'Lifting Q&A'

25 April 2008

'B Reid Settlemier President, Bigge Equipment Co, California, US

'B Reid Settlemier President, Bigge Equipment Co, California, US

How long have you been in the industry?

16 years

What has been the most significant development in your time?

The advent of large AT cranes

What is your favourite crane?Manitowoc 4100, they last forever! The 70 ton Link-Belt HTC8670 is our best rental crane

Is the crane industry safe?Generally, yes. The cranes are safe, what breaks usually involves humans. Most failures we see are due to improperly trained operators or improper maintenance

What disappoints you most in the industry?The low return we receive on our expensive machines is disheartening. The crane market is very strong today and still some competitors haven't raised their rates. The price of a new machine has increased by as much as 30% and delivery is 12 to 18 months out. Fuel prices go up every day and our customers pay it. Why can't our crane rates go up accordingly?

Where do you see the industry in 20 years' time?I see the larger players consolidating, creating fewer bigger players that are professionally managed, with tight financial controls. I think eventually most of the lattice boom machines will be owned by these larger players. I still see the smaller end of the market being highly fragmented with many small crane rental houses being owned and run by owner operators.

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