John L. Grove, the founder of JLG Industries, recognised with posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award at IAPA 2019 ceremony in Dubai

John was the co-founder of two of the most famous American crane and access manufacturing companies - Grove cranes and JLG Industries

JLG Industries, John Grove, IAPA, IPAF, Powered access, AWP, MEWP


John L. Grove, founder of JLG Industries, was honored posthumously with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and Access International at the annual International Awards for Powered Access (IAPA) in Dubai.

The IAPA lifetime achievement award is presented annually to an individual who made significant and lasting contributions to the powered access industry or played a key role in the industry during the course of a career or over many years. 

“This recognition, in the 50th year of the company he founded, brings a huge sense of pride to our organization and will inspire us to continue innovating in his spirit,” said Frank Nerenhausen, president, JLG Industries. “John’s legacy can be seen around the world with safer, more accessible jobsites.”

Grove’s contributions to access date back to January 9, 1969, when he rallied a small group of people around one big idea – to create a safer way to work at height. This seed idea came to life with the introduction of the first aerial work platform, commonly referred to as JLG 1. Grove’s passion for safety and his pioneering spirit continues to be carried out today by more than 6,000 JLG employees around the world.

Since the introduction of the first boom lift, the company has claimed many access industry firsts – including oscillating axles for boom and scissor lifts in 1981, the only fuel-cell powered boom lift in 1999, the first environmentally-friendly 60-foot electric boom lift in 2000 and the first straight boom lift to reach 150 feet in 2011. The company surpassed its own record in 2014 with the introduction of a 185-foot model 1850SJ, the world’s tallest self-propelled boom lift. In the same year, JLG introduced the first true hybrid diesel/electric boom lift, the H340AJ.

Nerenhausen added: “I doubt when Grove started, he could have imagined how profoundly he would impact construction sites around the globe just 50 years later. Inspired by his work, JLG will continue to be driven by Grove’s passion for customer-inspired innovation, allowing the company to remain the access leader for the next 50 years.”

Tim Whiteman, CEO & MD of IPAF, said: “John L Grove is synonymous with access and cranes. He was the co-founder of two of the most famous American crane and access manufacturing companies. He created Grove cranes in 1947 – at the age of 26 – and in 1969 was co-founder of JLG Industries, which quickly became a pioneer in boom and scissor production. By the time he retired from JLG in 1993 it had become a world-leader in aerial platform manufacturing. He was a passionate engineer, endlessly creative, and the holder of 60 patents at the time of his death in 2003.”

The judges said: “He’s a legendary figure in the industry and played a key role in the inception of the platform access business. As 2019 sees the 50th anniversary of JLG, now feels timely to award this long over-due accolade.”

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