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Crosby: Meet the Family | FAD Equipment

Crosby: Meet the Family | FAD Equipment

At the heart of FAD Equipment Store’s catalog is The Crosby Group’s expansive portfolio of lifting, rigging and load securement hardware and technology. This article introduces the industry’s most famous brand to newcomers to the market, and updates anyone else who might be keen to monitor the company’s journey—and ours alongside it.

This equipment store has emerged as the chosen provider for many Crosby brands, largely because of a triangle of ex-Crosby Straightpoint employees on our leadership team, including former owner David Ayling, our president. Of course, Crosby acquired Straightpoint at the turn of 2019. Peter McGreal, CFO; and Jeff Miller, general manager are also formerly of the force measurement pioneer and now very much at FAD Equipment Store.

David Ayling, president, FAD Equipment Store

David Ayling, president, FAD Equipment Store

However, there’s more to the Crosby family than Straightpoint’s load cells and dynamometers. And it goes further than the renowned hooks, shackles, blocks, sheaves and components too, as you can see in our exclusive Crosby Family Tree graphic (see below).

The Crosby Group is inescapably a global leader in the innovation, manufacture and distribution of products and services used to make lifting and load securement safer and more efficient, with premier brands such as Crosby itself, Gunnebo Industries, Acco, McKissick, Feubo, Trawlex, Lebus, and CrosbyIP. With global engineering, manufacturing, distribution and operations, the company provides a broad range of products and solutions for the most demanding applications, always with uncompromising quality that exceed industry standards.

At the top of the family is the iconic Crosby brand, while equally renowned Gunnebo and Acco sit proudly underneath. They each capture the longevity, history, breadth of product, and engineering expertise that runs throughout the whole company. As our customers tell us, in terms of safety and reliability, few other brandnames offer such peace of mind that the most robust product is being utilized in their applications at the point of use. In many instances, when a lift plan is devised, Crosby products will be specified in advance.

Crosby, the historic brand

When David Ayling entered the material handling market over two decades ago, Crosby was already a global brand. In fact, its roots can be traced back to 1885. Global investment firm KKR announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire The Crosby Group and Acco Material Handling Solutions from Melrose Industries in 2013. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it already had over 1,300 employees globally and was known for its iconic brands, including the aforementioned McKissick and Lebus.

Two years ago, Robert Desel was named CEO, a position he continues to thrive in today. Since 2017, Robert had served as Crosby's chief commercial officer, leading sales and marketing efforts and playing a key role in designing and implementing the company's strategy. Before that, he was a KKR industry advisor since 2011, working across an industrial portfolio of companies.

The Crosby Group of companies

Our exclusive Crosby Family Tree graphic.

The Crosby story continues to be one of organic (internal activities) and inorganic (mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures) growth. Many people note that the business is getting more and more technological, marrying engineering brilliance and vertically integrated manufacturing with state-of-the-art technology. It’s a mouth-watering combination, for FAD Equipment Store customers, and others.

Most recently, The Crosby Group acquired BlokCorp Ltd., a UK manufacturer of innovative camera and alert systems for tower and mobile cranes. These advanced systems provide crane operators with critical visual and audio capabilities that enable safer and more productive lifting operations.

(And, guess where you’ll be able to buy these products very soon… yes, right here at FAD Equipment Store. Watch this space!)

Crosby had previously completed a significant investment in Verton Technologies, an Australia-based provider of disruptive advancements in load orientation technology that remove the need for human held tag lines in lifting applications.

Interestingly, the BlokCorp acquisition prompted the formation of a new Crosby Technology Solutions business unit. The new division, inclusive of BlokCorp, Crosby Straightpoint, and the strategic collaboration with Verton, will enable a heightened focus on creating disruptive and integrated lifting technologies. The business unit broadens Crosby’s—and this store’s—portfolio of products and solutions that deliver safety and productivity to every jobsite.

As Robert Desel says, “BlokCorp will bring tremendous value to our customers and channel partners and serve as a strong foundation to our new Technology Solutions division.”

Crosby Straightpoint Radiolink plus

Crosby Straightpoint's iconic Radiolink plus load cell


While it’s true that as Crosby grows, it seems to be becoming more technologically advanced, the portfolio is also continuing to expand to the point where entire supply chains can be serviced by one company.

FAD Equipment Store customers tell us that an increasing number of their lifting, material handling, load monitoring and safety applications can be carried out with equipment solely sourced from this platform. Take the renewable energy sector, for example. The Crosby product range combines to cover the entire wind market supply chain, including the plate clamps, pipe hooks and shackles used during monopile fabrication, shackles for topside and subsea lifts, and load cells utilized for inspection of installed equipment.

Where there are ‘gaps’ in Crosby’s offering, FAD Equipment Store steps in with comprehensive offerings from The Caldwell Group, OZ Lifting, Reid Lifting, Malta Dynamics, A-Safe, P&I Supply and a myriad of other market-leading manufacturers, whether lifting and spreader beams, vacuum attachments, remote releasing hooks, gantry cranes, davit cranes, protective guarding, tool drop prevention solutions, or something else is on the customer’s shopping list.

Given our owners’ history with The Crosby Group and the breadth of Crosby-branded products stocked on FAD Equipment Store, we have enviable proximity to the ongoing evolution of this truly American, global business. In fact, we have an integral role to play here in the U.S. as the constantly expanding business puts its wares to market. As organic and inorganic growth continues, expect our catalog to swell alongside it.

Visit our Crosby brand or product collection pages to source your lifting, rigging and load securement hardware and technologies.

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