Handling the Heavy Lifting
With four decades of experience and over 1,500 pieces of quality new and used lift equipment for rent and purchase, Aerial Work Platforms…delivers
Locally owned and operated since 1979, Aerial Work Platforms, Inc. has grown to achieve its place as a tried and true outlet for commercial rental and sales of the industry’s leading lift equipment throughout Wisconsin. As an added benefit, the company has recently hired a safety and inspection coordinator, building upon its commitment to provide safety training to its customers in adherence to ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards (which is supported by OSHA) and annual safety inspections, ensuring the best possible outcome on every job.
A Company and Industry Evolve
Pat Barney, Founder and Owner of Aerial Work Platforms, started the company at a time when the industry itself was in its early days. He and his then business partner, Randy Truckenbrodt, focused on Genie products, which is a main supplier of lifting equipment in the state. Back then, Pat recalls, “We had no rental business; it was just going around trying to sell one-man push-around lifts to schools. The market was a fraction of what it is today,” he says. “Scaffolding was still a big deal when we started doing this. In the early ‘90s, our Sales Manager at the time, Dan Brown, got a two-year rental for 12 scissor lifts for AC Delco, which really set us on a path for growth. We owned five lifts at the time.”
Dan, who had spent his entire 25-year career at AWP, sadly passed away in 2014 after a courageous battle with cancer. He remains a huge inspiration to everyone at AWP. In fact, his photo hangs on the entry wall of the office as a daily reminder of the influence he’s had on the business.
Ultimately, from Dan’s early lift deal to today, AWP has evolved by trying to survive. But that evolution has proven bigger than just mere survival. While Pat humbly attributes much of his business’ growth to the popularity of using lifts to provide a safe and much more efficient work environment, it is Aerial Work Platforms’ customer-centric attitude that has helped catapult the firm to its current stature.
Mutual Trust and Respect
Pat shares his philosophy of treating others the way you’d want to be treated, noting, “We don’t look to squeeze every nickel out of every rental. We look to develop a customer rather than merely get a rental—and the basis of that is earning the customer’s trust. If they have a problem, we’ll work with them to make sure that it is satisfactorily handled for both of us. It’s a two-way street. There has to be an appreciation for what each of us—the customer and the supplier—is trying to do.”
Pat adds, “We care about the workers, while also helping to make them more efficient. This is particularly important now, as the ANSI standard A92 has just been revised effective December of 2019, which is the first update and revision in over 10 years. The new regulations will require training and an annual safety inspection of each piece of equipment, whether it’s ours or the customer’s own piece of equipment.”
Meeting the Challenge
One of the biggest challenges is having the right piece of equipment at the right time and the right place for their customers. But, with a tremendous inventory of Genie products, among other suppliers, as well as an experienced team working in the background, Aerial Work Platforms can meet virtually any need. The company, in fact, has approximately 60 different types of lifts and more than 1,500 pieces of rental equipment, ranging from 4’ material lifts to 150’ boom lifts.
Specializing in both rentals and sales at its three Wisconsin locations—Sussex, Neenah and Janesville—Aerial Work Platforms serves a wide array of subcontractors, providing equipment to everyone from HVAC, plumbing and electrical contractors to painting, environmental, window/glass, drywall, security, fire protection, roofing and communications contractors.
Beyond its professional alliances, Aerial Work Platforms also proudly supports a number of local charities and organizations that are near and dear to Pat and other members of his team, including community projects for seniors and support of the Waukesha North High School band, Hamilton Education Foundation, Special Olympics and the annual Waukesha Rotary BluesFest.
Aided by members of his leadership team, including Jennifer Bazylewicz, Manager/Administration, who has been with the company for 21 years, and Jason Funk, Manager/Operations, a 14-year veteran of Aerial Work Platforms, the company continues to make strides supporting the aerial lift needs of its customers. And while it’s a constant moving target, Aerial Work Platforms has proven, time and time again since 1979, that it is “committed to superior customer service and value.”