It was not a tower crane year – not even truck-mounted towers were allowed and the organisers forced Liebherr to keep its MK 80 covered up – but there were plenty of cranes for the 160,827 visitors to see at SAIE 2001. The show was held in Bologna, Italy in mid October. As always at Italian shows, knuckle-boom truck loaders were much in evidence, but another common site was truck cranes on commercial chassis, offering customers a mobile lifting machine free of the regime of road permits that the all-terrain cranes come under.

Newest entrant in this market is Stern, a company based near Bologna that has been making loader cranes for about 12 years. Founder Ferdinando Salvucci, who acts as commercial director, is looking to expand production and diversify and so is now looking to produce access platforms and truck cranes. On show at SAIE was the STV 1000/3, Stern’s prototype truck crane, rated at 100t and mounted on a three-axle truck. With the boom at horizontal, the chart shows it lifting 16.5t at 6m and 4t out at 18.9m.

Cormach, better known for knuckle boom loaders, has been producing telescopic boom, truck-mounted recovery cranes for 15 years. This year it has added another recovery crane to its telescopic crane range. The M1601 is a four-axle, 40t-rated version of its three-axle, 35t model M1401. Cormach last month began delivering an order of five units of the M1601 to the Italian fire brigade commission.

Also showing a recovery crane was TCM, a company that offers a range of five models from 45t to 105t capacity, mounted on commercial chassis. It showed a C450 R3, which is a 45t capacity recovery crane with a 19m boom. Three units of this model have been delivered to date. On average, TCM produces about 25 cranes a year, the company says.

Also exhibiting was SCM, which produces all-terrain cranes in the 30t and 80t class. The only brand new all-terrain launched at the show, however, was Ormig’s 1024ttv. As reported in the show preview in October, this crane is an 100t all-terrain on a four-axle carrier. It has not got the longest boom in its class but, says director Gian Paolo Aschero, Ormig’s philosophy is to produce a strong structure that will stand up to punishment dished out by construction contractors, rather than produce the fast, flexible rig that the rental companies want.

Ormig also showed an 804AC, an 80t crane on a commercial four-axle truck, with which the company says that it has had some success in Denmark and Belgium as well as Italy.

A third crane on Ormig’s stand was the 9tmE electric powered yard crane. New for this unit is the option of an hydraulically luffing jib extension, 3t capacity and 2.4m long. With a 2.2t load it can luff upwards through 10% or downwards through 25%.

Autogru Rigo seems finally to have secured clearance from the United Nations sanctions authorities to ship cranes to Iraq. While one RTT 1600 ordered by Iraqi Ports is still on hold, another unit is now with the Ministry of Oil’s Kirkuk refinery. Rigo also has an order for five more of this 150t all-terrain model from the Iraqi government’s transport and water corporation, for building water pipelines. Deliveries begin in February. Rigo also has an order for three RT 350s, a 30t rough terrain unit, from the North Oil Company in Iraq.

Rigo also reports that its three-axle 60 tonner, the RTT 603, is selling ‘quite well’ with about 10 units sold since deliveries began in mid 2000.

New cranes planned by Rigo for launch next year are an 80t, four-axle AT, the RTT 804, plus the five-axle RTT 1305, rated at 130t, to replace the 110t capacity RTT 1200. A noteworthy feature of both these cranes is their use of ZF’s AS-Tronic transmission system.

A Bencini industrial crane made an appearance for the first time on the stand of its new owner. San Marino based CAMS, a company whose main business is the fabrication of cement production equipment, bought the company from the ageing previous owner in February. CAMS had previously been a customer of Bencini. Production was moved from the Florence region to San Marino in June and, producing only to order, 13 units were built by the new owners in the subsequent four months. By year-end, CAMS hopes to have sold 20 units. The first new model of the new regime, a 7.5t yard crane, may be exhibited at the Samoter show in Verona in February.

Among the loader crane launches was a new SC, or Short Crane, range from Fratelli Ferrari. While so much development in loaders has been about getting longer and longer reach, Ferrari’s SC cranes are designed to make it easier to bring certain loads, such as brick pallets, closer to the column. The cranes themselves still reach just about as far as the regular models but the first telescoping section is shorter. SC versions are available for the 708, 710, 712, 715 and 722.

From Amco Veba are additions to the Series 8. The 12tm model 812 and the 14tm model 814 are available with up to five telescoping extensions, the 20tm model 820 can have up to six extensions.

Fassi’s 410A series was new for the show, a series whose maximum reach is 24.3m, where it lifts 800kg. Maximum capacity varies from 2.55t to 2.75t depending on configuration. Fassi was also promoting several cranes launched at Bauma earlier in the year, namely the F220A, F240A and F330B. The latter two are available in XP (extra power) versions, which are badged F260AXP and F360BXP.

New from Effer are the Octopus 310 and 325, available in eight versions. The Octopus Techline range of cranes are designed as kits that can be transformed in any Effer authorised workshop. Effer also showed its new 500 and 550 cranes which use high tensile steel on the second boom to improve capacity, particularly on lifts above 35m. These cranes also have new frontal fittings which, according to Effer, are usually only seen on earthmoving machinery and other demanding sectors. These fittings ‘ensure an exceptional hydraulic hold, even under exertion’ Effer claims. The 500 and 550 come with a data monitoring unit which constantly checks the operating conditions of the crane.

German manufacturers were easy to find, with the booms of their all-terrains outreaching the local machines. While these cranes were, by now, all familiar, the most striking was the Demag AC 120 belonging to local rental company Vernazza, thanks to the ‘giraffe’ paintwork commissioned to mark the fact that this was the company’s 100th crane.