April 2008 International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazine editor's comment

By Alex Dahm04 March 2009

Alex Dahm

Alex Dahm

Well that was quite a show. I am talking about ConExpo, this year's largest show in the industry held in Las Vegas, US last month. By all accounts it was a resounding success and this was borne out by record-breaking attendance.

Interesting to note was the very strong - 30% - growth in the number of international visitors, to more than 28,000. This can be a seen as a further sign of internationalisation in the industry, perhaps, largely, from the point of view that cranes are in such short supply that more people than ever are prepared to travel further and cross more borders in their quest to find the cranes they so desperately need.

One highlight of the show was the surprise announcement and launch in the iron of Link-Belt's new 500 tonne capacity model 548 lattice crawler. You might also expect to see a Hitachi Sumitomo version of this machine at some point in the future. The 548 was hot on the heels of Kobelco's entry in this class, the SL 6000, making its US debut at the show but launched in Europe last year. Liebherr's 600 tonne capacity LR 1600 made its debut in the iron at ConExpo, rounding off the latest news in this hot sector of the crawler crane market.

Perhaps the biggest, in all senses of the word, highlight of the show was the announcement of Manitowoc's 2,000 tonne-plus capacity Model 31000 quad-track crawler crane. Expect to see lots more about this giant as information becomes available and development progresses.

Just days after the Manitowoc announcement I managed to get confirmation that Liebherr is also working on a new giant crawler. The as-yet un-named "XXL" will have more than 2,000 tonnes capacity and be of conventional design. For all the details available so far on this see News page 5. It will be interesting to see how these fare in the arena with Terex Demag's established offerings in this sector.
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