For the last decade, David Haeussler worked as a union ironworker at Local 401. During his time there he became a traveling foreman and executed many projects with local labor forces up and down the East Coast installing and dismantling construction hoists. As a foreman for a Philadelphia-based hoist company, Haeussler became proficient in installation and dismantling of elevator cars that transport workers and construction material to various levels on high rise buildings under construction.
Seeing he could marry his ironworking mastery with his love of being his own boss, Haeussler quit his job in August and launched Anchor Hoist in December 2021.
“I ran these projects,” Haeussler said. “I was working for another company and kept seeing that I could put this business together myself. I got the entrepreneurial itch again.”
A niche business, Haeussler’s company is one of three in the greater Philadelphia region that implements temporary elevators that run on the outside of a building until permanent elevators are constructed. Typically, hoists are used in buildings that are at least seven stories high, Haeussler said.
“I was a foreman for some of the biggest jobs in the city, like Comcast 2,” Haeussler said. “Most construction projects in Philadelphia with a hoist on it in the last seven years I had my hands in.”
Anchor Hoist, which is based in lower Bucks County, provides temporary elevator installation services in the greater Philadelphia area, as well as Washington D.C., Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Ohio.
Prior to his work as a foreman, Haeussler had owned a painting and historic restoration business for 11 years. Diving back into business ownership – especially given the rarity of his profession – proved difficult at the outset.
He sought insight from SCORE Bucks County mentor Steve Wolfson, who, in addition to owning his own business, had started 15 businesses for major companies. Wolfson offered a “good point of view and perspective” on various business-related matters, including liability insurance and financing.
“He helped me out of a couple significant issues,” Haeussler said. “Steve gave me really good advice. He’s very smart. I really appreciate him. He was a good person for me to bounce ideas off of. He was an asset for me.”
Haeussler’s business launch marked the largest startup that Wolfson has been a part of since joining the chapter three years ago. His experience and hard work leading up to founding Anchor Hoist will position him well into the future, according to Wolfson.
“Dave has the right negotiating experience to move the company in the right direction, especially with limited competition, and a strong commercial building market in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, New York City and Pittsburgh, which are all potential markets,” Wolfson said. “His experience in rigging, hoisting, safety and manpower is excellent.”