LAGRANGE, Ill. (CBS) — John Mooncotch Sr., 86, founded LaGrange Crane Service in 1964, and his business continues to live by the slogan, “If you can’t get it up, we’ll get it up for you.”
Mooncotch was an ironworker by trade and graduated to owning his own steel erection business. Then, according to the company Web site, when the company was not using its cranes to erect steel, it began renting out the cranes.
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“They first come out in 1965 – the hydraulic cranes… they were just giving me one to take one and try it out and get it on the street,” he said. “I took one, and then I just kept growing from there.”
John Mooncotch’s wife, Judy, owns the company now. Ask him if there are any wild stories to tell you about owning a crane rental company, and Mooncotch will tell you the company has done a lot of work for Brookfield Zoo.
“Lions, we’ve moved around; tigers; cages,” he said.
The company has also worked on projects for the Chicago Transit Authroity’s Red and Brown Line ‘L,’ the Presidential Towers gymnasium, and everything from wind towers to billboards.
The company’s most recent high-profile job was using a massive crane to lift a 55-foot tall spruce tree over two 50-foot trees at the Spangler family home in Western Springs, so the spruce could be delivered downtown to become Chicago’s Daley Plaza Christmas tree.