55 years a crane man

Dave Barnaby, mobile crane parts manager at UK based crane service group Alatas has celebrated 25 years with the company, and more than 55 years in the crane industry.

Barnaby began his career in the early 1960s as an apprentice with GW Sparrow and Sons crane hire, later becoming a trainee on the company’s 110 tonne Lorain truck crane operated by the senior crane operator George James. When delivered, the Lorain was said to be the world’s largest mobile crane. Over the next 30 years with the company he became a crane operator, sales representative, the company’s youngest ever depot manager moving to Didcot, operations manager at Sparrows Heavy Cranes, northern area manager and general manager. He remained with the business for several years after it merged into Grayston White and Sparrow, before joining ex colleagues at Coventry Crane Hire in 1992, joining Alatas two years later as mobile crane parts manager, and has now celebrated 25 years with the business and is still going strong. A celebratory meal with champagne toast was held for Barnaby to recognise his long service record, not only with the company, but the industry as a whole.
Barnaby’s career was celebrated with champagne

In the late 1960s, Barnaby operated a 40 tonne NCK crane seen here removing an old railway bridge in Bath

Around the same time, Barnaby was also involved with a project raising the stones at Stonehenge

Barnaby helped procure the multi million pound contract craneage – including this 1,000 tonne Gottwald - required to build a semi-submersible drilling rig at Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead

All photo credits - Frank Sumsion

Tim Sparrow of Alatas said: “Dave has played an important part in the crane business, initially within the UK rental industry and subsequently in the global parts business. It has been both a pleasure to have worked with him. On behalf of all Alatas Crane Service colleagues around the world, I would thank Dave for his contribution to the success of our business.”

The team at Vertikal.Net would like to add its congratulations for what has to be one of the longest active crane careers we know of. Quite an achievement!


Would it not be grand to clone Dave ten-fold! Congratulations and thank you sir from a Niftylift owner across the pond.

18 Jun 2019

Congratulations to Dave - he certainly has the knowledge that matches the length of his career and is an inspiration to anyone who doesn't ever want to retire!

14 Jun 2019
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