Several of the American Hoist & Derrick Company cranes built between 1962 and the mid 1970’s, were developed because of the innovative concepts of Jimmy McHugh.
The McHugh family business diversified and expanded under the direction of the late Jimmy McHugh. In 1962, Jimmy was instrumental in the design and development of the world’s first 6-axle truck truck crane carrier that had 3 steering axles and 3 drive axles. Jimmy McHugh decided that his new 6-axle crane carrier would be of a fabricated welded construction built using the newly developed USS T-1 steel, another one of the McHugh’s and worlds first. Jimmy McHugh was able to convince Bill Hendrickson of his idea and the crane carrier was manufactured by Hendrickson Truck of Lyons IL. Jimmy McHugh was also able to convince John Carroll the president at the American Hoist & Derrick Company, to supply a new 700 series American crane upper machinery deck for Jimmy’s new crane carrier. This made Jimmy McHugh’s machine the world’s first 6-axle truck crane with a 100-ton lift capacity.
Because of the great success of Jimmy McHugh’s 6-axle carrier, Bill Hendrickson of Hendrickson Truck and John Carroll of American Crane continued to work closely with Jimmy on the design and development of other never before built 6-axle cranes. In 1967 the first 6-axle truck crane with a 175-ton lift capacity was built, and in 1969 the first 6-axle truck crane with a 200-ton lift capacity was built. The McHugh’s also had other first built American cranes in their rigging and crane fleet. These included the first 900 series crawler crane with a 225-ton lift capacity that had long Castaldo type boom capabilities and the first two 8440 model 4-axle 150-ton lift capacity truck cranes. Another innovative crane industry design of Jimmy McHugh is the McHugh Tip Head Section of crane boom. This boom is still sold today by the former American Hoist & Derrick Company (now TEREX ).
Over the decades, Jimmy McHugh also designed several large heavy haul tractors and trailers that were built in the McHugh shops. One particular innovative McHugh large heavy haul project was moving a 61-ton Nuclear Reactor in Ohio for a power plant with a trailer that had 196 steerable tires.
From 1958 until the mid 1980’s the McHugh Bros. were operated by: Robert C. (Bobby) McHugh – President, James C. (Jimmy) McHugh Sr. V.P. & Secretary Treasure, Emerson Clark – V.P. & Mgr. Crane Rentals, William Gallagher Sr. – V.P. & Mgr. Heavy Hauling, along with other family members and staff performing various duties.