This article was taken from the website of Crane & Machinery,Inc.

(Content for this page Copyright © 2000 The Waterways Journal)


Observing the E-Crane™ installation from left to right: Mike Pregont & Craig Hagedorn of Crane & Machinery; Jerry Smith & Mark Smith of Wayne B. Smith; Bill Beebe of E-Crane™ International USA; Wayne B. Smith, founder; Lieven Bauwens of Indusign, the E-Crane’s Engineering firm; Matt Smith of Wayne B. Smith and Mark Osborne of E-Crane International, USA; Pat Short of Wayne B. Smith not shown.




This E-Crane™ was just installed along the Missippi River at Wayne B. Smith’s Louisiana, Mo., facility. The Central and Western U.S. E-Crane distributor, Crane & Machinery, Inc. handled the sale and installation.

With five more U.S. installations already scheduled this year, the E-Crane™ has proven its merits in bulk material handling through improved productivity, with safe and easy usage.

E-Crane International, USA is the U.S. representative for the E-Crane™.


For three years after Wayne B. Smith got into the rock business in 1964 in Louisiana, Mo., he wished he had never seen or heard of rocks. “There wasn’t a big market and it was something new,” he said. And don’t try to tell him those were the good old days. “When anybody tells me about the good old days I tell them to shut up. We’re living in them,” he said. Through the past 36 years Smith has built his business, Wayne B. Smith Inc., into a successful multimodal terminal at Upper Mississippi River Mile 282 and S.S.S. quarry across the road, as well as one in New London, Mo.

Today the company has 30 employees and remains a family-run operation. Smith’s son Jerry takes care of the day-to-day operations and Jerry’s twin son’s Matt and Mark are supervisors. Even with the new generations carrying on the family business Smith comes to the offic every day – when he’s not spending winters in Arizona – and remains a strong supporter of the river which has played a large part in the success of his business.Smith came to Louisiana from Memphis, Tenn., in 1955 and went into the lumber business with two partners, the Shannon brothers. In 1964 he bought them out and expanded into the quarry business. Smith explained that at the time he envied those in the mining industry because they had access to a seemingly unlimited raw product. Good trees were becoming difficult to find. Smith found out that hard work was hard work, be it trees or rocks.

One constant in both enterprises was the river. Logs, brought to the river facility, have given way to sand, rock, bauxite and many other dry bulk commodities. The river terminal boasts a renovated 1,200-foot dock with a new electro-hydraulic E-Crane. Smith dredges state and commercial grade sand right from the river and boasts that it is “one of the finest quality snads on the Upper Mississippi River.”

Even with business a little slow earlier this year, Smith says through it all the business has been good to him. He doesn’t plan on the business getting any bigger on his watch, but that does not preclude getting better.

“I don’t want to get big enough where it would create a problem. We’re not going to miss any meals doing what we’re doing. We’ll fine-tune anytime we can do something better,” he said.

So it leaves Smith scratching his head as to why some people are bent on shutting down the river.

“These people who want to stop up the river, I don’t understand them. They’re intelligent, in one way. If it was one nut you could accept that,” Smith said.

He likens their thinking to that of a woman he met at a community softball game. She presented Smith with a petition to sign that called for stopping construction of a nuclear power plant. “I said, ‘honey, what do you know about atomic energy? Have you ever heard of anyone killed inside a nuclear power plant? How many coal miners are going to be killed this year?'”

It’s the same way with anti-navigation forces, he says. They don’t stop to think that there would be trucks and railroad cars lined end to end, “from here to New Orleans” if river transportation suddenly stopped, not to mention that the economy would be much weaker, he said.

Smith watches the debate closely and remains hopeful that river transportation will remain viable. “I would hope we will win out. Because we are right.” he said.

NEW E-CRANE One thing for sure, the Smiths plan on being on the river for a while. In keeping with the philosophy of doing things better the company on May 24th commissioned its new E-Crane, purchased through Crane & Machinery Inc. of Bridgeview, Ill.

Wayne B. Smith Inc., E-Crane and Crane & Machinery personnel were all on hand that day as the elder Smith ceremoniously cracked a bottle of champagne over the foot of the crane and took possession of the keys. The event marked the end of a seven-month process that began with the crane’s construction and testing in Belgium.
After testing the crane was disassembled and loaded on a ship on April 10. It arrived in Burns harbor in Indiana. From there it was trucked in seven parts to Lousiana, Mo. Greg Hagedorn, sales representative for Crane & Machinery Inc., the North American distributor for E-Crane International USA, explained that the process went smoothly due to the organization and help from Wayne B. Smith personnel. Pat Short, and engineer for Smith, was instrumental in organizing the onsite setup. It took E-Crane personnel about a week to erect the crane, Hagedorn said.Jerry Smith said the new crane will be used dockside to unload bulk commodities. “It has the potential to increase capacity, but the main reason we went with it was the ease of operation, efficiency and operator friendliness,” he said.Smith became acquainted with E-Crane and went to see a similar model in operation at LaForge Corporation in Paducah, Ky. Once Smith decided to sign on the dotted line in September engineering work for the crane began across the Atlantic Ocean and construction started within 60 days.

Smith’s new E-Crane is an E-Crane Series 1500, model 10264-PD-E. The 250 h.p. crane, with an 8.5 cubic-yard bucket, has an 86-foot reach. It has an electric over hydraulic operating system and a 16.5-ton duty cycle rating.

The Smith crane was the fifth E-Crane installed for waterway cargo use. Five more installations are scheduled for this year.



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