The demand of crawler lattice boom cranes is passing through an interesting phase as it is getting closely characterized by valued requirements, P.P Basistha takes a look.

Demand of crawler cranes in India is getting more value oriented as projects and related erection and lifting requirements are getting more complex in its entity. This is evident both in industrial and core infrastructure sectors. Complexity of erection is getting emanated through the sheer size of projects in the Indian infrastructure sector. Notable being refinery, thermal power, and renewable energy sectors.

Based on sheer size, demand of crawler cranes on the higher capacity segments is getting firmer in the category of 600+ tons featuring engineering advancements. The demand for new cranes is remained subdued in India since 2007 due to retrograded activity in core and industrial infrastructure sectors. However, crawler crane manufacturers and rental agencies are witnessing demand upsurge for medium and higher capacity cranes from 2011 onwards, along with firming up of rental rates in India.

Sany Crawler Crane
Sany is looking to make headway in the Indian crawler cranes market, through its varied capacity offerings.

Deepak Garg
Recent introduction in the higher capacity segment league is Sany's 600 tons crawler crane. According to Sany India, CEO, Mr. Deepak Garg, "We have manufactured the crane following extensive consultation with turbine manufacturers in India and major Indian crane renting firms on present hub heights of 120 meters and nacelles loads of 75-80 tons. Major attributes of the crane is its compactness and ease of assembling and disassembling for faster turnaround time on wind mill sites." Based on growing demand from windmill projects, Sany India expects to sell at least six cranes.

Mr. Garg elaborates, "The crane is suitable to work for 2.1-2.5 mw wind mill projects and 150 meters tower heights. It comes with 126 meters main boom and 12 meters fixed jib movable at 15 degrees. Powered by imported Cummins Engines, SCC 6000 WE has 40 tons rear counter weight and 250 tons super lift counterweight. One of the competitive attributes of the crane is its compactness and ease of assembling and disassembling."

He adds, "The other competitive feature of the crane is that it can work at 17 degrees gradient. Based on the usually weak ground conditions prevailing at windmill sites, the gross weight of the crane is only 450 tons. The other advantages are its ease of transportation. The crane can be transported in total twenty two open trailers with only one low bed trailer, as compared to 26 trailers cutting down cost of transportation."

Taking note the advanced high capacity cranes will require skilled trained operators, Sany India has started multiple channels of training for our customers both in rental segment and end users. Mr. Garg mentions, "Training is being imparted to the operators of the crane owners at the sites and as well as at our new state-of-the-art training centre at Pune based on simulation. To ensure appropriate maintenance and parts support, we have trained engineers from our Indian facility and also from China."

To ensure timely parts support, Sany India maintaines sizeable stock at its mother warehouse in Pune. To support job sites having larger fleet of cranes, support is rendered through dedicated depot. Mr. Garg informs, "One such full-fledged dedicated depot is at Reliance's facility at Jamnagar to provide maintenance and parts support to our more than 150 cranes working at the site."

A K Somani
Liebherr Crawler Crane
Liebherr 600 tons crawler crane in windmill project.
Liebherr's LR 1600-2 is an advanced high capacity offering from the German crane manufacturing major in the 600 tons category. The 600 tons cranes can work for putting up 2mw wind turbines. The cranes can work with 138 meters main boom and 12 meters fixed jib to lift nacelles between 90-120 tons at hub height of 120meters. Mr. A.K. Somani, Representative Director- Liebherr India, Shethia Erectors says, "booms of LR-1600-2 can be reconfigured based on future tower hub heights 135-150 meters. Further, the crane is compact and easy to assemble and disassemble."

According to Mr. Somany, "Liebherr India is better positioned to offer product support as compared to other manufacturers because, we have got full-fledged complete business set up in contrast to other European manufacturers in India." Liebherr is expanding its service centers in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore apart from the existing ones in Kolkata and Mumbai.

He adds, "Hiring qualified service engineers is always on our radar. Our intention is to keep offering value to our customers through our reliable products, superior after sales support, and through continued induction of additional service engineers in our team. Valued customer support is important for us, as most of our new business in India come from existing customers. With the induction of advanced cranes in the Indian market, we will strengthen our training support. On site operators training will be rendered along with factory training."

Liebherr markets its two class variants of crawler cranes in India. The first comprises capacities 300-1000 tons and the second 30-300 tons. This also covers the duty cycle segment.

Crawler Lattice Boom Crane

Though the recent buoyancy in the higher capacity segment may have been heaving a sigh of relief among crawler crane manufacturers and distributors, it will be required to be sustained and supported quality competitive product offering and support services as rental costs are unlikely to appreciate soon in a major way.
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