Crane company uses 504 loans to build success

By: Trumble Crane & Rigging
Trumble Crane & Rigging
Trumble Crane & Rigging
LUBBOCK, Texas - Oct. 5, 2015 - PRLog -- Fewer things demonstrate business savvy and commitment than family-owned small businesses that grow and thrive from one generation to the next.  With little more than a great idea, a bit of capital, and a lot of faith, an entrepreneur takes a chance on a business and begins growing it into something that lasts into future generations.

Such is the case for Trumble Crane and Rigging of Lubbock, Texas.

The Trumble family has been providing specialized equipment for industries throughout Texas and New Mexico for 58 years.  And the generational expertise and a philosophy of evolving customer services has been the source of success for both the company and economies it serves.

Chad Trumble, senior vice-president, is the third generation to work in the business and helped it evolve into a regional leader with an ever-adapting array of services.  “Originally we were a steel-erection company that my grandfather started,” said Trumble.  “Around 1988-89 they decided to drop the steel-erection work and move to crane services.”  Trumble said a faltering economy motivated the company to adjust to the times to survive – and in doing so, developed a wide range of capabilities that brought in regional customers like Texas Tech University, Zachry High Voltage, Golden Spread's Mustang Station, and Lubbock Power and Light.

“We’ve really had to adapt to the changing economy,” said Trumble, “and we have changed from just a crane company to a full-service company.  It all started from someone asking ‘can this be done in the amount of time’ and we said, ‘absolutely.’”

But as important as drive, adaptability, and customer needs are for a business, it takes access to capital to get things off the ground and keep them running. For the Trumble family business, a good part of that capital came from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 504 Loan Program.

The 504 program provides capital loans designed to help entrepreneurs purchase land, buildings and equipment for their companies. “We started in the SBA loan program a long time ago; and then when we learned about 504, it just seemed like a fit for our size of business,” Trumble said.

Although the fit looked good, it actually took some work – at first.  According to Mark Pigg, the City Bank of Texas loan officer, 504 loans for the Trumbles were not without their challenges.

“The first 504 loan City Bank did for Trumble Crane was a refinance of their building, and that deal went very well,” said Pigg.  “When we started looking at some cranes they wanted to buy, there were questions regarding the eligibility of mobile boom cranes for the 504 program, and that caused delays,” he added.

Overcoming those hurdles is where the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) came in. As the trade association for a nationwide network of SBA-certified development companies (CDC), NADCO members partner with certified lenders to facilitate small business lending.  This partnership has provided small business entrepreneurs with more than $150 billion in financing.

NADCO-member Capital CDC of Austin, Texas, worked closely with Pigg and the Trumbles to navigate the 504 process.  The Capital CDC team led by Jason Bigham, West Texas business development officer, coordinated the company’s unique and specific needs with lender and SBA requirements to find a path toward loan qualification.

“In the beginning we were all new to 504 loan for cranes,” said Trumble. “It took four months – on the first one – trying to get everybody on board and saying that the 504 does fit the crane industry. It was a learning process.”

Pigg agreed that once they overcame the learning curve, the program was easy and proved itself as an exceptional small business option.  “Now that those questions are settled, the last few crane deals have gone smoothly, as most of our 504 loans have, since we started working with Jason Bigham at Capital CDC.”

Despite the initial hurdles, the Trumble family considers 504 loans as not only easy, but also an essential part of doing business. “We’re able to make the payments; we’re able to do everything and follow all the guidelines; we’re able to take care of everything as it should be, step-by-step, as the program requires.”

The most essential element in the first – and the five following 504 loans – proved to be the teamwork with Capital CDC, City Bank, and the Trumble family. “It is way easier now.” Trumble said.  “Jason and Mark did a great job; I mean they’ve been good through all of it.  We can now do a 504 with our eyes closed.  It’s really simple now and there’s nothing complicated about it.”

While Pigg added that the process could sometimes take too long, he said the biggest weakness is limitation small businesses have on refinancing real estate or equipment. The refinance loan with Trumble Crane was done under special rules that expired in 2012, and he would love to see those rules made a permanent part of the 504 program – something NADCO has been strongly lobbying Congress to do.

Trumble says the forecast for future business is excellent. But he says the company must continue its longtime philosophy of adapting and changing.  As an example, he says one customer is looking at bringing him in on a project so large, he’ll have to upgrade to a 500-ton crane. “But that’s our goal, to go ahead and step up into the next category.”

The other reason the future looks good for Trumble Crane and Rigging is the company’s staunch customer service with its mix of increasing capabilities.

“We take care of business, and we do what we say we’re going to do,” Trumble said. If you get dependable service all of the time, why would you go anywhere else?  And that’s the same way with us.”

Rachel O'Sullivan
Media Relations
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Tags:Construction, SBA 504 lending, NADCO
Location:Lubbock - Texas - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Oct 05, 2015
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