Second time around at Liebherr

By Alex Dahm06 April 2009

Crane manufacturer Liebherr has a refurbishment facility at its Ehingen plant in Germany, for mobile cranes.

Wolfgang Beringer, head of sales promotion at Liebherr-Werk Ehingen, says many used cranes in the 30 to 70 tonne class are now becoming available. "The reason is less work for cranes in this class due to the downturn in building in some European countries."

It is the Eastern European countries that are proving to be the best markets for used cranes at the moment, confirms Beringer, along with North Africa.

The company is also finding that the average age of used cranes is reducing considerably. "In 2008 the age of used cranes was five to 10 years, but they are now becoming younger and younger," says Beringer.

Beringer adds, however, that while the prices of used cranes are also reducing, they are simply returning to a more sustainable level. "It is getting back to normal, compared to the strange situation over the last years, when used cranes were being bought for extremely high prices."

"Delivery times for new cranes are shorter now. So, easily available used cranes at high prices are not interesting any more. Used cranes, aged four to five years are an interesting alternative to new cranes."

There is no doubt, however, that the current financial situation is causing a jam in the system. "For used cranes it is the same situation as for new machines. It is becoming more difficult to get financing," Beringer concludes.

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