Recently it was announced that our late founder, Woodford ‘Woody’ Craig, and his son and current company CEO, John Craig, are being inducted into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame. We are beyond excited for what these two men have achieved and the company that Craig Manufacturing has grown into (and continues to become) thanks to their efforts over the last 73 years of business.
Without the determination and drive of both Woody and John, Craig Manufacturing would not be where it is today with three locations across Canada and our first USA location set to open in June 2019. Their want to do what it takes and continually improve is a value that is held across the entire company at all locations.
Woody Craig was born on his family’s farm just outside Hartland, New Brunswick on January 22nd, 1922. Very early on Woody was very inquisitive as to how things worked which inspired his passion for mechanics, welding, and machining. Woody pursued this passion when he left school in grade 10 to attend the Moncton (New Brunswick) Vocational School to take part in a mechanics course.
Unable to enlist in the military as World War II broke out due to his tuberculosis, Woody and his wife, Maude, moved to Montreal where Woody worked for Dominion Engineering and Harrington Tool and Die making munitions for the forces. Working day and night, Woody saved his money and lived frugally to work towards his dream of starting his own business. As the war ended, Woody found himself wanting to return to his home of Hartland, New Brunswick. It is here that Woody built a 1,575 square-foot shop with lumber from the family farm. Using his savings, Woody filled the shop with a lathe, shaper, drill, saw, and welder and in 1946 the shop opened.
In the early days, Woody did whatever it took to keep the business going including pumping gas, fixing cars and forestry equipment, and selling farm machinery as well as cars. In the 1950’s Woody finally got his break and received the first tender to build snow gear for Galion graders owned by the province of New Brunswick. This was the first attachment order for Craig Manufacturing and the starting point for what started Woody down the path of creating a leading North American heavy equipment attachment manufacturing business.
John Craig, Woody’s only son, was born on December 5th, 1952. Born and raised in Hartland, New Brunswick, John began working for his father at a young age whenever he was not at school. His early jobs included cleaning the shop and taking just about every dirty job in the plant.
After high school, John attended Saint Andrew’s College where he was active in sports, including basketball and football. From there he attended the University of New Brunswick for business. After graduating, John traveled Europe before returning to Canada and taking a job in Hamilton, Ontario at a steel service centre selling steel. In 1976 John returned home to Hartland and began working at Craig Manufacturing for his father.
Starting out working in sales and assisting with purchasing and production, John very quickly put his schooling to work enhancing the company marketing presence as well as reducing costs through more efficient purchasing. Over the next few years John would work his way through the ranks before eventually becoming the company Vice President. Then in 1985 Woody passed the torch onto his son and John became the company President – although Woody would still maintain an office at Craig until his passing in 1995.
Over the course of the following decades John would work tirelessly to continue building Craig Manufacturing into the leading North American heavy equipment attachment manufacturer we are today. Expanding the building at its original location up until the fire in 2005 where everything was destroyed. Using this disaster as an opportunity, John rebuilt Craig Manufacturing at a new location in the Hartland Industrial Park as a modern manufacturing shop that would allow Craig to continue to grow to become the multi-location manufacturing business it is today.
Check out the Craig History page for a complete history of Craig Manufacturing!