WAUKESHA – If you would have asked Andy Sharp three years ago what his goals were for Superior Crane Corp., the answer would have been easy: build higher-capacity cranes and break into the major steel mill market.
Today, he and business partner Robert Healy have done just that.
On Feb. 4, Superior, 208 Wilmont Drive, Waukesha, will begin shipping two cranes to a major steel mill in Arkansas. Weighing in at more than 320,000 pounds, the cranes are the largest Superior has built to date and are able to handle 42-ton steel loads.
The crane’s cab includes seating for one and is equipped with air conditioning, refrigeration and a microwave for the 24-hour shifts its operators will be working. It was designed and built at Superior’s warehouse in Waukesha.
Landing the job for the Arkansas steel mill, which Sharp was unwilling to identify, contributed to record sales in 2012.
With revenue 30 percent above 2011, 2012 was the most profitable year in Superior Crane’s history. Sales took a 30 percent hit in 2009 with the recession; however, Sharp said a strong 2011 and even stronger 2012 has the company outperforming what it did in 2008.