Since its inception in mid-1975 as a
Corporation chartered in Virginia, Foley Material Handling Co.,
pursued its goal of being the premier Crane and Monorail Systems designers
and engineers on the East Coast. Today, with revenues in excess of $35
million, the Company continues to focus on leading the industry in crane and
control design, always with the objective of providing its Customers with
products designed to fulfill the specific defined need and with the highest
level quality available.
The Company's origins stem from its appointment in 1975
as the Regional Cleveland
Patented Track dealer, and
the blending of the expertise of the world's leading supplier of Patented
Track Systems and the engineering expertise of Dale
Foley. During the first year, revenues were derived primarily from
the supply of repair parts and many small equipment orders. The first year
also saw the beginnings of the Company's winning credibility with several
local and regional Patented Track users although orders for major projects
were slow in developing.
In 1976, Foley Material Handling won
its first major contract; a $100K Interlocking Crane System for Nabisco in
Cape May, New Jersey. This contract was earned from Davis Construction
Company, and involved the design and fabrication of controls, miscellaneous
support steel, and installation of the Patented Track System. Working from a
1000 square foot facility in the Hanover Industrial Air Park, the Company
hired a millwright and two laborers, and purchased some basic equipment to
establish a fabrication facility.
1977 saw a major growth in revenues to
nearly $1 million. Included in this was a major contract ($400K) from Lynch
burg Foundry for their new Medium Castings Foundry in Radford, Virginia This
Patented Track System included the design and fabrication of support steel
and installation of the steel and the Patented Track equipment.
In 1978, Dresser Industries
Lift-Tech International) approached Foley Material Handling with a proposal
to establish the Company as its regional fabricator of single and double
girder cranes utilizing component kits supplied by Dresser. Dresser supplied
Shaw-Box brand mechanical components, and Foley fabricated girders and did
all the wiring and assembly of the cranes. This relationship provided the
impetus to establishing the Company as a manufacturer of Top Running Cranes.
The following several years saw Foley steadily increase its presence in the
marketplace and its volume growth. As a result of this growth in the
manufacture and installation of cranes, the Company relocated to a larger
(6800 square foot) facility. In 1978, the Company added an experienced Sales
Engineer and established a Service Department to better support its
Customers' full crane repair and maintenance needs.
In addition to the
Cleveland Tramrail and
Shaw-Box product lines, Foley
Material Handling won the distribution right for many of the major hoisting
equipment manufacturers including Shepard Niles,
P&H, Yale, R&M, Detroit
Hoist, and Coffing.
In the three year period ending in 1981 the Company established itself as a
full line manufacturer of box girder cranes, culminating in the registration
of its brand name "Virginia Crane" in 1981.
The box girder expertise was developed following a
short relationship with another box girder crane manufacturer in which Foley
Material Handling was to sell cranes manufactured by others. This sales
agreement was less than successful partially because of economics, but also
because Dale Foley wanted to be able to provide a finished product of higher
specification content and of a superior construction quality. With the
assistance of Dresser Industries, the Company undertook a program to develop
its own computerized design of box girder cranes to the then current
standards of CMAA, and to the specific requirements of the industries in
which the Company was finding the most interest (Paper, Railroads,
Shipbuilding, Power Plants, Aluminum, Aircraft Maintenance).
The next three years saw the Company expand its operations by tripling its
volume and adding 50% more floor space and bringing its total employment to
26 persons (visit Our Facility.)
Box girder cranes became the largest
product type at the Company, and Foley Material Handling was routinely
building cranes of 80' span or more. In 1987, the Company built a 25,000
square foot facility that incorporated a "production line" for the
manufacture of box girders. In that year, the Company received a contract to
build 4 large box girder cranes for the New Jersey Transit Authority (50/7.5
ton - 90 foot span) which were the first units to utilize the new production
line. This was followed by an order for a 70 ton - 90 foot span crane for
General Electric. By this point, the Company had established a reputation
for building high quality equipment, tailored to the specific application,
along with a full Service Department and a first-class Installation
1988 was an explosive growth in the business with orders
that included several 120 foot span cranes for the US Department of Energy
and two 131 foot span double leg gantry cranes for Newport News Shipbuilding
and Dry Dock Company. The year also saw an expansion of the fabricating
facility to 36,000 square feet.
By 1989, the Company revenues exceeded $8 million, and
employment reached 60 people.
By 1993, sales had grown to $12 million including the
absorption of a competitors service business in 1992, and the establishment
of a full Inspection Department. The Inspection group includes full US
Department of Labor Certification to 29 CFR Part 1919. The Company also
undertook a complete rebuild of a 310 ton- 450 foot span double leg gantry
crane for Newport News Shipbuilding.
Growth accelerated in the mid 90’s with expansion of
our engineering resources and the development of our “Feature Series”
Hoist product line. Our reputation as a builder of high quality,
technically sophisticated overhead and gantry cranes was spreading. The
Company was awarded several contracts from the U.S. Air Force and NASA for
cranes used in the assembly and launch preparation processes of unmanned
space vehicles. Additionally, the Company obtained orders for cranes
designed to U. S. Navy Nuclear Specifications for critical material
handling, and for large magnet equipped shipyard plate handling cranes. The
Company also continued its growth through expansion of its customer base by
placing turbine cranes in several fossil fueled generating facilities and by
supplying a number of multi-hoist equipped cranes in the paper industry.
In the late 90’s, the Company moved into the re-emerging primary steel
industry by providing multi-crane projects in new steel mills for Bethlehem
Steel and IPSCO following in 2000 and later with projects for ACIPCO,
Chaparral Steel, Weirton Steel, North American Stainless, California Steel,
and others. Most of these projects were for process and shipping cranes and
a number of cranes were provided for hot metal service.
Since 2005 the focus of the Company continues to move to
the heavier duty cycle crane requirements of the steel and shipyard
industry. Traditional constant potential DC cranes have become a niche
business, and CMAA “Class F” cranes are now common. The Company product
lines also include custom stacker cranes and heavy duty transfer cars.
2005 also included the complete re-build of a 1200 Ton Goliath Crane and
numerous new cranes for Northrop Grumman Ship Systems fabrication shops near
the Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Katrina.
“Virginia Crane®” is now nationally recognized as
the primary supplier in its geographic area for highly
specialized CMAA-Class 'D' and 'E' Cranes tailored to Customer-Specific
requirements. Primary design and engineering criteria are based upon
reliability, life expectancy, and conformance to Customer and Industry
specifications and requirements. The Company's product lines have been
expanded to include Stacker Cranes and heavy Transfer Cars. Double girder
crane product offerings now include CMAA Class 'F', and capacities in excess
of 100 tons.
The Company now has a full range of services and experiences to draw upon,
including such major "turn key" projects such as the large aircraft
maintenance facility completed for U.S. Air Group in Charlotte, North
Carolina, a major multi-crane and installation project for NASA at Kennedy
Space Center, Honda, multiple Steel Warehouse projects, large capacity, long
span turbine room cranes for power plants, nuclear-spec cranes, and other
highly engineered specialized projects.
Today, with revenues exceeding 35M, employing 140 people, and operating from
a 70,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility, Foley Material Handling, with
its “Virginia Crane®” and “CRANEtrol®” product
lines, looks forward to continued growth and