Celebrating 60 Years as Family Owned Crane Business

Shawnut Equipment, a leading distributor since 1957, turns 60 this year. Shawmut represents the Manitowoc Crane Group’s range of construction cranes, including Manitowoc crawler cranes, Grove rough-terrain cranes, Grove GMK all-terrain cranes, Grove hydraulic crawler cranes, Grove Yard Boss industrial cranes, National boom trucks and Potain self-erecting cranes, as well as a variety of utility equipment. Shawmut is a full-service company, with threes facilities offering sales, rentals, parts and service located in Manchester, Conn., South Easton, Mass., and Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

Shawmut was founded in 1957 by George O’Connell and is still run by the O’Connell family. David O’Connell, George’s son, joined the company in the 1960s and took over as president in 1960. David O’Connell’s sons, Brian and Kevin, joined the business in the early 2000s, as well as his nephew Joe Vergoni. All three of them are vice presidents and sales representatives of the company.

“Our business philosophy is to do the right thing for the customer in each and every aspect of the business,” said David O’Connell. “This is the only way to succeed. We have repeat customers who have done business with us for generations, as well as new customers who are doing business with us for the first time. We attempt to treat all customers in a fair and honest manner, whether is concerns an equipment sale, a rental a parts purchase or service work. I am extremely fortunate to have my two boys, Brian and Kevin, and my nephew Joe Vergoni deeply involved in the family business. They are learning the same business values from me that I learned from their grandfather.”

In 1963, the company became one of Grove’s first distributors, serving Connecticut and Western Massachusetts out of its Manchester, Conn., office. In 1995, Shawmut was made the exclusive dealer for the Manitowoc Company’s crawler crane line for all of New England. In the late 1990s, the company opened another full-service facility in Massachusetts to speed up response time for service and parts in the expanded territory. When Manitowoc acquired Grove Worldwide in 2002, Shawmut represented all of its product lines.

In 2008, Shawmut was awarded the territory of the Atlantic provinces of Canada. Shawmut Equipment of Canada was created and opened a facility in Saint John, New Brunswick. In now serves New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Shawmut is building an additional facility in Elmsdale, Nova Scotia.

In 2014, Shawmut started offering utility equipment sales and rentals, as well as the support required for these machines. It supplies Terex TM Hi-Ranger tracked material handling buckets, Terex General digger derricks, tracked National cranes and Morooka rubber track carriers.

“This transition was very organic for Shawmut,” said Vergoni. “We had already been providing utility contractors with cranes, so when they started to ask us to provide additional utility equipment, we felt it was a great opportunity for our company. At the time of our utility equipment expansion, major utility projects such as the Maine Power Reliability Program, New England East West Solution and Maritime Link were under way with the Northern Pass on the horizon.”

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