Universal Equipment President Alastair Robertson Dies

Alastair Robertson

Longtime MEWP industry veteran and advocate Alastair Robertson, president of Universal Equipment in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, died Jan. 30, 2019. He was 69.

Robertson, who was born Oct. 28, 1949, started in the MEWP industry in 1981 as a sales manager for Simon Aerials, which was subsequently purchased by Terex, followed by roles at Economy Engineering (acquired by Snorkel), Snorkel, Grove Manlift, and Skyjack. He then worked at S and R Equipment, JLG’s dealer in Chicago, from 1991 to 1995.

He started brokering in 1995 with Dealer Alliance in Rockford, Illinois, and incorporated Universal Equipment Inc. in 1998. He has worked with various manufacturers, including Niftylift, Aichi Corporation, Custom Equipment Inc., Genie, Snorkel, Reechcraft, and GMG, and has experience selling used MEWPs overseas.

Universal Equipment is a family-run company, where Robertson's two sons Glenn and Brent also work. The company has been a member of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) since 2004, and Robertson has served on the North American Regional Council since then as well.

Robertson shared his industry knowledge and expertise as a judge for Lift and Access magazine’s Leadership in Lifting Equipment and Aerial Platforms (LLEAP) Awards in 2018.

Ebbe Christensen, chairman of the IPAF North American Regional Council and president of ReachMaster, said Robertson was known for generously sharing his time and knowledge with colleagues throughout the industry.

“You could always count on Alastair, and IPAF in particular benefited from that,” Christensen said. “He was a stout supporter of safety first, and he generously donated his three T’s: time, talent, and treasure to the organization, both here in North America and internationally.”

Christensen said Robertson was a man of integrity, both professionally and personally, and was always interested in new products and services that could better serve the access industry.

A memorial service to celebrate Robertson's life will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 8, 2019, at Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus, located at 2815 Jorie Blvd., Oak Brook, IL 60523.

In lieu of flowers, Robertson's family is requesting memorial donations be directed to the Re:New Project for Refugee Women. For more information, visit www.renewproject.org.