George Frost's first experience in the crane industry came in 1970. His future father in law, J. Robert Carmichael, had owned and operated a bridge crane company, Carmichael Crane, since 1954. One Friday night, Robert was short help for a job the next day and needed an extra set of hands getting several cranes wired and started up. George spent the next day stripping wires on several 5-Ton cranes, and then spent the next 17 years working for Robert.

Started in a Barn

On July 1, 1987, George Frost left his father-in-law's crane company to set out on his own. The concept from the beginning was simple, 50% service, 50% new installations, to be a company that could provide turn-key crane and hoist solutions. From the beginning, Mass Crane was a family company. George's wife, Sue Frost, maintained the company's finances during those first, often lean years. Including George and Sue, Mass Crane and Hoist started out with a staff of 4 full time employees and was based out of a barn in their backyard in Dunstable, MA. George remembers a customer that couldn't accept delivery of a 60' long patented track system, so they re-routed the flatbed to his house and used his bucket tractor to shuttle the beams down his driveway.

The 1990's: Gradual and Consistent Growth

Two challenging years of hard work and dedication led to a 1989 move to a 2-bay garage in Westech Industrial Park. The move was only 4 miles from the barn geographically, but a huge leap for the young company. The fabrication bay in Westech was 20'x60', and before long they were building cranes that would fill the entire bay. Mass Crane had grown to about 7 full-time employees by this time and the company's name became more well known in the industry.

By 1995, Mass Crane was bursting at the seams and needed more space for fabrication. The solution was another relocation, this time 9 miles south to Turnpike Road in Chelmsford. His staff had continued to grow as well, George estimates he had reached a dozen full time employees by the mid-90's. Again, it wasn't long before the company needed more room. In 2000, they added a 100'x40' main bay to the facility on Turnpike Road, to a total fabrication area of 7,500 sq-ft. Here Mass Crane would stay for another 8 years, though the company would grow in other ways during the early 2000's.

An Easy Decision, and a Difficult One

George's two sons, Scott and Jon, had grown up around the company, working in the shop or in the field after school, doing the odd-jobs, the dirty jobs, that are a part of doing business. In the early 2000's both came on board with Mass Crane full time. Scott joined the sales group and Jon joined the service department. Combined with several other recent additions, the number of full-time employees was now approaching 20.

Then, in 2003, a local competitor dissolved and the company had a decision to make. They could take advantage of the immediate availability of several talented individuals with both knowledge and experience in the industry. This carried with it the risk of growing too fast. The other option was to continue the slow growth that had been so effective in Mass Crane's 15-year history. They opted to take a chance and over the next two years, Mass Crane brought on a general manager, a project manager, another salesman, a millwright, and several service technicians.

Promotion and Expansion

After several years of stable growth, Mass Crane needed more space and more leadership. In 2006, Scott and Jon were promoted to President and Vice President, respectively. In 2008, Mass Crane moved into a new 20,000 sq-ft facility on Progress Ave in Tyngsboro MA. Over the next 11 years, Mass Crane continued to grow and expand, adding millwrights, service technicians, engineers, and a salesman. By 2014, the size of the company grew to over 35 people, and what had seemed like such a large shop in 2008 began looking very small. Plans began to build a new, 50,000 sq-ft facility, 2 miles to the south, only 1/2 mile from where the company had begun, in Westech park, 27 years earlier. In April 2019, Mass Crane moved into their new, state-of-the-art headquarters on Potash Hill Road in Tyngsboro, and in July 2019, Mass Crane's 40+ employees will celebrate the company's 32nd birthday.