January 2009 International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazine editor's comment

03 March 2009

Alex Dahm, editor of International Cranes and Specialized Transport

Alex Dahm, editor of International Cranes and Specialized Transport

What a difference a year makes or, in this case, even a month. At the beginning of 2008 the forecast was for another good year or more in the industry. It was true for most but, following events in the world financial markets since October, the outlook is rather less good in most areas.

Bright spots are still the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India, and China although these are also adversely affected by what is now being called "The Downturn" in the general world economy. For more on the ups and downs of the last 12 months see the comprehensive review in Business, page 11.

Equipment-wise things remain as interesting as ever. Large cranes are further emerging as the hot sector. In this issue alone we have more details on Liebherr's range-topping crawler crane rated at 50,000 tonne-metres or more and the extreme length double jib GG Crane Group towers. In addition, we are eagerly awaiting first sight of, among others, the Terex Demag CC 9800, Manitowoc Model 31000 and Liebherr's MTC78000 and LTR 11200.

We can also look forward to the even larger cranes from the Chinese manufacturers. Zoomlion, for example, is expecting to have a 1,000 tonne crawler this year. This follows hot on the heels of Sany's 1,000 tonne capacity crawler, XCMG's 650 tonne crawler and Fushun Excavator Corp.'s 500 tonner, all of which were shown at the Bauma China exhibition in November.

Potentially, even bigger news from the Chinese manufacturers, however, is their recent foray into the world of large all terrain telescopic cranes. Five and six axle 220 tonners are a hot area of development where Sany and Zoomlion both showed new machines at the Bauma China show. Topping the bill, though, is the 500 tonne capacity XCMG QAY500. It was displayed at Bauma China, in more ways than one very close to the Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1. For more on the Bauma China exhibition see the feature on page 26.

All the above, among many other things, will make for an interesting year.

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