The Caldwell Group – Heavy Lift News

The Caldwell Group

The Caldwell Group

  • 4080 Logistics Parkway, Rockford,
    IL 61109,


The Caldwell Group, Inc and J.C. Renfroe together provide an extensive line of below the hook lifting and material handling product solutions to the global market. Our commitment to innovation is one of the things that makes our company stand out among its competitors.

Our team of employee-owners manufacture high quality, long lasting lifting products that will safely increase productivity and reduce operating costs for your project. We apply our engineering experience and expertise to each product we design providing you with the best solution for each job.

Caldwell continually enhances and expands its product lines and when you purchase our products each order is followed through the process and the design quality is controlled by the ASME standards. Because of our expertise in designing and manufacturing of below the hook lifters, not only do we use the standards, we help to create and refine them.

Our first-class service keeps your equipment running at peak performance, keeping you and your equipment safe.

Caldwell and Renfroe, investing in the future.



More Information

Each Month we will be featuring different Product from the Caldwell Range under the Caldwell History section. The first one is the BARRIER GRAB with a video.


As the nation’s leading manufacturer of standard and custom-engineered Below-the-Hook lifting solutions, Caldwell supports a vast array of industries — aerospace, automotive, marine, rail, manufacturing, primary metals, paper, military, wind energy, industrial building and warehouse, steel erection, bridge building, highway and street, water, sewer, pipes, and many more.

Leslie M. Caldwell founder of The Caldwell Group, Inc. in 1954.

Founded in 1954, The Caldwell Group has its roots with Leslie M. Caldwell, a local inventor and tinkerer who started out using a Singer 7-33 sewing machine in his basement to make nylon web slings, one of which was the patented Adjust-A-Leg® load leveling wire rope sling.

Operations moved to its 26th Avenue location in 1971 and business “grew like crazy” after Howard Will, Jr., an engineer with degrees from Yale and Stanford universities, purchased the company in 1976 and shifted its emphasis to fabricated metal Below-the-Hook lifters. The acquisition of Creative Material Control Inc. (CMCI) led to a full manufacturing line of vacuum and mill duty lifters. By 1994, the product line had expanded to include Strong-Bac ®, Rig-Master ®, Lif-TrucTM and UNIVAC ®.

Once again Caldwell needed to enlarge its facilities and relocated the company by the Rockford International Airport in 2013, this new location offered a larger overall manufacturing area, higher capacity cranes, significant ceiling height and a new office area.

In 2014, Caldwell Group acquired J.C. Renfroe & Sons, a U.S. manufacturer of quality lifting clamps based in Jacksonville, FL. Renfroe produces clamps of different sizes and shapes to pick up everything from steel work in ship yards to customized pieces that require non-marring clamps that won’t hurt the surface.

Caldwell recently introduced their patented Dura-Lite™ Composite Lifting and Spreader beam product line. The composite material is lightweight, non-conductive and non-corrosive. The company was able to partner with Certex Lifting Products in Houston, TX to use the Dura-Lite™ material to engineer and manufacture a lifting system to support the U.S. Navy’s
Triton MQ-4C Drone development.

Dan Mongan, New Product Development Specialist at Caldwell, says, “Our commitment to innovation is one of the things that makes Caldwell stand out among its competitors and probably the greatest example is our new Dura-Lite™ equipment built from composite materials rather than steel.”

The Caldwell Group, Inc. Investing in the future.
























Photo 1 – J.C. Renfroe & Sons lifting clamps.

Photo 2 – At Kadena’s airforce base in Japan joint service engineer team overhauls an aircraft barrier system using a Caldwell spreader beam to lift barrier sections.

Photo 3 – Caldwell’s Dura-LiteTM Technology supports U.S. Navy’s Triton Drone Testing.

Photo 4 – Lifting plate in shipping bay, photo courtesy of Outokumpu.


– Video Linked here

Caldwell’s innovative Concrete Barrier Grab quickly places and easily removes concrete barriers – completely hands free! The pressure grip design eliminates man-hours spent attaching chains, increasing overall efficiency and reducing damage to barriers.

Compact and rugged the Barrier Grab is available in capacities from 8,500 lbs. to 14,500 lbs. and handles barriers with a range of 6” – 12” nominal width at the top. The barrier grab has a stainless steel auto latch along with adjustable handles and replaceable polyurethane pads.

With our extending kits, you can handle barriers up to 40’ in length and capacities ranging from 17,000 – 29,000 lbs. Our low headroom lifting beam supports dual grabs to handle barriers with added speed and stability. Lifters conform to ASME B30.20 standards.


• Handles concrete barriers from 6” – 12” nominal width at the top of the barrier.
• Stainless steel Auto-Latch mounting insures proper alignment.
• Locating assembly orientates tong on barrier without operator intervention.
• Gripping pads pivot to conform with the load.
• Replaceable polyurethane pads protect barrier.
• Alloy steel dog point pads bite into painted barrier surfaces (typical in coastal areas).
• Centering guide to properly center grab over barrier for a level lift.
• Lifting eye allows for easy hook attachment.
• Designed and manufactured to ASME B30.20, BTH-1, design category B, service class 3.