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Allison Crane lifts to new heights

May 6, 2008
Construction is in Larry Allison Sr.’s blood. The president of Allison Crane and Rigging, at 2817 Lycoming Creek Road said “I started running cranes when I was 15 years old.”

With a father and grandfather who worked on large scale construction and building projects, Allison has done “about every aspect” of work within the business.

Formed by the originators of Lycoming Construction and the former James W. Eck Rigging Company, Allison Inc. began with a single crane and a roll back to a collection of dozens of cranes, tractors, lowboys, vans, fork lifts, overhead cranes and more.

“Crane opperators, truck drivers, iron workers, riggers, millwrights” and other experienced and well-qualified workers comprise the staff of 51, which has grown from just four employees in 1976.

Perhaps most recognized for the giant cranes erecting steel structures at road-side construction projects, Allison Crane and Rigging also can be found inside factories removing and installing equipment and machinery weighing hundreds of thousands of pounds, Allison said.

The company has worked with both individuals and companies to move everything from a “hot tub to a 500,000 pound machine,” he said. “People don’t know the type of machinery that we’re capable of lifting.”

“Things have changed over the years,” Allison said. When the company first began, crews spent three years on the West Coast and in Milwaukee dismantling breweries — one of the company’s more difficult tasks.

“Fermenting tanks, all glass-lined, 150 feet in the air,” were a challenge to remove without damaging the tank or injuring any employees, Allison said.

That type of interior millwrighting — installing and removing equipment — like that of the injection welding machines at the local Shop-Vac facility, is one thing Allison said the public may not know about the business.

“What they probably don’t know is what they don’t see,” he said.

According to the company’s Web site,, millwrighting can be done with food processing machines, machine shop equipment, diaper machines, paper/pulp industries and countless others.

“The diversity” of Allison Crane and Rigging’s ability has even allowed them to work in coal mines.

“As a matter of fact, it’s always exciting,” Allison said of his company’s variety of tasks. “It’s something new each and every day. Nothing the same, nothing continuous.”

Although the company no longer spends years at a time across the country, Allison said they will “typically spread our wings 75 miles on a daily basis.” For short-term jobs, Allison Crane and Rigging will go “basically anywhere.”

When lifting machinery weighing 250 tons into the air, keeping employees safe is something Allison said the company strives for.

“We go the extra mile to insure safety in-house,” he said. “We shut down for a couple of days a year and do training sessions.” Allison credited his son, Larry Allison Jr., for his role in keeping employees up-to-date with safety regulations.

Over the 32 years since Allison Crane and Rigging’s inception, the employees are what makes Allison the most proud.

“My employees are the ones that made these things happen,” he said.

For the future of Allison Crane and Rigging, Allison hopes to maintain relationships with existing customers, build new ones and keep it a “family-oriented business,” which it has always been, he said.

With locations in Williamsport, State College and Harrisburg, Allison Crane can be reached at 800-232-2977.

Article Photos

Allison Crane and Rigging, 2817 Lycoming Creek Road, lifts a 500,000 gallon tank in one piece at a current job site. In addition to steel erection at construction sites, Allison can install, remove and maneuver huge machinery and equipment inside factories.



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