Lifting Q&A

25 April 2008

William J. O'Rourke Vice president, Essex Crane Rental Corp, US

William J. O'Rourke Vice president, Essex Crane Rental Corp, US

How long have you been in the industry?

I began as a retail salesman in the Midwest USA for Manitowoc in 1977 and held various sales and management positions within Manitowoc over 24 years. Five years ago I joined the new management team at the world's largest owner of Manitowoc bare rental crawler cranes.

What has been the most significant development in your time?

The introduction of self erecting cranes. The intro of the M250 changed everything. New product development in faster assembling and easier transport cranes coupled with the latest in hydraulic and electronic technology changed the fleet mix of many American contractors and crane rental companies.

What is your favourite crane ever?

The 4100W Manitowoc, it commands a premium position in our fleet today. We continue to rebuild, to like-new, our 4100W fleet and our customers enjoy the best value available for 230 ton class lifting capacity. The tower and ringer attachments continue to make this model the most versatile crane I've ever been around.

Is the crane industry safe?

It's safer. Everyone - the crane rental house, contractor and project owners in the US have all improved their training and emphasis on job safety. Labour and management have worked diligently on new programmes for operator training, which certainly helps. It still comes down to good management and an accident is management's failure to manage.

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