JJ Curran Crane Company has been in the crane equipment rental and lifting equipment business since 1950. When you call us, you can be sure to receive high quality equipment and service. For over 70 years we have worked to bring our customers a fleet of equipment that is second to none.
Meeting the Needs of Our Customers
To do this, we constantly reevaluate our customers’ needs and invest in the latest technology. Our fleet consists of all terrain and rough terrain hydraulic cranes from 8 to 450 tons. Combine this with our unique ability to supply mobilifts, boom trucks, shooting fork lifts, as well as our ability to source a full range of crawler and tower cranes you will agree: JJ Curran Crane Company is the only company that can handle all of your lifting needs in southeastern Michigan.
At JJ Curran Crane Company, we owe everything to John J. (JJ) and Jacquelyn Curran—our founders and the proud parents of five Curran children. Their commitment to family and each other made it possible for JJ Curran to become a thriving business in metro Detroit for over 70 years.
The Early Years
In 1950, JJ (John) Curran started Dearborn Excavating with a 1933 Link Belt Speeder Backhoe he purchased for $400. With only two other employees, the small business did most of their work for Aurora Gasoline Company, now part of Marathon Oil. The steady work allowed for new equipment to be purchased and the company soon began to take all types of excavating work including basements, sewers and water mains. With continued growth and ongoing projects, by 1958 the company was handling million-dollar underground construction projects.
It was 1954 when JJ bought his first crane—a Lorraine 30-ton mobile truck crane. At the time, it was one of the largest cranes of its type in Detroit. This was his first step toward forming a new business division called Downriver Crane Company. The fleet expanded to six mobile cranes and business was booming.
By 1959, JJ could see that his crane work was generating as much income as the excavating business, but many thought the company only did work in the downriver area so JJ decided to rename the crane business to JJ Curran Crane Company. From there, they began getting work throughout the Midwest and there was no looking back.
Over the next two decades, JJ Curran continued to expand its fleet including the addition of a 140-ton Grove Hydraulic truck crane—which at the time was one of the largest anywhere in the world. By the 1970’s the JJ Curran Crane Company operated a fleet of over 50 machines.
John J. Curran:
“JJ,” as he was known, served in the Marine Corps during World War II, and finished his education at Michigan State College. In 1950, he started the Dearborn Excavating Company working as an earth moving contractor. Gradually cranes became his livelihood and eventually the JJ Curran Crane Company was formed in 1959. In his earlier years, JJ was an avid pilot, sportsman, and hunter. Eventually cars, boating and golf were his passions.
“Jackie” married JJ in 1949 and raised five children and supported JJ in all his business endeavors. She was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and very committed to JJ Curran Crane Company. JJ and Jackie put the “family” in family business and their legacy lives on with every customer we serve at JJ Curran Crane Company.
Larry Curran is a graduate of Michigan State University where he was a member of the hockey team. Larry joined JJ Curran Crane as a full-time employee in 1974, working in all divisions of the company, allowing him better insight to the total operation of the crane business. During his tenure with the company, he was actively involved with Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) and has served on the Board of Directors. In January of 2019, Larry retired from JJ Curran. “Working with my brother has been a tremendous and rewarding experience,” said Jeff Curran. “I want to thank Larry and his entire family for their dedication and commitment to our family business over the years.”
In 2019, Jeff Curran took over as President of the company. He continues to grow the business and stay true to the company motto their dad introduced in the late 60’s: “It’s Not Luck, It’s Know How.”