Walt Connelly started his company, L.W. Connelly & Son, in his home in 1943. Setting up an office in his basement, he ran his crane by day and did the bookkeeping at night. He used his expertise from working as a Laborer building the Detroit Tunnel to Windsor and as a ‘river rat” operator building bridges and dams along the Mississippi River. Working as an operator along the river is when Walt’s dream of owning a crane company developed. By 1945, through hard work and determination, he was operating the largest truck crane in the Detroit area: a 25-ton Lorain. It featured a 6 x 6 drive and had 100’ of main boom and 15’ of jib.
As time went on, Walt expanded his business. He moved the operation to a commercial building that had plenty of space for his growing enterprise. He purchased more cranes and hired more operators. By this time, his projects ranged from small, residential basements to some of the largest sites in the Detroit area: the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant, Allen Park High School, and Cobo Hall.
In 1958 Walt’s son, Dennis, joined his dad at the company. Walt taught him the importance of having good equipment and quality operators, as well as a strong work ethic. Father and son continued to expand the business. In the early 1970’s the company outgrew its Fenkell location and moved to the current location in Redford, MI. Leaving his company in good hands, Walt retired to Florida in 1976 and enjoyed his well-deserved retirement.
As the second generation, Dennis’ focus was on hard work and determination, as well as providing cranes and qualified operators. He added mechanics, sales estimators, and a bookkeeper to his payroll. As the business grew, he added to the fleet, purchasing cutting edge Krupp cranes that were among the first of their kind in the Detroit area. The increased boom lengths and capacities of this new equipment allowed Dennis to continue to provide the best lifting solutions for his customers.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the third generation of Connellys entered the family business. Dennis’s sons, Mike, Brian, and DJ, all worked for their father. Each of them started out at the bottom – oiling for experienced crane operators and learning the trade. Throughout the 1980s, the young men gained valuable field experience, as well as carrying on the family values of hard work, determination, and excellent customer service.
Dennis passed away unexpectedly in 1992, leaving the business for his sons. They took the lessons learned from their father and grandfather – the importance of having quality equipment, excellent employees, and how to treat a customer like a friend – and continued the family legacy.
Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, Connelly Crane continued to provide innovative lifting solutions for southeast Michigan. With the addition of tower cranes, large capacity rough terrain cranes, all terrain cranes, and crawler cranes, they became Michigan’s most complete crane rental. Walt’s dream of expansion was realized with the addition of branches in Lansing and Bay City. Connelly cranes could be found on a variety of job sites ranging from residential sites to more high-profile sites like hospitals, universities, stadiums, and business parks.
As the company has grown in the last 80 years, so has the Connelly family. Several of Walt’s great-grandchildren and their spouses are now working in the family business. Just like Dennis, Mike, Brian, and DJ, the fourth generation is learning the business from the bottom up – starting out as oilers and are learning the trade from highly trained operators, as well as gaining knowledge from the third generation. They are getting hands-on experience in the field while preserving the ideals on which Connelly Crane was founded: providing quality equipment and operators, paired with outstanding customer service.
American Cranes & Transport recently featured an article about Connelly Crane Rental which is September 05, 2022.The article was written by D.Ann Shiffler on
We at Connelly Crane know that it takes much more than providing the right equipment for your lifting solution. The best equipment has no use without an operator to run it and mechanics to keep them serviced. Our employees are trained, qualified, and certified to operate their machines safely and efficiently. When you hire Connelly Crane, we provide the labor and equipment, but also the values passed down from Walt and Dennis. Contact us to schedule your next lift and see why we are proud of what we have done for four generations.
2019 - The first 400 Ton Crane added to our fleet, “Big Gizz II” Liebherr LTM 1350.6.1, has some big shoes as it replaces its predecessor, but manages to do it with ease with its 230’ of Main Boom, Luffer, and TY Super Lift.
2018 - With the ability to travel and operate during the Spring Weight Restrictions, the addition of a 40 Ton Manitex Boom Truck (with 125’ of Main Boom & 55’ Telescopic Jib) helps make Connelly Crane the premier crane rental company in the Michigan market.
2018 - The dependability and ease of operation of our new 55 Ton Tadano GR550XL, with 113’ Main & 50’ Jib, becomes available to our customers.
2016 - “LIL GRIZZ” Liebherr joins our All Terrain division: a 265 Ton LTM 1220.5.2 with 197’ of Main Boom and a 23’ Main Boom extension, & up to 118’ of jib. This crane makes heights and reaches unheard of in this class of machines.
2015 - Connelly Crane adds 6 new Rough Terrain Link-Belts: a 30ton, a 50ton, (2) 65 tons, & (2) 80tons. Bringing the newest technology in the rough terrain world into the Michigan market.
