Crane rental company opens new branch

By Katie Demeria

A Virginia company celebrating its 52nd anniversary this year is expanding by opening a new branch in Winchester.

W.O. Grubb is the largest crane rental company in the mid-Atlantic region as well as the 15th largest in the country, according to marketing coordinator David Wheeler. Their headquarters is in Richmond.

The Winchester branch has occupied a temporary location in the area for about a year, but branch manager Jason Miller said they finally made the move to their permanent home at 220 Tyson Drive last week.

“If you’ve ever moved, you know how hectic it can be,” Miller said. “But it’s been great, we’re doing really well.”

The company will host an open house for the public at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Wheeler said this is the company’s seventh branch.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work up in West Virginia, so we opened up this office to increase our footprint in that area,” Wheeler said. “Instead of having to ship a crane to that area, we decided to just set up the Winchester branch.”

Miller said the branch gets most of its business through crane rentals, though they also offer specialized hauling services. Cranes can be rented with or without an operator, and by day or hourly rates.

The branch has 12 full-time employees, but Miller said they “definitely have plans to expand.”

“Business has gotten better every day,” he said.

This year’s tough winter posed a few challenges, but Miller said they worked through it.

In the Winchester area for around 15 years, Miller said working for a larger company like W.O. Grubb has required a learning curve, but despite its size it is still a family business. Wheeler said the company has a second-generation owner.

“They’re family owned, and they still have a family environment,” Miller said. “I can call the owner, and talk to the owner or the owner’s daughter, so it still has that close feel.”

According to Wheeler, W.O. Grubb as a whole employs 300 to 350 employees, mostly in Virginia, many of them are operators or engineers.

“We’re definitely expanding now,” Wheeler said. “We’ve been purchasing new equipment and hiring new people.”

They have shipped equipment for projects as far south as Mexico or Puerto Rico, and provide equipment to the current work taking place on Interstate 95.

Miller said the business in Winchester has been growing, even while in their temporary location.

“My head’s been spinning because I’ve been renting cranes like crazy;, my phone’s blowing up right now,” he said. “It’s been a challenge, but it’s been a fun challenge.”

To learn more about the company, visit http://www.wogrubb.com.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com