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Waggoner Equipment Rental named Small Business of the Month

Waggoner Equipment Rental, LLC has been chosen as the March 2022 Riverbend Growth Association Small Business of the Month award recipient.

Located at 6 Helmkamp Drive in Wood River, the family-owned and operated company has been in business for 35 years now. Waggoner is a large equipment rental company, with a core fleet of deck cranes that range from 2.5 tons to 25 tons. Additionally, the operation has a solo 33-ton boom truck as well as rough terrain cranes with a range of 35 to 160 tons. Waggoner also provides customers with forklifts/telehandlers and skid steer equipment as needed, as well as crane mats and rigging.

Waggoner provides free onsite job evaluations and consultations and offers 24-hour service as needed. All their operators are NCCCO certified and members of International Union of Operating Engineers and they have a fully staffed shop to service the equipment.

Waggoner got its start in Madison, Ill. It was first owned and operated by Wilbur Waggoner. At that time, the Wilbur Waggoner Company was known for trucking, equipment rental, and excavating. The fleet back then consisted of trucks, backhoes, hi-lifts, crawler cranes, truck cranes, and hydraulic cranes. In 1986, three partners purchased the Wilbur Waggoner facility, with David S. Yates, as the partner and operating general manager.

While continuing to follow in its founder’s footsteps, Waggoner Equipment Rental took a primary lead in crane rental. And in 2020, Alana (Yates) Yount, daughter of David S. Yates and serving as Waggoner’s operations manager, solely purchased the company. Soon after, Waggoner Equipment Rental, LLC, was designated by the Illinois Capital Development as a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE).

In 1987, Yount started working with payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable at the company back when her father was still GM and needed the help. At the time, she was pursuing a career in nursing. Her father offered to pay her just slightly more than she was making as a certified nurse’s aide (CNA) to come help him out, and she did. Over the years, Yount’s career goals shifted to align with becoming the company’s president and owner.

For more than 30 years, Waggoner’s mission has been to help customers reach new heights.

“We restore the past and build the future, observing safe lifting practices on the ground and in the air. We aim to make our customers look good, and always represent them in the highest fashion,” said Yount.

“We are always keeping our employees updated and trained,” she added. “We strongly promote safety and always encourage advancement in education and training. And we pride our operations on our strong customer relations on all our construction sites – industrial, commercial, and residential. We believe in excellent communication, knowledge, and skillset to make the job easier for our customers.”

Waggoner Equipment Rental is further passionate about its involvement and support of the community. They sponsor a variety of events and hold membership in organizations like the RiverBend Growth Association. Yount said, “We are very passionate about working with organizations such as Refuge and Patches and Badges for Kids. I am also a part of the 100+ Women Who Care from the 618.”

“There always seems to be challenges for any company to face. For us, one is being smaller and competing with the larger companies. But we are a personable company with a long-term, dedicated team. You will see a familiar face and likely work with the same person. One of the best things about being a family-owned and operated local business is the people we work with and serve and being a part of the community.”

To learn more about Waggoner Equipment Rental, visit online at waggonerequipment.com, or call (618) 254-2464 in Illinois, (314) 231-2111 in Missouri. You can also find and follow them on Facebook at @waggonerequipment.

The RBGA’s Small Business of the Month Committee recognizes a different member business each month for its outstanding efforts and leadership in the community. Committee members include Brenda Eardley, Adrianna Lock, Kristen Ryrie, Leslie Schobernd, Martha Schultz, Amy Smith, and Kathy Weaver. To learn more about membership in the RiverBend Growth Association and the Small Business of the Month recognition, visit the RBGA website or call their Godfrey office.

The RiverBend Growth Association is the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organization for the 11 communities known as the Riverbend. For more information about the Growth Association, please visit www.growthassociation.com or call (618) 467-2280.

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This article was prepared for the RiverBend Growth Association by Melissa Meske Publications, macmeske.com.

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