2014 - Another Link-Belt RTC 8080II is acquired, increasing the number of Rough Terrains with over 200’ of hook height to a total of 4.
2013 - Always looking to expand our fleet of Frost Law compliant cranes, we add a 38 Ton Manitex Boom Truck to our already large list of mobile cranes.
2011 - A tiny addition to our repertoire, a Broderson Carry Deck 4 Ton IC 35-2A makes small jobs in tight areas seem easy.
2008 - 4 new Link-Belt Rough Terrain cranes, ranging from 30 Ton to 90 Ton, are added to our fleet along with a Grove 50 Ton RT650E, helping to give Connelly Crane the ability to service all of our customers’ needs.
2008 - Connelly reaches to new heights (and extends our limits) with the additions of a 230 ton 298HSL Link-Belt , a 200Ton LS 248 H5 Link-Belt, and a Kobelco CK1600-II to our fleet of luffing compatible crawler cranes.
2007 - The acquisition of two new Link-Belt Crawler cranes, a 110 ton 218HSL and a 150 ton LS238H5, helps to meet the increasing demand of crawler cranes in the Michigan job market.
2006 - New Grove GMK 5120B & GMK 5165 (120 Ton and 165Ton respectively) make a great addition to our All Terrain Crane Fleet. Both machines are equipped with 5 all steer axles and move great, both on and off the road.
2006 - 7 New Link-Belt Cranes get added to our already diverse fleet which include: 110 Ton & 200 Ton Crawler Cranes, 90 Ton - 75 Ton - 65 Ton Rough Terrains, and 90 Ton & 75 Ton Truck Cranes.
2006 - We are proud to add to the Michigan skyline three additional tower cranes, including a Potain MDT178 flat top city tower crane.
2005 - Michigan’s first rental barn with tower cranes. The addition of two New Peiner SK 415 tower cranes and a Potain HDT80 portable tower crane allow us to fully satisfy all of our customers’ crane needs.
2001 - 360 ton all terrain “Big Grizz” Liebherr Our largest state of the art all terrain, leading its class in capacities and reach, 2,800# at 300′ radius.
2000 - First 250 ton Liebherr crawler250 ton Liebherr is the largest mobile crawler in therental fleet, leading its class in capacity and radius.
2000 - 40 ton Link-Belt rough terrain40 ton Link-Belt offers 156′ of boom & jib& 135′ radius, more than any other 40 ton in the area.
1989 - Most compact all terrain in Michigan 45 ton Krupp 105′ boom 43′ offsetable extension.
1988 - Largest truck crane in Michigan360 ton Krupp.
1987 - Largest all terrain in Midwest80 ton Krupp.
1982 - 165 ton conventional truck craneLeads the class in capacities plus boom lengths.
1978 - 100 ton conventional truck craneAdded to extensive fleet of hydraulic T.C. &R.T. & Conventional T.C., crawler & tower cranes.
1971 - Longest self erecting conventional boom150 ton T.C. with 340′ of boom plus jib.
1968 - Largest mobile tower crane90 ton T.C. With 150′ tower plus 90′ boom.
1964 - First hydraulic truck crane in rental fleet12 ton hydraulic T.C. With 51′ boom plus 17′ jib.
1963 - First mobile tower crane50 ton T.C. With 105′ tower plus 90′ boom.
1961 - First hydraulic R.T. in Detroit rental fleet12 ton Austin Western.
1960 - Largest truck crane in Michigan65 ton, later rerated to 75 ton, also converted10 ton crane boom for jib.
1946 - First extendable jibCustom built to 30′, largest jib in area.
1945 - Largest truck crane in Detroit area20/25 ton with 100′ boom and 15′ jib, 6 x 6 drive.
1943 - Connelly Crane established in the Detroit area.
A. Please call our office at (313) 531-2700 for more information.
A. Wind can also be a hindrance to material handling operations. We work in windy conditions as long as it is safe to do so.
A. Many questions can be answered over the phone, and our staff will be happy to give you an estimate if possible. Free estimates are available for any jobs that cannot be accurately determined over the phone.
A. Weeks in advance, would be ideal or even a few days before the job, depending on availability. To place an order, call our office at (313) 531-2700.
A. We prefer at least one day prior notice. Cancellations should be made by 12:00 pm the business day before the job.
A. We gladly accept visa, mastercard, amex, cash, check and approved credit.
A. All of our operators are certified through NCCCO - National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators.
A. We complete daily inspections as well as third party annual inspections.
A. We can work in light rain as long as the rain does not pose a safety concern to those working.