Caldwell Celebrates 70 Years

Rockford, Illinois-based The Caldwell Group Inc. is celebrating 70 years. The below-the-hook and material handling equipment manufacturer will mark the occasion with a series of events, culminating in a late-summer gala with customers, partners, suppliers, and staff.

Founded by Leslie Caldwell in 1954, as a maker of lifting slings, the firm has expanded and moved several times over the decades, now occupying two large manufacturing and warehouse facilities.

The company has been shaped by numerous acquisitions and collaborations, including the purchase of the J.C. Renfroe lifting clamp business and a strategic partnership with RUD to bring lifting points and other products to the U.S. and Canada. Today, Caldwell employs over 120 people.

Doug Stitt, president and CEO, said: “Not only have we existed for 70 years, but we have evolved and developed what we provide to the marketplace.

“We’ve contributed to how people lift and move things, and how they can do it more safely. We’ve been able to provide a great place to work and created a community, so it’s really a celebration of all our people, suppliers, and customers that have supported and contributed to success and longevity.”

He added: “Business becomes tougher and tougher every year, it seems, so taking some time to appreciate our accomplishments is worthwhile. Nothing can be taken for granted in today’s marketplace. It’s important to celebrate significant milestones because it pays respect to all those who helped build the company and those that are currently working towards the next 70 years.

“It’s crazy to think we started out with sewing machines making slings and now we are one of the leading fabricators of welded, steel lifting products.”

Recent highlights include partnering with Majestic Steel USA to deliver coil grabs, sheet lifters, and hooks for a facility in Arkansas; expanding the series of RUD ACP-Turnado lifting points by adding Max and Supermax versions; and designing a 2,500-lb. capacity transport cradle, to facilitate final assembly of Intuitive Machines’ lunar lander, Nova-C.

The wider portfolio includes an assortment of below-the-hook lifters, for handling beams, coils, and sheet; mill-duty lifters; Posi-Turner load rotation equipment; vacuum lifters; construction lifters; fork truck attachments; jib and gantry cranes; Rig-Release remote releasing hooks, Dura-Lite composite lifting products; Renfroe lifting clamps; and RUD lifting points.

Stitt added: “Yes, the products we offer are different now, but we still focus on quality; we still focus on helping our customers solve problems, and we are still integral in keeping safe lifting at the forefront. We’ll continue to introduce new products and services for our customers, but I expect the next 70 years to focus on building quality products and providing our customers with the best overall experience possible—that’s what matters.”

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