DUECO, Inc. Transitions From Second to Third Generation

May 18, 2009
WAUKESHA, Wis. -- In 1955, when DUECO was founded by Clarence “Pete” Dalum, aerial lifts and digger derricks were just becoming mechanized. Fifty-four years later, the company has grown to be one of the nation's largest privately-owned final stage ...
WAUKESHA, Wis. -- In 1955, when DUECO was founded by Clarence “Pete” Dalum, aerial lifts and digger derricks were just becoming mechanized. Fifty-four years later, the company has grown to be one of the nation's largest privately-owned final stage manufacturers for Terex Utilities and Hi-Ranger equipment; and is leading the industry's green efforts with its Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV).

If that is not enough, DUECO has approached another milestone, something many company's in today's troubling economy only dream of …passing its leadership responsibilities from the second generation of this family-owned and operated corporation, to its third. This time, Judie Taylor, has replaced her father, Thomas Dalum, as President. Dalum had been serving as President since 1976 when his father Pete stepped down.

Company History

When DUECO was founded, Judie's grandfather, Clarence “Pete” Dalum, was determined to see mechanized aerial lifts and digger derricks succeed, so he would sell them as a dealer representative, and then eventually managing the mechanical installation of the equipment.

His son, Tom Dalum, began following his father's entrepreneurial footsteps before he was out of high school by recruiting his friends to help him deliver these trucks to utilities and other customers across the state. After college, and then graduate school, he joined the business in 1963. After a few years, he created a marketing plan which included expanding the company to include the rental and leasing of utility equipment through a second company, Utility Equipment Leasing Corporation (UELC), which his daughter, Judie, would eventually go on to lead.

As president of DUECO, Tom Dalum was also involved in the acquisition and sale of the Hi-Ranger product line and territory expansion that today includes 15 states from the Midwest to the East Coast.

The Third Generation

Taylor comes with an impressive track record, serving as President of DUECO's sister company, UELC since 2003. Assisting her will be Joe Dalum, brother, who was promoted Executive Vice President and Marikris O'Grady, sister, who was promoted to Manager of Sales Administration.

According to Taylor, “As I look toward the future, I will work to grow our business by building upon the solid foundation my grandfather and father established over the last 50 years. It will be important for us to continue to expand our product offerings to meet our customers' needs while providing them with the world-class service they have come to expect from us.”

Encouraged by her father to begin her career outside the family business, Taylor worked for W.O.W Distributing as a Sales and Marketing Manager after graduating from Creighton University in 1991. Four years later, Taylor felt she had gained the necessary experience to join the family business. The move was seamless and since, Taylor has helped grow UELC through various positions like Director of Marketing, Administrative Supervisor, and Vice President.

“My experience running a fleet of equipment as President of UELC gives me insight on what other fleet managers in various industries go through. I know the challenges and obstacles they face…from initial acquisition of equipment, life cycle costing, balance of fleet mix, to final disposal. As I manage the operations of DUECO, I will utilize my experience to provide solutions…solutions to help our customers manage their fleets the most cost-effective and efficient way possible.” states Taylor.


Today, DUECO specializes in the final stage manufacturing of aerial lifts, digger derricks, cranes, custom bodies, and most recently, has proven itself an industry leader in the development and manufacture of the nation's first production plug-in hybrid electric bucket truck. DUECO serves such customers as utilities, contractors, municipalities and DOT's, telecommunication companies and numerous other industries.


DUECO installs equipment in a 100,000-square-foot facility with nine service bays, 41 installation bays and a full body shop located on 14 acres in Waukesha, WI. The company also has six full-service facilities in York, PA, Medina, OH, Bourbon, IN, Shakopee, MN and Watertown, SD and employs a total of 386 people who service customers from the Midwest to the East Coast.

To learn more about what DUECO can offer please call 800-558-4004 or visit their website at

About the Author

Amy Fischbach | Field Editor

Amy Fischbach is the field editor for the Electric Utility Operations section of Transmission & Distribution World. She worked for Prism Business Media (now Penton) for eight years, most recently as the managing editor of Club Industry's Fitness Business Pro magazine. She is now working as a freelance writer and editor for B2B magazines. Amy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. She serves as the national vice president of the American Society of Business Publication Editors. She can be reached at [email protected].

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