Genie celebrates 50th anniversary, marks milestones in personnel lift industry

Marcia Doyle Headshot
Updated Mar 30, 2016

Genie is celebrating its 50th year in business, marking its founding in 1966 when founder Bud Bushnell bought the manufacturing rights to a material lift that operated on compressed air. The company became known as “Genie,” derived from the “magic in a bottle” theme around the compressed air, which was used to raise and lower the hoist.

Now the aerial work platform segment of Terex, which acquired the firm in 2002, Genie manufactures a variety of aerial work platforms and telehandlers for several markets, including construction, rental, aviation, government and military. The company notes several milestones in its five decades:

  • Pioneering the first hydraulic push-around material lift using an interlocking mast design.
  • Introducing the Teletower personnel lift in the 1970s.
  • Introducing the articulating Z-boom in 1985 with the Z-30/20, a product that launched the company into the rental market, now its largest market. The Z-boom’s up and over capabilities gave the machines the ability to navigate obstacles at height.
  • Genie says it popularized the industry’s first compact telehandler, the Telelift 2306, Initially designed for the agricultural market, the machine is the predecessor to today’s Genie GTH-5519 model.
  • Introduced in 1992, the Active Oscillating Axle allowed operators to safely maintain contact with the ground on uneven surfaces and still retain maximum power and torque.
  • Genie says the X-Chassis expanding axle design, introduced in 2005, revolutionized the ability to extend and retract the axles on its booms to and from the stowed position.
  • The full-drive height 40-foot scissors, introduced by the company in 2011, enabled the brand to enter a new class category globally. Current models include the GS-4069 and GS-4047 scissors.
  • The SX-180 gave Genie the first entry into the 180-foot self-propelled boom lift market, giving users the ability to quickly and safely lift personnel up 18 stories. The SX-180 had a North American debut in 2014 after being unveiled at the bauma trade show in Germany the previous year.

Genie also says its various machine innovations that have gained wide spread adoption throughout the personnel lift industry, including dual parallelogram lift linkage, the first rotating jib, fully articulating jibs, crab steering and the four-point TraX track drive system.