Our History

Snorkel was founded in 1959 in the United States of America by Art Moore, as a fire fighting equipment company that developed an aerial work platform specifically designed for aerial firefighting and rescue work.

These products set the standard for aerial firefighting equipment, which were proven for reliability and versatility, and created the foundations for the Snorkel product line as we know it today. Snorkel was one of the founding members of the global aerial work platform industry, and the focus on innovation remains at the heart of the company.

Learn more about Snorkel’s late founder Art Moore, and the history of the company in his published autobiography, ‘My Story‘. Available to purchase from artmoorememoirs.com.

Snorkel New Zealand is proud to have manufactured Snorkel lifts here in our facility in Levin for forty years. Watch our video show reel highlighting our journey: http://www.snorkellifts.co.nz/40-years-in-production/.


December 31

Snorkel 60th Year Anniversary

Snorkel 60th Anniversary
Snorkel celebrated 60 years of innovation, since it was founded by the late Art Moore in 1959.
March 21

Xtreme Manufacturing acquires majority stake in Snorkel

Xtreme Manufacturing acquires majority stake in Snorkel
US-based Xtreme Manufacturing LLC, which is owned by Don Ahern, acquired the Snorkel business in 2013, purchasing 51% of the company from The Tanfield Group Plc.
March 21

New branding for Snorkel

The Tanfield Group introduces new branding for Snorkel, creating a consistent global brand and product line.
March 21

Snorkel purchased from Elwood Holdings LLC

UK-based The Tanfield Group Plc purchased Snorkel in 2007 from Elwood Holdings LLC, and created a global distribution network for the AWPs.
March 21

Snorkel Purchased from OmniQuip International Inc.

Snorkel was purchased from OmniQuip by a group of investors known as the Elwood Holdings LLC headed by Al Havlin. They re-opened their plant in Elwood, Kansas after it had been shut down previously that year.
March 21

OmniQuip group, including Snorkel sold to Textron Inc.

OmniQuip and the rest of its attached companies, including Snorkel, are sold to the conglomerate Textron Inc.
March 21

Snorkel becomes part of OmniQuip International Inc.

Snorkel became part of OmniQuip International Inc. who decided to sell the fire and rescue apparatus product lines, and focus on the EWP division. The fire and rescue product line was sold in 1998 to American LaFrance, a subsidiary of Freightliner.
March 21

Art Moore retires

Art Moore retires
Art retired from Snorkel in 1991. He sat on the Snorkel board of directors until his passing in 2019.
March 21

Expanding to New Zealand and Australia

The company then expanded Snorkel to include manufacturing facilities in Levin, New Zealand and sales and service offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. The company was beginning to develop a more “global” manufacturing footprint. The acquisition provided a broader range including the trailer mounted machines and offered a quality distribution of the complete product line in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
March 21

Snorkel launches the ATB-60 boom lift

Snorkel launches the ATB-60 boom lift
In 1988, Snorkel introduced the ATB-60, a 60-ft. articulated boom that could be stowed to allow two booms to be loaded to a single truck. This was a first for Snorkel and helped to reduce transport costs for customers and dealers. The ATB-60 became immensely popular within the industry and Art considered it one of his all-time favourite lifts.