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When Charles Dickens published his novel Hard Times as a serial in his weekly publication Household Words in 1854, the world was definitely different.
The essence of essential
I started writing this comment on the second day of Coronavirus lockdown in Britain. Our government last week advised us to stay home, but that didn't take: this being Britain, last Friday many pubs were full, and on Sunday, when we celebrate Mothers' Day, many thought it a good idea to take their aging mums out to catch a potentially fatal disease at flower markets and parks.
Competing on technique, not size
For more than a decade, the world’s heavy lift specialists have been competing as to who is going to manufacture the biggest crane with the largest lifting capacity.
Bigger and Bigger
In this issue we cover Barnhart’s acquisition of Viant Crane, a move that will further enhance Barnhart’s presence in the Midwest, where Barnhart already operates a number of branches. This is the second such announcement by the company in less than a year, as it previously entered into an agreement under which it will own the majority of assets of Burkhalter Rigging of Columbus, Mississippi.
The Middle East is inevitably associated with oil production, as this industry has been fuelling the region’s economy for decades. Fluctuations in the price of the commodity have caused intense economic cycles and at times negatively affected construction activities.
The world looking in
At the time of my visit to Japan, rugby fans where filling up the Rugby World Cup stadiums around the country, while Emperor Naruhito officially proclaimed his enthronement before dignitaries from about 190 countries. The spotlight is still on Japan, as the country is preparing to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Wind of change
On the occasion of the UN Global Climate Action Summit and the Global Climate Strikes, renewable energy became a hot discussion topic among government leaders as well as citizens of countries around the world.
A wide ranging issue
This month, we cover the industry about as widely as we could: at one end of the capacity scale, our regular correspondent Stuart Anderson takes a deep dive into the small telecrawler sector; on the other, feature writer Julian Champkin, visits the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant, where he saw one of the world's biggest cranes at work.
Checking research on checklists
Checklists have become a routine part of modern life. In simple form, as to-do lists and shopping lists, they help us all keep track of the overlapping and numerous tasks of our day.
Experience and innovation
One of the things that makes the crane industry so interesting to report on, is the level of innovation coming out of a relatively small and tightly-knit industry. Unlike other sectors I've covered, it has been relatively easy to meet a broad range of suppliers and users; and, where some industries progress only slowly, just in the decade or so I've been covering the sector, I've seen new crane types come into regular use.
Mind the gap
For travellers on London's underground railway, the warning to 'Mind the gap' quickly becomes part of the background of daily life: the city's old, curved, station platforms don't fit neatly with tube carriages, meaning there's often a substantial hop from train to platform. That phrase, painted on every platform edge and spoken over the tannoy at every stop, seeks to prevent us hurling ourselves absentmindedly under the train. By and large it...
Fitting capacity to requirements
On any crane contract, the first and most vital commercial step is to make sure that the crane you bring to the job site matches the clients' lifting requirements: big enough to work safely, but not so big that you're wasting capacity (and, therefore, investment that you can't earn back with profitable rental rates).
Digging deep for opportunity
In this issue, two of our lead features look at the impact of infrastructure projects on demand for lifting equipment.
Demag answers and questions
In our lead news items this month, I've tried to find answers for at least a few of the questions readers may have about Tadano's planned acquisition of Demag from Terex. As you'd expect for a deal at this stage, I wasn't able to get a lot more detail.
Choosing a look, choosing names
Sometimes, how a thing is presented, how it looks or how we name it, shapes how we think of it, even if the thing itself is unchanged. Think, for example, of how 'premium' and 'basic' products are packaged at the supermarket: glossy packaging, metallic embossing, and an emphasis on ingredients for 'premium' goods; primary colours, simple design, and a focus on price and value for 'basic' goods. Often, the gap between the two is not as great as...
A sliding window of opportunity
There is a concept in political science known as the Overton Window, after its creator, Joseph Overton. Overton argued that political policy is set within a window—ranging from 'more free' to 'less free'—of public perception of acceptable ideas. Over time, the limits of this window of acceptability change, and the policies politicians propose change with them.
This month, I've been taking a look back over our news coverage for 2018. There have been quite a few significant developments over the year.
Security expert Bruce Schneier has, for decades, warned of the overlooked risks associated with the computer age. Sometimes, politicians, regulators, and industry leaders have paid heed.
An inventive season
We have a surprising flurry of new crane launches this month. This includes a series of new tower cranes, new loader cranes, and a new rough terrain.
Precise planning for perfect practice
My first job on Cranes Today was reporting on one of our London conferences.