European mobile crane users and manufacturers are warning officials in Brussels that the current timetable for implementing the proposed new Stage V engine emissions regulations is unworkable, IC has learned.
They say that if the European Commission presses ahead with its plans as currently drafted, it will cause thousands of job losses while the industry adapts to the changes and will seriously weaken the European crane manufacturing sector.
One firm described the plans as “one step towards the destruction of the mobile crane manufacturing industry here in Europe”.
The manufacturers – members of the Fédération Européenne de la Manutention (FEM) Cranes and Lifting Equipment Product Group – argue that they need three years to implement the changes, rather than the 12 month transition period currently envisaged. They say that if the European Commission sticks to its proposals, they will have to slash manufacturing capacity by two-thirds while they adjust to the new regulations – a move that would almost certainly lead to the temporary loss of thousands of jobs.
And they say that the impact on their suppliers could be worse even than that.
ESTA (the European Association of Abnormal Road Transport and Mobile Cranes) has put its support behind the manufacturers’ cause, arguing that the directive will lead to shortages of some models and an increase in emissions in the short-term as crane users are forced to use older machines.
ESTA is calling on its members to use every available avenue to pressurise the European Commission into thinking again – by contacting MEPs, EC officials, committee members and members of their own national parliaments.
The Commission proposals are contained in “Directive 97/68/EC – Draft” which sets out details of the new, more stringent Stage V engine emission limits for engines in the power range from 130 to 560 kW.
At the time of writing in late June it was envisaged that the directive will become mandatory by 1 January 2019. OEMs using such engines in their machines – among them the European mobile crane manufacturers under the FEM umbrella – would then have a 12 month period to adapt their machines to Stage V engines.
The directive is due to be discussed again at a meeting of the EC’s Environment Committee in mid July.