European Equipment Analysis: Mobile Cranes - Germany (November 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 concerns the markets for mobile cranes, on wheels and on crawler tracks, in Germany. The last report on the subject was published in 2010, since when crane sales have stagnated. The types of machine covered by this report are described below.
All terrain cranes dominate the market for rental cranes in Germany and run in size from 30 tonnes to 1,200 tonnes’ lift capacity. Originally conceived in the late 1970s, the all terrain machine was designed to have the mobility of a truck-mounted crane whilst at the same time having the ability to operate in rough terrain conditions.
In addition this type of crane has:
· Extra-large tyres to increase the ground clearance and improve floatation off-road.
· A short chassis with multiple axles.
· Multi-wheel drive. In many machines all the axles are driven but it is possible for the client to economise by having some of the axles not driven. Usually all axles are steered as well.
· Differential wheel locks, both transverse and lengthways.
· Operation from a cab on the superstructure when the crane is on-site. The exception is City Cranes, equipped with a boom carried, sloping downwards, at the side of a single cab.
· A refined suspension to give a smooth ride and enough power to drive on-road at 80 km/hour.
This design provides a number of benefits. The crane is easy to drive, equipped with an automatic gearbox and gives a smooth ride on the highway. Once on site the operator has a compact chassis to manoeuvre, which is aided by the large tyres, all of which are driven and steered. The combination of a crane with a high road speed and the ability to drive off-road has made all terrain cranes enormously popular in Germany, to the detriment of rough terrain cranes (cannot be driven legally on highways) and truck-mounted cranes (no off-road capability).