Year in view

06 May 2008

International Cranes & Specialized Transport arrived in January 2004 as the official publication of the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association. The magazine was redesigned and specialized transport was added to the title and the content.

Making the headlines in January was the formation of a new company, Emmert PSC, a joint venture between Emmert International and Fagioli PSC USA, Inc. to carry out heavy transport and lifting contracts in the US.

Also in the US, Manitowoc announced it was to discontinue its Manlift aerial work platform business. Manufacturing plants in Germany were closed as part of the move and the Shady Grove plant in the US concentrated on crane manufacturing.


Anticipation for the huge Bauma exhibition in Munich, Germany, that took place in March was growing rapidly by February. Show organisers Messe München enlarged the world's largest construction equipment exhibition by 10 % and included a new outdoor section for mining equipment.

Also making the news was an order from Chinese contractor Nanjing No 3 Yangtze River Bridge Co Ltd for two new tower cranes. The 160 tonne capacity MD 3600s were the largest cranes produced by Potain.


A hint of optimism in the air this month as IC reported record sales at Manitowoc Crane Group of US $1.6 billion for 2003. CEO Terry Growcock pointed to increased sales in Asia and certain parts of Europe for the rise, and noted that 70 % of crane sales were outside the US.

Terex Cranes also posted a rise in sales in its 2003 results, with a $304.3 million rise to $1005.1 million. President Steve Filipov also revealed that Demag had achieved record revenue during December 2003.

Kobe Steel announced in March it was to separate its crane business from the rest of the company with the launch of Kobelco Cranes Company Ltd.


Austrian crane rental house Prangl revealed it had invested €45 million (US$ 55 million) in its rental fleet over the previous 18 months. The largest cranes in the 12 unit order were a 600 tonne capacity TerexDemag TC 2800 lattice boom wheeled mobile and a 500 tonne capacity Liebherr LTM 1500 telescopic wheeled mobile.

UK-based construction market analyst Off Highway Research forecast that mobile crane sales in China would continue to grow until 2006, where the market would peak at 15000 units. Sales for 2004 were expected to grow by 25 % from 2003 and reach 12900 units.


This month IC reported two new world records. Gino Koster was on site to witness a world record building move in the Netherlands when Mammoet and Bresser/van' Wout used self propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) to move a 6900 tonne slag reprocessing plant at a recycling plant in Amsterdam. Sheuerle and Kamag SPMTs moved the building 1 km across the site.

Also reported in May was the news that the Bauma exhibition in March broke all previous visitor records. A total of 410000 people from 171 countries descended on Munich in Germany to make the 2004 exhibition the biggest so far.

Crane manufacturers also enjoyed the show-Terex-Demag sold 48 cranes for a total of €35 million and Liebherr reported 100 orders, all as a direct result of the exhibition.


The June issue is when IC publishes the IC50 listing of the companies. Both the mobile, crawler and tower crane listings were expanded this time to their largest ever.

Maxim Crane Works once again topped the listing in the mobile and crawler crane section, followed by Mammoet, All Erection & Crane Rental and Essex Crane Rental. In the final listing were 80 companies from around the world, ranging in location from the US, Japan and the Netherlands to Finland and Brazil. And there was no change at the top of the IC Tower Index ranking for tower cranes, where the winner, Arcomet, once again finished first ahead of Morrow Equipment and Select Tower Cranes.


The main news story in July was Maxim Crane protection. The US rental giant made the move to reduce more than half of its $700 million debt.

Sad news in the July issue was the untimely death of William Sterett Jnr, president of Sterett Construction and president-elect of the SC&RA.


The supply agreement between Kobelco and Manitowoc bore its first fruit in August when details of the first crane to be jointly produced by the two companies were revealed. The 120 US ton (109 tonne) crawler Model 12000 had a 70 m main boom and the maximum boom and jib combination 61 m + 21 m.

In the UK in August, a four-year legal case over the death of three workers after an accident involving a luffing jib tower crane in London came to close. The owners of the crane involved, Finning International (which at he time of the accident owned Hewden Tower Cranes), agreed to a substantial out of court settlement.


Kone Corporation in Finland announced plans to demerge into two separate divisions. The Elevators and Escalators Division would operate under the name Kone Corporation, and Kone Cargotec, parent company, would remain unchanged.

In Japan, Tadano unveiled a new rough terrain crane specially designed to clear land mines. The 12 tonne capacity GR-120N was fitted with a lighter and more rigid multiple section boom and a long reach arm fitted with a mine detection sensor. Rubber tracks could also be mounted to improve travelling in hilly, muddy, or snowy regions, where land mines are most often found.


The main news in October was a proposal made by AmQuip Corporation and Al Bove, former president of Maxim Crane Works, to acquire Maxim, Official magazine THE MAGAZINE FOREQUIPMENTUS which was still in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The core of the proposal was the sale of substantially all” of“ AmQuip, where the majority of which would be sold off at auction for the best Software possible price.

Results A report by the Association of Bauma Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) China released in October showed that growth in the construction industry was at its highest in 20 years. Exports of American-made machinery were $4.2 billion, a 19 % increase over the same period in 2003.


The Maxim saga continued in November as AmQuip made a firm cash bid of $325 million for the company. The bid followed a ruling by the Bankruptcy Court of Western Pennsylvania instructing Maxim to sell the company to secure the best possible deal for its creditors.

November also saw publication of the ICm20,IC's listing of the world's highest earning crane manufacturers. There was no surprise as Liebherr topped the list again, followed by Manitowoc and Terex Cranes.


Crane rental companies dominated the news in December, starting off with the formation of largest rental house. BMS and Kran Ringen, both based in Denmark, merged to create a company with more than 110 mobile cranes and 400 access platforms. The new company operates under the BMS umbrella with managing director Soren Jansen remaining in charge.

Another twist in the Maxim Crane Works story came as the troubled rental house announced the approval of its reorganisation plan both by the courts and key 2004 A KHL Group publication stakeholders, to be voted on by creditors. The company said if creditors approved the plan, it could be out of Chapter 11 by early 2005.

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