Phillipe VandenBranden, Luc Ceulemans and Kurt Buermans had all worked across the crane industry for around twenty years, before taking the decision to set up on their own.

VandenBranden, now Megamax account manager, had worked for twenty years for Migeotte, a family-owned Belgian rental firm. At its peak, the firm had around 35 cranes in its fleet, and was the only rental firm in the south of Belgium. However, the owner was considering a sale and VandenBranden wanted out.

Megamax managing director Kurt Buermans’ career had taken him to positions across the industry, at companies including Sarens, Trama and Michielsens. Over the years, he had worked closely with Luc Ceulemans, now Megamax planning manager.

In 2002 the three took the decision to open their own rental business: Megamax opened its doors in June of that year, with three cranes and a second hand mobile office. Over the last four years, the company has gradually built its fleet to meet rising orders and now owns 32 cranes. The fleet comprises mainly Liebherr mobile cranes, with a few Tadano Fauns and truck mounted cranes. Capacities range from a 30t LTM 1030/2 up to a 500t LTM 1500.

Some of Megamax’s 32 cranes, at the independent rental firm’s open day.

While the company started off with a focus on Brussels and the French-speaking south of the country, it has also acquired a rental business in the northern town of Mechelen, allowing it to compete with Dutch-speaking business in the Flemish region.

In September 2006, Megamax celebrated its fourth birthday with open days for the industry and for its employees’ families, at its headquarters a short drive south of Brussels. Amongst the cranes on display, the star of the day was a new Liebherr LTM 1400/1. Like his colleagues, and so many others in this industry, Luc Ceulemans displayed an untrammelled passion for, and experience of, cranes as he pointed out the key features of the new 400t crane.

Megamax’s new Liebherr LTM 1400

For Megamax, working frequently in the crowded streets of Brussels – the capital of both Belgium and the European Union – access is of vital importance. Ceulemans focussed on the ease with which the crane could be transported, its easily adjustable range of steering options and its clear control system. Buermans agreed that flexibility and mobility are, and also noted that the telescopic ballast system makes it possible to work with a max radius of only 5.6m: again, ideal for carrying out heavier lifts in crowded urban sites.

Like the LTM 1400, most of the cranes in Megamax’s fleet are Liebherrs. Buermans commented, “For us, and in our experience, Liebherr is the best crane, not only for user comfort also the fact that the factory is always the one that comes up with the technological improvements.”

The quality of new Liebherrs isn’t the only attraction for Megamax. Continuing his comments, the straight-talking Buermans points out: “Liebherr are also the only manufacturer in Belgium who can offer a reliable service when the shit hits the fan. When you have a crane working a night shift in the centre of Brussels and it breaks down an answer like ‘we’ll send someone over on Monday’ is not really what you want.”