MEC Preps for Ambitious Entry into Boom Lift Market

In a recent visit and exclusive interview at MEC Aerial Work Platform's production facility in Selma, Calif., Lift and Access learned that MEC is preparing for an aggressive move into the self-propelled boom lift market.

“During the last few years we have successfully introduced a complete line of electric and RT scissor lifts, and these products have been well received in the construction, maintenance, and rental markets,” said Jim Tolle, president of MEC. “As we take our organization to the next level by introducing a complete range of high-performance articulating and telescopic booms, we also have continued to add several key players to our team along the way.”

One of the newest members of MEC's team is Steve Citron, director of business development. Citron has 25 years of industry experience, including 20 years with boom lift manufacturer Genie Industries. Other key individuals who have joined MEC include David White, a 23-year Upright veteran who was recently appointed president of MEC manufacturing and engineering, and Ross Charest, who has been named director of operations, having 25 years of experience with a variety of industry-leading manufacturers including Rubbermaid and Sunrise Medical.

During the site visit, Lift and Access was shown a preliminary timeline that mapped out boom lift model introductions through the end of 2010. “This is a significant multi-model program and multi-year commitment that will position MEC as a leading full-line manufacturer of aerial work platforms,” Citron said. “We have the benefit of looking at everything that is currently on the market, allowing us to improve upon existing designs and to develop products that will provide a very compelling value proposition and an exceptional return on investment.” He later added that he has “never been averse to changing the rules or challenging the status quo when it comes to product development,” and this project will be no exception.

Although Tolle said that it will be a tight timeframe, MEC plans to unveil prototypes of its 40-foot M40T telescopic boom lift and 46-foot M46TJ telescopic boom lift with jib at ConExpo in March. “And if we get lucky, we may have a surprise or two at The Rental Show in February as well,” Tolle said.

The overall introduction plan for 2008 includes two additional models beyond the 40 and 46-foot telescopic machines that will be revealed to the industry at ConExpo. Several other models are planned for introduction in 2009 and 2010, including the possibility of much larger telescopic and articulating machines in the 130- to 140-foot platform height range.

Although some plant capacity is available at MEC's current manufacturing facility, other buildings in the area are in place to handle the increased production requirements. MEC has secured a substantial line of credit to fund this aggressive and ambitious plan. “We have the team, talent, and financial resources in place and are committed to making this happen,” Tolle said.