President of XTreme Manufacturing and noted equipment engineer Lee Kramer died in Las Vegas on Jan. 18 from pneumonia. He was 67.

Kramer joined Xtreme in 2003 as vice president of engineering. He played a key role in developing the firm's lineup of telehandlers, which now includes the world's largest, Xtreme XR7038. Introduced last year at CONEXPO, the machine had a lift capacity of 65,000 lb but was soon upgraded to 70,000 lb. "Although pragmatic, Lee had a willingness to push the boundaries on design and development of products," says Guy Ramsey, group director of publisher MCM Group LLC and a lifting-equipment expert.

Having studied mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois, Kramer started his heavy-equipment career at Hough Co. (now a part of Komatsu), where he was involved in designing wheel loaders and other machinery. He also worked for Blount Inc. and Timberjack Corp. In 1999, Kramer entered the aerial-work-platform business as engineering manager at Selma, Calif.-based UpRight Inc. Two years later, he opened a design consulting firm and teamed with Las Vegas rental magnate Don Ahern as Ahern was starting Xtreme Manufacturing's telehandler portfolio. Last year, Ahern acquired Snorkel and the assets of UpRight from U.K.-based Tanfield Group. A charity in Kramer's name will benefit college engineering students. "Lee had many friends in our industry and around the world," said Ahern.

Kramer played a key role in developing a broad lineup of telehandlers, which now includes XTreme XR7038, the largest model in the world.