Crane manufacturer Hiab has crowned operator Tim Hansen from Denmark as the winner of its 2016 World Crane Championship, held Sept. 24-25 in connection with the IAA exhibition in Hannover, Germany.
One of 15 finalists, Hansen won the championship final with a time of 2:51:42. Guido Beaujean from the Netherlands earned second place, and Martin Utpatel from Germany finished third.
In the finals, the crane operators ran the Hiab X-HiPro 232 mid-range loader crane just launched at the IAA show. The competition tested the contestants' skills and ability to clear a series of precision obstacles at maximum speed.
"I have been nervous from the start," Hansen commented after the race. Hansen has his own company, Tim Hansen APS, and has been operating cranes all his life. It runs in the family: Tim's grandfather, Sven Aage Hansen, 82, has driven cranes for more than 60 years, and Tim's father, Sören Hansen, is also a crane operator. "The best thing about being a crane operator is working in the summer time," Tim Hansen said with a smile.
Hansen will return home with the title of World Crane Champion, a EUR 5,000 travel check, and EUR 20,000 toward the purchase of a new Hiab crane. Hansen is considering using the prize money on a new Hiab X-HiPro 232, the same model used in the final.
Lotta Sjöberg, marketing manager, Hiab loader cranes, congratulated Hansen for winning the title and also for becoming a father two months ago.
Hiab sponsored the WCC last year for the first time in recognition of crane operators from around the world who perform demanding jobs daily. This year, the finalists came from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Slovenia.
Joakim Andersson, senior vice president, loader cranes at Hiab, said: "I wish to warmly congratulate Mr. Hansen for the win and all the finalists for a great competition."
Andersson said that hundreds of professional crane operators took part in the qualifying competitions leading up to the final. "We at Hiab are thrilled to have hosted this event where the industry's best drivers have shown that they've really got what it takes. We look forward to the next championship final at the IAA 2018 exhibition in Hannover," he said.