Give us some background on your business.
Pettibone/Traverse Lift, LLC is owned by a parent company called The Heico Companies that is based out of Chicago, Illinois. We manufacture versatile material handling equipment to serve the construction, rail, mining, oil and gas, and forestry markets.
Pettibone was founded in 1881 as a manganese refinery located in Chicago, Illinois, where the company began to design and build specialized material handling equipment for use in their manganese operations. The company moved its factory to Baraga, Michigan in 1951.
Our product lines include the Cary-Lift which is primarily used in the gas and oil industry, the Speed Swing, which is used in the rail industry, and the Extendo line, a telehandler, primarily used in the construction industry. We sell our products through our dealer network in the United States and Canada, however, we also ship our products internationally to areas such as South America, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East.
How many years have you been in business?
Altogether Pettibone has been in business for about 138 years and operating in Baraga, MI for 68 years.
What’s an interesting fact about your business most people don’t know?
Pettibone designed and built what is believed to be the first rough terrain telescopic boom forklift – Extendo in 1970. Next year we will be celebrating its 50 year anniversary.
What is one thing you're most proud of so far?
The brand as such. Pettibone has been around for so many years, its machines are unique, reliable after decades and decades of usage. Our machines have exceptional durability in harsh environments globally and our customers recognize this.
Customers and followers are very passionate about our brand, they feel very connected to our company and products.
Do you have a personal or professional motto?
Our professional motto is to deliver reliable equipment, innovative solutions, and high quality services to professionals who build, maintain, and power the global infrastructure.
Who are the people in the background of your organization?
We are very tight group of people, we work very well together to make sure that we are providing the solutions that the customers are looking for. Our engineering team, supply chain, aftermarket, sales and marketing and shop floor are under the same building which allows us to get answers promptly and provide support to our customers in a very efficient manner.
Do you have any advice for new business owners?
Get involved with local chambers and get in contact with other local business owners. Will help you become aware of local, state, and federal programs that can assist you with the cost of doing business in the U.P.
What brought you to the area?
In 1949, Phil LaTendresse of LaTendresse Manufacturing in L’Anse, Michigan, developed the Cary-Lift, the world’s first extended-reach rough-terrain forklift. Mr. LaTendresse sold the manufacturing and marketing rights to Pettibone in 1951, and Pettibone continue production in L’Anse and then Baraga.
What keeps you here?
The strong work ethic and positive attitude of the people of Upper Michigan.
What are your business's goals?
Our goal is to grow our business through new product development, increasing domestic sales by establishing new dealers, and grow our International business by locating new customers in markets that fit our product portfolio.
How can people keep up to date on what's happening at your organization?
People can find about us in our website: gopettibone.com and in our Social Media platforms, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. We are very active online and keep our followers informed on any company and product updates, any new dealers that are signed up, and any trade show or events that the Pettibone team is involved with.
Anything else you want the community to know about your business?
We started a new telehandler rental program for the local area. We look forward to support the local construction industry and see more Pettibone machines working on local job sites. Furthermore, if you are looking for a job opportunity be sure to check our career page for open full-time and internship positions.