate will include a section listing optional items such as suggested factory recommended maintenance that is specific to your machine and its’ current life-cycle and you will also be advised of “Runnion” suggested items which may include developing issues that were discovered by our technician and you may wish to address now, or upgrades that can improve the performance of your crane.

The “optional” items on the estimate are just that – “optional”.  You decide.  

The repair items that are necessary to correct operational and safety related deficiencies are required and MUST be completed (by you or by Runnion) within 30 days of the inspection date before we will issue an Annual OSHA Inspection sticker.

Once the necessary repairs are made, you will receive our detailed OSHA Inspection report that notes the deficiencies our technicians found during the inspection process and the dates that the deficiencies were corrected (by you or by Runnion). This is the paperwork that must stay with the crane; it is the paperwork that OSHA will want to see when they inspect your crane.

This premium OSHA Inspection Service includes hands on and “covers off” investigation and maintenance items that the independent inspection companies would never attempt. Your machine will have its mounting, rotation and gear box hardware checked for proper factory torque values; we will measure deflection and condition of the rotation bearing, deflection and operation of the boom and related components including the wire rope. We will separate the pump and PTO in order to check the spline wear and put them back together with hi-temp grease applied and you will be advised on the percentage of wear on this most critical of all hydraulic components. In addition, the boom and outriggers will be thoroughly greased, a new factory hydraulic filter will be installed and gearbox fluid levels will be checked along with a full operational test of all crane functions. While the cost of our OSHA Inspection Service can run from $600 to $1,000 - in the end, the low price of a “walk around”, “clip-board” inspection will long be forgotten should a preventable accident or breakdown at a critical time find you in court.

Keep in mind that when we affix the Runnion Annual OSHA sticker to your machine, we are certifying that your machine has been inspected as per OSHA Subpart CC, 1926.1412(f), all deficiencies found were corrected and it is operating as per factory specs as of the date of the inspection sticker.  


The basic inspection service that we offer is our “Annual Inspection” which is our low cost, “inspection only” alternative aimed at those customers who feel that they thoroughly maintain their cranes over the year or that their crane has had little use over the year, or for the customer who may simply wish to have a competent third party opinion on a piece of equipment they are interested in buying or selling.

You may find a lower priced inspection service – but you get what you pay for. At $350, our low cost alterative is a better value than any cheap inspection offer around.

With this basic “Annual Inspection” option, one of Runnion’s experienced, factory trained service technicians will set up, operate all functions and visually inspect your crane for up to two hours. When he has completed his inspection, our technician will brief you or your operator on his findings, issue an inspection sticker for your crane and furnish you with a report that documents the operational and safety deficiencies that he noted as well as required general maintenance items that need attention.

This service is an operational and visual inspection and therefore no greasing, torquing, or spline service is done on the equipment. Since our technician performs no mechanical investigative work or diagnostics, no written estimate of repairs is offered with this option.

In some cases, we may be able to give you a range of possible repair costs, but due to the nature of the equipment we work on, it is common sense that what may seem to be a simple fix on the surface can actually be a complicated repair once we have an opportunity to trace the cause of the problem – particularly with foreign or older machine models. While some items, missing safety stickers for instance, are an easy fix and we can give you a price over the phone, our Service Manager may prefer not to estimate the cost of correcting operational issues without getting the crane into our shop in order for our technicians to do more investigative work.

Finally, if after reviewing the inspection documents, you decide to upgrade to our full OSHA Inspection service within 30 days of the basic inspection, we will apply the cost of the basic inspection to the full service option. You won’t pay for the operational and visual inspection twice.


Note again that either of our inspection services can be performed at our facility or yours (as long as you have a secure area with space enough in which we can fully open up and service your crane safely without interruption). Certain major component repairs may have to be conducted at our shop for safety and efficiency. If you are concerned about dropping your crane off at our facility and losing an operator for a day, remember that we have courtesy cars for our customers to use as well as a pick-up and drop-off service. We also will discount our rental units for customers who need to replace a piece of equipment while we work on theirs – we can swap cranes so you don’t lose any time. The OSHA inspections on our rental fleet are performed annually so you can be assured that your rental unit will have a current OSHA sticker and will be accepted and able to work on government job sites.

For your convenience, while your equipment is at our service facility, besides repairing and rebuilding telescoping and knuckleboom cranes, Runnion can coordinate dielectric testing on your bucket truck and annual DOT and Safety Inspection services to be performed on your chassis.

Basic chassis service can be handled here in our shop and for more in- depth service, including transmission and engine work, truck painting, tire repair and body upfitting; we have several truck dealer and independent truck partners in the area to which we can shuttle your unit, allowing us to be your one stop shop. We will coordinate the repairs for you so you deal directly and only with us. 

Runnion Equipment Company is a full service, traditional equipment dealer that has been helping our customers for over 35 years.  Our Safety Seminars and Free Maintenance Seminars are designed to help crane owners avoid headaches and expensive repairs.  We own and operate our own fleet of boom trucks; we are intimately familiar with telescoping and articulating cranes.

In short, we can provide a range of inspection services and upgrades that the “clip-board” guys cannot.

We like to hear from and we listen to our customers’ requests and suggestions in regard to services and products that they would like to see us offer, so feel free to contact us or stop in to visit anytime – we can keep your boom truck working the way it was designed to and we can save you money.