GR 1450XL
Manufacturers work out strategies to push sales. P. P. Basistha reports

The market for Rough Terrain (RT) cranes continues to remain confined to end-users in the thermal, hydro power, mining and onshore oil industries, where they are used mainly for regular maintenance jobs. This has kept the market size compressed. According to industry estimates, volumes have hovered between 50-70 units, that too in the lighter and medium capacity cranes of 40-55-75 ton. Rental companies have refrained from acquiring the cranes, mainly due to transportation issues.

However, the compactness of RT cranes enables them to work nearer to the loads, and allows them to function at low turning radius. Their lighter gross weight makes them suitable at sites with poor underfoot conditions. These features make the cranes desirable by certain segments of premium end-users, giving them a higher value proposition despite volumes remaining at modest levels, making competition intense. Taking cognizance manufacturers are working on diverse business strategies to push sales, yet banking on the engineering attributes of their products.
 
Shigenobu Yamazaki, MD, TADANO India
Says Mr. Shigenobu Yamazaki, MD, TADANO India, “RT cranes of 20mt to 75mt that are being supplied by our close competitors in India are well accepted in the RT market, however, there are many potential applications that are not covered by this range. Our RT crane range from 13mt to 145mt (GR-1450EX is the largest RT in the world) is wider than the current range of RTs in the market. We plan to promote and further develop the potential applications that our RTs can cover.

According to him, TADANO RTs are amongst the most advanced new generation cranes, with jib, auxiliary winch and A/C cabin as a standard. A unique Hello-Net feature provides vital information to the owner/user on the crane’s position, working and maintenance history, which can be shared, and most of machine troubles can be found with Hello-Net by their service team without actual diagnosis (saving time a lot for repair works). Besides, Fuel Monitoring System, Eco Mode System and Positive Control System which help saving running cost are also standard. TADANO RTs can do its lifting jobs most efficiently with much less cost.

With safety becoming a standard prerequisite, TADANO RTs are banking also on its unique cranes’ safety features to attract potential customers. Features like outriggers extension width detector control, asymmetric outrigger width control, working area restriction function, and slow swing stop function ensure efficient performance and safety for both the machine and the job site,” informs Mr. Yamazaki.
 
Sanjay Saxena, VP & Business Head, Sany Heavy Industries India Pvt. Ltd
Mr. Sanjay Saxena, VP & Business Head, Sany Heavy Industries India Pvt. Ltd, says, “Acquisition of RT cranes, is predominantly tenders based, as the demand is mainly from the end users rather than the rental agencies. However, with the spurt in demand from oil and gas industry and mining sectors and indications of demand of higher capacity cranes, we are working on selective bidding for selling the cranes to the state owned buyers as well as to the private end users. We have been able to successfully close deals with few key users in recent past for our 40 tons, SRC 400 and 55 tons SRC 550 RT cranes.”

He adds, “Our focus has been on 40-55 tons capacity RT cranes. However, with the market moving towards higher capacity cranes, we will be looking to introduce our 75 tons unit for the Indian market soon. Sany’s range of RT offerings comprises of 25-35-40-55-75 tons units.
 
Anil Bhatia, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, TIL Limited
Mr. Anil Bhatia, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, TIL Limited, says that TIL will maintain focus on the entire range of Rough Terrain (RT) cranes – with capacities of 20, 30, 40, 55 and 75 tons – that are manufactured at their facility in Kolkata under license from Grove. “We will continue to target metro railway projects, onshore oil and power industries as well,” he says. At present TIL offers five models of RT cranes. These are the Husky 620S (20 tons), RT 630C (30 tons), RT 740B (40 tons), RT 760 (55 tons) and the RT 880 (75 tons). The lighter capacity cranes are manufactured at TIL’s flagship plant at Kamarhatty, Kolkata. The higher capacity cranes, TIL imports directly from Manitowoc – models RT9130E-2 & RT9150, 120MT & 135MT.

RT 880 TIL
Mr. Bhatia says, “With over seven decades of engineering experience behind us, our technical expertise is manifested in our Rough Terrain cranes. In designing our RT cranes, we have incorporated the newer characteristics of load lifting requirements, dovetailing with our existing features. This is based on project sizes becoming bigger. One of the newer design trends is making the booms longer to work at longer working radii. This is exhibited in our most popular model- TIL RT 880 crane, which has established itself in a class of its own. Key safety features in our models comprise of microprocessor controlled load moment indicator (LMI) used with an electronic monitoring display system in the operator’s cab. This assists the operator in safe operations. An automatic motion cut-off mechanism triggered by signals from the LMI stops the crane completely in the event that the machine moves into a dangerous zone, over-hoists or over-lowers, the presence of safety valves for each operation guards against any kind of failure, and brakes for travelling, slewing, hoisting and other main functions of crane make for smooth and safe operations. The incorporation of advanced engineering in conjunction with high levels of safety standards are great USPs.”

He further adds, “Rough Terrain cranes are designed to work at constricted work sites coupled with poor underfoot conditions. Based on the indexed application, our RT cranes are provided with standard features comprising of all-wheel steer, all-wheel drive, earthmover tires, torque convertor transmission, multi-speeds forward and reverse, good gradient capability. The engines we use in our RT cranes meet the latest emission norms, the crane booms are equipped with multi-stage extensions that enable greater reach and access, and the basic electronics are extremely user friendly. With their durable construction, flexibility and low cost of ownership, TIL Rough Terrain cranes are an easy choice for day-in-and-day-out lifting jobs.”

Competitive pricing & support

With demand remaining constricted, RT crane manufacturers and suppliers are offering their equipment at competitive pricing along with well packaged after-sales support and service to attract and retain customers. As Mr. Yamazaki, MD- TADANO India says, “Mobile cranes are getting bigger and bigger and using high-tech components year by year. There are no longer simple machines.

Having technical specialists is even more important now than having more branches or dealers. We have currently adequate facilities for after-sales service in India, with timely spare parts availability, and a dedicated team of service engineers. However, we will expand our service network in accordance with our cranes increase, keeping enough number of technical specialists.”

TIL RT Crane range

Mr. Saxena says, “Since the cranes are used by end users for regular maintenance of their facilities, there is requirements of higher reliability and availability of the equipment. Our cranes based on their advanced design features comprising the U-section boom enables them to lift more loads. The cranes have longer boom lengths at ranging from 34 m to 45 m meters, enables them to work at longer radius. Cranes are equipped with fully powered hydraulic extension of booms which ensures faster and higher productivity."

Mr. Bhatia concludes, “At TIL we ensure higher availability of our equipment through timely parts availability from our regional warehouses at Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai, and support from our service engineers based in strategic locations like Vizag, Jamnagar, and Hyderabad. We lay great emphasis on parts availability in order to keep downtime of our cranes to a minimum level – with 24 x 7 operations and a high inventory of off-the–shelf spare parts. Further, our tailor-made operational and maintenance contracts ensure higher availability of the cranes. TIL’s network is divided into four regions. The Northern regional office is located at Sahibabad (Uttar Pradesh), near New Delhi, while the Western, Southern and Eastern regional offices are located in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata respectively. Each region manages a number of branch offices, area offices and parts warehouses, ensuring pan India footprints and closer proximity to customers.”

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