01 April 2008

Chinese crane manufacturer Zoomlion and the US-based Lewis Equipment Company have signed an exclusive distribution agreement. Lewis Equipment will offer the full Zoomlion range of wheeled mobile and crawler cranes throughout North and South America.

Zoomlion has dedicated 250 units of its 2008 production of crawler and truck mounted cranes. A pair of 220 US ton (200 tonne) capacity crawlers had already been delivered to the US by press time.

Kyle Lewis, Lewis Equipment CEO, told IC that hot sellers will be the 220 and 290 US ton crawlers and the telescopic hydraulic truck cranes in the 80 to 140 US ton capacity range. “The main thrust of Lewis at the moment is to go from rental to retail,” Lewis explained.

Lewis will set up between eight and 10 dealers in the US and a stock of spare parts will be held at its Texas headquarters. One had just signed up as IC went to press and ordered 44 machines in a mix of mobiles and crawlers.

Lewis Equipment already distributes SunCrane tower cranes built by Yongmao in Fushun, China. It also distributes the Hercules range of construction hoists made by GJJ in China.

The latest agreement further reinforces Lewis Equipment's confidence in Chinese equipment, Kyle Lewis explained to IC. Lewis said he spent 100 days in China and has conducted exhaustive and detailed research into Chinese manufacturers. “The Chinese went the extra mile with safety,” Lewis said. Cameras are fitted on the winches and booms and a GPRS remote system with black box function will be fitted to all equipment, including the construction hoists, from March 2008, Lewis continued.

Zhan Chunxin, chairman of Zoomlion International Trading Company, said that this exclusive distribution agreement with Lewis was a significant step forward in the manufacturer's plans to become more international.

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