European Equipment Analysis: Mobile Cranes - France (September 2016)
Off-Highway Research's Equipment Analyses are a rigorous evaluation of the structure and development of demand for one product in the UK, France, Germany and Italy in the European Service, and in China and India.
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This report examines the market for mobile cranes, on wheels and on crawler tracks, in France and is an update of the last report which was published in 2013. It assesses the current trends in the market, examines the manufacturers and suppliers, and forecasts the French market over the next five years.
The findings presented in this report are based on Off-Highway Research’s interview programmes undertaken with leading manufacturers, importers and distributors during July and August 2016.
The types of machine covered by this report are described below.
All Terrain Cranes dominate the market for rental cranes. These cranes run in size from 35 tonnes to 1,200 tonnes’ lift capacity. They are designed to have the mobility of a truck-mounted crane whilst at the same time, having the ability to operate in rough terrain conditions. The one feature common to both the all terrain and truck-mounted cranes is the presence of a compact chassis. The all-terrain machine, however, differs in several important aspects of its design, including:
· Extra-large tyres to increase ground clearance. They may also be extra wide.
· Multi-axle chassis
· All wheel drive/steer facility
· Differential wheel locks, both transverse and lengthways.
Crawler Cranes: These machines are built on crawler chassis and are generally fitted with telescopic or lattice booms. They are suitable for soft ground conditions, but are also preferred for their greater lift capacity when mobility is not a priority on the job. A common recent use for these cranes has been the erection of wind turbines. They were also used in the building of stadia for the Euro 2016 soccer tournament.
Industrial Cranes: These are low priced, general material handling cranes designed for work in factories and storage yards (hence they are commonly referred to as yard cranes), where their low profile and compact size enable them to operate in confined spaces. Due to a change in handling methods, there was little requirement for them in industry or docks, even in construction as an auxiliary crane, and the yard crane, with a telescopic or a lattice boom, all but died away in the middle of the 1990s. In 2000 one crane importer, however, took on a line of Italian industrial service cranes, including some with electric drive for sensitive areas.
Rough Terrain Cranes have been a French speciality for the export market. They are not legally allowed to run on the highway because of their long booms. Some rough terrain cranes survive in use because the low loaders that they need are so common. In simple terms the small rough terrain is a cheap crane, carried on a cheap trailer. It may not perform so much as an all terrain crane at the job site but that is not always necessary. The days when international contractors would buy them in big volumes for use on the big sites of the Middle East are now a distant memory but some survive at home working in refineries and chemical plants.
Truck-Mounted Cranes: These machines have predominantly telescopic booms, although a few are still made each year with lattice booms. This type of crane, which was made on a purpose-built chassis, was designed to be able to travel on the highway and in the past was the backbone of the typical crane hirer’s fleet, until they were overtaken in the mid-1980s by the all terrain concept. The truck crane was supported locally by PPM’s manufacturing but it was expensive to create a purpose built chassis that had less capability than the all terrain crane and it began a slow death. That process was accelerated in the European context by the disappearance of mass-made Japanese chassis, but in Germany there has been a modest return to mounting cranes on strengthened truck chassis.
Other crane types do not sell in France. Truck lattice cranes have no market in the country, and are now restricted to projects abroad needing temporary lift capacity at a very great height.
This report excludes tower cranes, which are extremely popular in all sizes, truck loaders, which are employed in the delivery of building materials, and all types of overhead travelling crane.