The origins of Smart-Rig® Cranes began with an American soldier's heroic tale and tragic death during the Vietnam War in the late 1960's.
Donnie Clark (1947-1968) volunteered to join the United States ARMY as a paratrooper at the age of 20, inspired by his father Hershal D. Clark (U.S. Airforce Master Sgt. in WWII and former employee of Cessna Aircraft). Demonstrating extreme intelligence and courage, Donnie was soon transferred to the 25th Infantry Division as a machine gunner for search and destroy missions against the NVA (North Vietnamese Army). During his downtime, Donnie and his close brother he grew up with, Ricky Clark (Veteran U.S. Airforce), corresponded regularly by mailing letters. On Feb. 6th, 1968 - during the TET Offensive - while attempting to extinguish a fire to save his fellow soldiers from burning alive inside a U.S. tank struck by a surprise attack... a 2nd mortar hit the tank killing Donnie Clark instantly. He died 15 miles outside of Saigon and was awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and 6 other medals of honor during his short Military career.
His letters remained with his brother back in the states which contained personal communications as well as initial ideas, sketches, and concepts for small mobile cranes; describing a need for quickness, portability and vertical rigging needs in tight areas around his base for repairs and maintenance on military machinery, large vessels, Jeeps, vehicles and aircraft/helicopters.
The Clark family developed Donnie's initial sketches and ideas slowly through R & D, but after the war Donnie's brother concentrated on his own construction company and his family, so the notes were stored in an attic, where they remained for two decades.
The letters were discovered by the eldest Clark male, Josh Clark (Donnie's Nephew) who turned old ideas into a new reality. Josh Clark's grandfather from his mother's side (a U.S. Marine in WWII & Korean War, also a seasoned airplane pilot) was a crane operator-engineer in the U.S. who mentored him during summers on building jobsites; teaching him about machinery, rigging equipment and cranes. Josh later merged his grandfather's ideas with the Clark developments along with his own improvements before officially launching Smart-Rig® Cranes in 2008.
With an acute understanding of the ever-changing modern world's commerce needs in the lift market during his global travels on business trips, Josh Clark was able to refine his uncle Donnie's initial designs and details further with engineers and manufacturers to create a modern crane for modern times with an eco-friendly water-tank counter-weight system to lower the steel and dry weight of machines, removing motors; eliminating gas, fumes, pollutants, noise and smoke - while retaining full battery powered mobility. He also narrowed designs of the first 2 models to fit through standard 36 in. doorways and elevators, added modern asthetic eye-turning designs and created a valuable brand while partnering with top USA only companies, using USA made parts - down to the caster wheels.
With 15+ years in construction, architecture, machinery and running small businesses after attending USC, Josh Clark patented two Smart-Rig® models and hit the streets door to door to start purchase orders coming in, to honor America's military and construction heritage.
Partnered with award winning USA made hoist manufacturers, USA manufacturers and USA powder coating companies, the Smart-Rig® compact patented products can now help save worker injuries and make hard lifting jobs easy while saving a variety of big and small companies a ton of money.
Smart-Rig Cranes delivers the productivity, return on investment and cost-effectiveness that today's value-conscious customers expect, while reducing injuries on and lowering work comp. for businesses. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility utilizes cutting edge technology & tools by certified welders to build the patented Smart-Rig® S1™ and T1™ portable mobile cranes. Our Smart-Rig Crane lifting products have been featured in magazines such as Cranes Today, Lift & Access, International Cranes and Transport. Our clients include Fortune 100, Fortune 500, small business. Let our small cranes help your industrial, residential or small business in a big way.
Call us to request a quote: (360) 713.8199 or email for RFQ.