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A step forward for safe wind work
I've written previously about the good work being done by the European crane and special transport association, ESTA, and manufacturers' group, FEM, on wind safety.
Necessary training, sufficient evaluation
In late May, US regulator OSHA published a much-anticipated new notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register. This further clarifies how the US federal government plans to set rules for operator certification.
Valuable shows, sustainable growth?
I write this month's comment shortly after returning from Intermat in Paris. As I wrote in my pre-show comment six years—two Intermats—ago, the purpose of the French show is at times unclear. It is at once too big to be a tightly-focussed national lifting show, and too small (and overshadowed in the triennial trade show cycle) to be a global launch show.
Steel yourself for higher crane prices
For many people in Western countries, globalisation has been far from an unalloyed blessing.
Visiting the North of Italy in January may not be on most people’s list. Putting aside the cold and Milan’s inexplicable fog, it was an enjoyable week; full of beautiful scenery, delicious food and interesting discussions with local manufacturers. These discussions will turn into articles, full of exclusive information, which you will find in this and the following issues of the magazine.
Knowledge matters, for all in lifting
Two recent stories demonstrate the efforts the industry is making to build knowledge of lifting, for both apprentices and customers. Next month, in Hamburg, ESTA's wind energy summit will take place for the third time, after making impressive progress in building links with with energy firms; recently, in England, the industry successfully launched a new programme for apprentice lifting technicians.
Lifting with limited room to move
As much by chance as by intention, this month's issue includes a series of articles looking at how crane designers and project engineers squeeze lifting power into restricted environments.
A year of slow improvement
It's the time of year when I look back over previous copies of Cranes Today to see what the industry has achieved. I think it's fair to say that 2017 has not been a great year—few sales records have been set, the big trade show had few big surprises—but it has not been a bad year.
Conflicting interests, split opinions
I've had a series of interesting conversations over recent weeks. It's a time of year when we get many invitations to product launches and factory open days. I've also had a chance to catch up with a few senior executives as they take on new roles, or as their companies go through a transition.
A ladder into the crane industry
This month, we look again at the important role training and certification plays in the industry. There's some good news from the two big certification outfits, the NCCCO in the US, and ECOL in Europe.
Fibre rope returns to the mainstream
The potential benefits of fibre rope, versus the steel wire rope routinely used in the industry, have for a long time been a focus for crane manufacturers and rope experts. When I started on this magazine, a little over ten years ago, crane engineers were considering ways to overcome problems with how rope would (or rather, would not easily) spool on the drum. Today, those issues appear to have largely been fixed, not by major changes to crane...
Stronger fleets, in a stronger Fleet File
As the crane rental industry around the world leans towards recovery—we saw confidence at ConExpo in the USA, and, as described in this issue, at Vertikal Days in the UK—many this year will be hoping to see fleets upgrading and growing.
Disaster and hope in London
As this issue of Cranes Today was being written, London was hit by one of its worst disasters in decades. A fire took hold in the Grenfell Tower, a social housing block in one of the city's richest areas, Kensington, killing around 80 people. The details emerging from the police investigation—which treats the disaster as a potential manslaughter case—are horrifying.
Selling cranes to the world at large
The crane industry is at once ever-present in the public eye, yet largely invisible.
Trials of faith, signs of redemption
The crane industry's long march out of the slump caused by the global financial crisis continues like the final stages of the Compestela pilgrimage – a painful and exhausting crawl on bloody hands and knees.
Borders, deadlines threaten US industry
As the worldwide construction-equipment event cycle evolves, it has become harder and harder for any event other than bauma in Munich to really claim to represent the global industry. ConExpo in Las Vegas certainly makes a good showing, but with launches in a hard market recently focused on the German show a year before, it is hard for it to claim to be anything other than the biggest show in the Americas, not a transatlantic contender for the...
The winds of change
The wind-turbine industry has provided the push for some of the most exciting innovations in the crane and special transport industries. From Grove's unique GTK telescoping-tower mobile cranes, featured on the cover of this issue, or Liebherr's giant LTR telecrawler, through to some of the most highly optimised crawlers available, the sector has pushed the boundaries of what can be lifted.
I write this comment as the Chinese New Year is celebrated. Like in many cultures, people in China have a series of traditions that say that, as your new year goes, so goes the rest of the year.
A throw of the dice
This month, as the year gets underway, we have articles looking back over the past 20 years, and forward to the year ahead. With ConExpo in Las Vegas, we also take a first look at some of the cranes we expect to see at the show.
An ominous future
At the start of this year, many of us would have been hoping for the upturn in world construction that we've been waiting for since 2009. It doesn't look much more likely now than it did 12 months ago. At the same time, the crane industry faces ongoing challenges from regulators and politicians.