Crane Buyers Make Big Purchases During ConExpo

The mood was decidedly upbeat during ConExpo-Con/Agg held last week in Las Vegas, Nev. Nearly 120,000 attendees, of which 24 percent were international visitors, walked the show. According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), which stages the event every three years, the majority of show attendees were key company decision-makers, including 44 percent with the top titles of president/owner and vice president/general manager/chief financial officer. Exhibitors totaled more than 2,400, taking up more than 2.34 million net square feet of exhibit space.

“The U.S. economy is slowly improving and we have a ways to go, especially in construction, but after 18 to 24 months there is more pent-up demand for equipment to be ready for the upturn,” said Megan Tanel, AEM vice president of exhibitions and events.

More than one of the exhibitors visited by the Maximum Capacity Media editorial staff said the show stood out for the number of sales booked and the serious buyers in attendance. Although crane manufacturers remain cautiously optimistic about the future, Jack Fendrick, president of Kobleco Cranes North America, Houston, Texas, said: “This year the decision makers from all over the world are here. We’re very pleased with this year’s show. Several orders have been placed here, and we’re anticipating more after the show. We have a very good feeling about the next 12 months.”

A summary of the some of the key sales announced at the show follows. Look for more sales and delivery announcements in the coming days.

Empire Crane Co., Syracuse, N.Y., placed an order for 40 Terex cranes. The order is valued at $20 million. Cranes included in this transaction are the new Roadmaster 9000 truck mounted crane, RT 100 and RT 130 rough terrain cranes, and AC 350/6, AC 250-1, AC 100/4L all-terrain cranes, among other models.

“At Empire Crane, we are highly focused on the quality of the products and service that we provide. With signs of an upward trend, we are feeling optimistic about the future. This 40-unit order will ensure that we are ready to provide the solutions that our customers need, as soon as they need them.” said Luke Lonergan, vice president.

Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co., Lexington, Ky., announced several significant sales. ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp., Cleveland, Ohio, purchased 14 cranes, which include crawler cranes, truck cranes, and all-terrain cranes. And Southway Crane & Rigging, Byron, Ga., purchased six cranes.

“ConExpo has arrived at a time when the economy is showing signs of an uptick. Being able to coordinate a package at the show is indicative of the improving climate,” said Michael Liptak, ALL Erection’s president.

The six cranes purchased by Southway included four new 100-ton HTC-86100 all-terrain cranes and two 60-ton HTC-8660 Series II hydraulic truck cranes. Southway, owned by Jerry Reynolds, is one of the largest independently owned crane companies in the southeast. “We are glad to place our new HTC-86100’s with one of the fastest growing crane rental houses in the southeast,” said Skeeter Collins, Link-Belt manager, North American sales.

In addition, the ALL family of companies also purchased two Liebherr all-terrain cranes. Making the announcement on the eve of the show, Liptak said: “The timing on this deal couldn’t have been better. With the 200- to 300-ton ATs steadily increasing in global demand, these LTMs give new muscle to our rental fleet.” The 300-ton LTM 1250-6.1 and the 220-ton LTM 1200-5.1 will be available in May.

In inking a west-coast distribution deal with Manitex Inc., Essex Rental Corp.’s subsidiary Coast Crane Co., placed a stock order of $2 million for Manitex boom trucks ranging from 26 to 35 tons. The order includes Manitex’s new SC130, a 2-ton sign crane with a 130-foot working boom height.

“Everyone at Coast Crane is excited to represent Manitex's full line of boom trucks,” said Terry Howard, executive vice president and COO for Coast Crane, adding that Manitex is “the perfect fit for Coast Crane. Our ability to offer the full line of Manitex boom trucks in our rental fleet will facilitate the successful sales of these high quality cranes to our customers.”

Coast Crane was also appointed a west-coast distributor for Tadano RT and AT cranes during ConExpo. As part of that deal, the crane rental company placed a $10-million order for Tadano RT cranes for its rental fleet.

“Coast Crane has enjoyed its relationship with Tadano America while representing its boom truck line,” said Howard. “It is a pleasure to partner with a company that has the goal to supply the highest quality cranes possible and that listens to its customers and distributors.”

Scheduled to take delivery of Tadano’s new ATF220G-5 after the show was Wilson Construction, Canby, Ore. Tim McCulloch, vice president of major projects, and Scott Carr, fleet manager, said the crane will be headed to the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP), a six-year $11 billion project to deliver power to Los Angeles, which is generated from wind farms in the Tehachapi Pass. Spanning 57 miles, the first stage of this project is valued at $230 million and will take more than three years to complete. The terrain varies from rugged mountains to busy freeways, which was a key reason Wilson Construction selected the ATF220G-5. “While its terrain-ability was a major consideration, even more important is the ability to road this unit with a 10-foot wide, three-axle dolly,” said McCulloch.

Scheduled to take delivery of Tadano’s new ATF220G-5 after the show was Wilson Construction, Canby, Ore. Tim McCulloch, vice president of major projects, and Scott Carr, fleet manager, said the crane will be headed to the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP), a six-year $11 billion project to deliver power to Los Angeles, which is generated from wind farms in the Tehachapi Pass. Spanning 57 miles, the first stage of this project is valued at $230 million and will take more than three years to complete. The terrain varies from rugged mountains to busy freeways, which was a key reason Wilson Construction selected the ATF220G-5. “While its terrain-ability was a major consideration, even more important is the ability to road this unit with a 10-foot wide, three-axle dolly,” said McCulloch.

Also purchasing a Kobelco machine was Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., San Leandro, Calif., whose company colors were painted on a CK1100G. The 110-ton crawler, replaces the 100-ton rated CK1000, will go into Bigge’s rental fleet. The purchase was handled through Kobelco dealer Carde Pacific.

When asked about the purchase, Weston Settlemier said, “Despite the slow economy our 100-ton crawlers have remained busy. Kobelco’s quality and the fact that the load chart is improved 10 percent over the CK1000, which the CK1100G replaces, make it best in its class.” Bigge was scheduled to take delivery of the show model, which is the first production unit, immediately after the show for work on a project.

Bigge’s colors could also be seen on a Holland-made 500-ton custom block from RopeBlock, Playa del Rey, Calif. According to Scott Fishfader of RopeBlock, the component was made specifically for a 660-ton Bigge Liebherr LR1600 crawler crane.