Lift Industry Veteran Birkhauser Retires

After a lifetime in the lifting industry – the majority with Manitowoc Cranes and Grove – Dave Birkhauser retired at the end of 2009. In his role as senior vice president of sales for the Americas region, Birkhauser oversaw all aspects of sales for Manitowoc’s four brands – Manitowoc crawler cranes, Grove mobile cranes, National Crane boom trucks and Potain tower cranes.  He also had responsibility for sales in Latin America. Birkhauser began his crane industry career just out of college as a sales representative for America State Equipment, a Manitowoc distributor in Milwaukee. After nearly two decades with the dealership, he left the industry briefly, but returned to his roots in the mid-1980s to manage Krupp’s North American organization. Birkhauser said his team at Krupp was instrumental in the successful launch of all-terrain cranes in North America.

“The cranes had been successfully launched in Europe, where the roading requirements were 12 metric tons per axle. But roading restrictions in North America were much more stringent,” he said. “Our engineering team was able to reconfigure the cranes to be able to road them in almost all states, which was essential to the cranes’ success in North America.”

Birkhauser remained with the company as senior vice president of sales and marketing, when it was purchased by Grove Worldwide in 1995.  When Manitowoc bought Grove in 2002, he became senior vice president of sales for the Americas region. From 2002 until his retirement, Birkhauser led the North American sales force.

Birkhauser and his wife Terri have relocated to North Carolina to be near yearlong golf and their grandchildren. “But not necessarily in that order,” he insists.