Pratt is home to a globally-known company that owns the largest crane in the industry

Alyssa Green
Pratt Tribune
Trand, Inc.'s largest crane is "Brutus" the Liebherr LG 1750 900-ton Lattice Boom Mobile Crane.

Trand, Inc. is a globally-known crane services company whose main work is on wind towers, and they are located just five miles north of the city of Pratt. Though globally known in the crane industry, many people in Kansas don’t even know it has been a Pratt-based company for over 30 years.

According to Andrea Arnett, Vice President of Operations at Trand, Inc. 99% of the Pratt company's work is on wind towers.

"We do all the maintenance on them," Arnett said. "We go within a 150-mile radius with our bigger cranes. Our biggest crane goes even in Canada and nationwide.”

Trand, Inc. is a well-established company that has evolved in configuration since their startup in 1990. They were the first company to own their largest crane, a Liebherr LG1750 lattice boom hydraulic crane, in the United States.

“We are the only ones in North or South America that have the Liebherr," Arnett said. "When we got the crane, we took it down to Texas for the first job, and right before it started, we found out that we needed to change configurations, so it was a big deal. There were articles written everywhere about it.”

One thing Trand makes clear is that their mission may be lifting objects, but their focus is on people and their clients. Trand customers include wind farms, millwrights, farmers coops, gas plants, oil producers, compressor stations, steel erectors, precast erectors, ethanol plants, and other contractors.

Trand, Inc. is a family-centered business owned by Terry & Sandra Arnett (and actually named for their daughters, Tressa and Andrea.) The business focuses on strong values and in providing personal service for their clients. Their work in the community of Pratt includes the Pratt Regional Medical Center expansion, financial support for the ballparks and soccer field, and other construction projects in the area.

“A lot of people don’t even know we’re out here. It’s crazy because in the industry we’re known. Even across in Germany people know about Trand, so it’s funny that people in Pratt don’t know we’re here, but we try to do a lot in the community," Arnett said. "Anything we do for the school we will donate the money right back. We try to donate time and money."

All companies and businesses have had struggles through the recent pandemic, but Trand’s experience was a little different. Since the company’s main work is on wind mills, they stayed very busy through the start of COVID-19. The crane industry is now taking the hit this pandemic has taken on nearly all businesses, however, due to parts availability.

“We stayed super busy through COVID," Arnett said. "We work on the windmills so electricity is important, but right now, about the last couple months we’ve been super slow. And I think it’s just now hitting our industry since the components aren't available to fix the wind towers,” said Arnett. “During COVID we did fine, but the last couple months have been our biggest problem.”

Arnett said her company will keep trying to find the work, despite the slow-down due to parts availability but will continue to offer position openings as good employees are hard to find.

"We never have enough employees," she said. "I think that’s a problem affecting almost everyone right now, but we’re like that all the time. We just try to keep it steady and keep our guys working.”

Arnett said the crane industry, Trand - especially, provides a good profession and work environment for people who may not have a college degree.

"We need people and I think people don’t know we’re out here and it's a really good profession," she said. "You make a lot of money because we pay higher than most people in the area.”

As mentioned on their website, the company was honored with the Distinguished Business Award in 1997-98. Terry Arnett, president of Trand, Inc., served on the Kansas State Highway Advisory Commission from 1997-2005. Company owners, Terry and Sandra Arnett, were also honored with being selected as the Small Business Persons of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2010.