July 2024

From The Warehouse to Blue Hat: JE Dunn’s Equipment Story

In the 1960s, Bill Dunn Sr. (“Mr. Dunn”) was running JE Dunn Construction — the company his father started in 1924 — guiding the company’s strategy, fostering its culture, and driving innovation. Yet in addition to his CEO responsibilities, Mr. Dunn recognized the value of owning the tools and equipment needed for his projects. He would personally purchase the equipment, and oftentimes assist superintendents in loading it out of a small dock attached to the office. He was an equipment expert, having served in various roles within the company such as laborer, project manager, and estimator.

As JE Dunn grew, so did the need for machinery and other tools for projects around the country. The first equipment division of the company was referred to as simply “The Warehouse.” With the added capabilities of the division, the name changed to “Dunn Logistics Support Center” in 2005 to more accurately reflect its scope of work, before ultimately rebranding to Blue Hat® in 2013.

Today, decades after Mr. Dunn operated as the company’s equipment expert, Blue Hat serves as an independent division and brand within the JE Dunn family. The name is a nod to the breadth and depth of expertise that Blue Hat professionals provide. At JE Dunn, blue hard hats signify leadership-level employees. Because Blue Hat staff members are leaders in their field, they offer not only the physical tools needed for each project, but also the expertise to help customers select the best-suited solutions.

Blue Hat has facilities in eight cities nationwide and an on-site presence at five of JE Dunn’s larger jobsites. And while the 180+-person team largely supports JE Dunn projects, it also supports external clients, offering the same personable, high-quality experience regardless of the customer.

“I feel truly blessed to work for an organization with exceptional values and team members. At JE Dunn and Blue Hat, I have the opportunity to do what I love with equipment and construction,” said Patrick Leis, National Director of Blue Hat. “The culture at JE Dunn is second to none and allows me to take pride and joy in what I do every day.”

Blue Hat — which manages more than 20,000 unique pieces of equipment — operates with three primary focus areas: regional equipment, offering general construction tools to service any job site; mobile crane, featuring everything from boom trucks to large all-terrains and crawler cranes; and tower crane, boasting 37 tower cranes and 40+ personnel hoists.

“At JE Dunn, we take pride in matching the right people with the right tools for each project we build,” said JE Dunn President and CEO Gordon Lansford. “Having our Blue Hat experts closely partner throughout the build with our project team truly enables our success.”