Multiple Benefits of Mobile Cranes Behind Demand

Prominent crane manufacturing companies Liebherr, Schwing Stetter India, and ACE share their views on the current market for mobile cranes and their latest offerings, with P.P. Basistha.

Demand for mobile cranes namely all-terrain, truck cranes, and pick-and-carry cranes is expected to increase, particularly for the higher tonnage class. There is an acute shortage in availability of cranes, reported in lighter, medium and heavier capacity classes involving truck and all terrain cranes. Mobile cranes provide benefits like mobility (no installation and set-up time required) and suitability in a range of end-use industries. Their increasing usage is being seen in transportation, mining, and in construction projects like flyovers, railways, metro rails, bridges etc. Their application is also increasing in refineries, cement plants, and in the renewable energy sector where capacity expansions and regular shutdown maintenance of the plants are contributing to the demand.

Prominent crane manufacturing companies Liebherr

Demand is also coming from the crane rental industry, which is playing a key role in the market for mobile cranes. Rental agencies have also been increasing import of used cranes from Europe, USA, and Australia, while manufacturers have been reporting a fair offtake of new units. The crane business in India is therefore showing signs of renewed growth.

Prominent crane manufacturing companies Liebherr
“We see demand rising for higher capacity all-terrain cranes.”

Subhajit Chandra, Head, Liebherr Cranes India

Windmill projects are getting higher hub heights and require cranes to lift the heavier nacelles and blades with utmost safety. Demand is also expected to rise further from refinery and cement plant expansions.

We are well positioned to meet the diverse application requirements with our LTM series of all-terrain cranes in capacities ranging from 100-1200 tons. Our design and engineering are aimed at lowering their cost of operations, plus their total lifecycle costs with their higher uptime, low maintenance, and efficient performance. Our cranes now come with the LICCON-3 software that enables automatic load chart calculation, boom and counterweight, and outrigger positioning. The cranes have stronger and longer booms of high strength steel and a longer reach.

Liebherr has partnered with ZF for co-engineering the transmissions. Now, fitted with Traxon Transmissions, overheating of the clutches is restrained due to the continuous flow of oil. The new system can also automatically measure the gradient mode when the crane is moving on gradients, enabling it to work more safely on the hill start mode. To lower the cost of operations, our all-terrain cranes (much like the European trucks)come with an ‘Intarder’ - an innovative function that can be manually activated by the crane operator to de-accelerate the crane without having to press the brakes frequently, when the crane is travelling at a medium or at a higher speed.

Prominent crane manufacturing companies Liebherr
“We are seeing large capacity mobile cranes being increasingly deployed in wind turbines and in the energy sector.”

V.G. Sakthikumar, MD, Schwing Stetter India

The market had picked up in 2022 for the tyre-mounted medium and heavy-duty cranes. In fact, a big number of SCHWING – XCMG cranes were deployed in numerous infra development projects. We have positioned our higher capacity cranes for use in refineries, railways, and in metro rails.

We are seeing some large capacity mobile cranes being deployed in wind turbines that have higher hub heights and in the energy sector as well. These industries are set to generate high demand for cranes as they hold the promise of starting new projects in the near future.

Our cranes can undertake the most challenging lifting jobs. Safety is ensured by their safe load indicators for accurate handling of materials within the rated load capacity. The ACD (Anti Collision Device) option in our cranes adds to their safety, especially at project sites where several cranes are working in proximity.

We have enhanced the design of our cranes in order to bring down their operational and transportation costs, which will ultimately reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO). When we introduced the split type mast sections, it significantly brought down transportation cost of our cranes while increasing their mobility.

Prominent crane manufacturing companies Liebherr

To make our cranes suitable for use in refineries and in windmill projects, our cranes have integrated the (patented) telescoping technology from Schwing–XCMG to help control boom extensions and retractions for smoother operations.

We are also the first in India to introduce an all-axle steering in our truck cranes to improve their maneuverability. The Schwing –XCMG truck cranes come with alarms and indicators for wind speeds, operations on uneven ground, swing, and travel alarms. This ensures that the operator is well informed of the site conditions and can maneuver the crane smoothly to avoid any difficulty.

Prominent crane manufacturing companies Liebherr
“We expect demand to remain firm across 2023.”

Manoj Agarwal, Vice President, Marketing & Product Support, HED Vertical at ACE - Action Construction Equipment

The year 2022 has been exciting, especially the third quarter, with customers going for repeat purchases including first time buyers. A trend to watch for is the shift from small cranes to medium- and large capacity cranes. Both domestic and foreign brands are competing on the price front and are also offering attractive service packages. To widen our footprint, we are launching new products and strengthening our marketing and sales by expanding our dealer network, enhancing our services, and giving training on the operations and maintenance of our cranes.

Prominent crane manufacturing companies Liebherr
ACE is a dominant player in the 25 to 60 tons in which the company has a sizeable market share. In fact, at 90% demand, competition is the most intense for the 25 to 80-ton capacity mobile cranes. We have recently delivered a newly launched 80-ton truck crane with the new BS IV engine to a prestigious infrastructure construction company, where the crane is giving highly satisfactory results.

Our truck cranes now come with in-house manufactured chassis that has a better center of gravity. We offer them truck crane fitted with Mahindra/ Ashok Leyland/Tata Truck engines and drivelines, based on the choice of the customers. We are also marketing our truck cranes in export markets that have stringent safety regulations. We are making improvisations in our products to make them sturdier and more stable and are widening our product portfolio to include new-gen pick-n-carry cranes. By mid-2023, the market will see a newer range of products from the ACE stable.
Lifting & Specialized Transport u2014 March - April 2023
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