Manufacturers reported relatively good sales despite the absence of many overseas visitors, and plenty of innovation was on show.

The two landmarks of the outside area were GG Crane’s prototype twin jib, propeller slewed tower crane, and local manufacturer Liebherr’s huge, three-storey stand.

GG Crane showed its new crane for the first time at the show. The design, originally developed by Gaspar Gillard in the 1960s, and now re-invented by his son Patrick, has met with a mixture of amazement and bemusement from many industry observers. Specialist tower crane manufacturer Wilbert built the version on display for GG Crane. Changes from initial designs include a new flat-top structure, and changes to the cab to allow better operator visibility. Patrick Gillard said that the new crane has received strong interest from a number of specialist users, with potential applications on large commercial and residential sites, docksides and nuclear plants.

GG Crane

Liebherr went all out to demonstrate confidence in the industry. The manufacturer’s three-storey stand stretched along the edge of the crane section in the outside area, and included dozens of cranes. One highlight was the company’s new giant telecrawler, the LTR 11200, winner of the innovation award at this year’s ESTAs. Despite displaying some disappointment at the lack of overseas visitors to the event, a Liebherr spokesman said that the company had sold around 40 mobile cranes and 70 tower cranes.


US-based manufacturer Manitowoc also ended the week on a positive note, saying that it would be reporting good sales from the event. The company launched a new generation of six-axle cranes at the event, including a taxi crane and specialist heavy lifter. The first crane, the 6300L, lifts 300t and features a long boom. At 80m, it can lift 12t. The bigger crane, the 6400, has a rated capacity of 400t, and can be used for the sort of heavy windmill repair jobs that were previously the sole domain of seven-axle cranes.

Manitowoc was also showing a new tower crane cab, built for the company by third party manufacturer TIM. Manitowoc said that the decision to move to an outsourced supplier allowed the company to focus on core competencies. The new cab offers improved visibility and will be standard across the company’s tower crane range, making maintenance and parts supply easier for customers.

With a revision to the EU tower crane standard EN 14439 coming into force, and demanding improvements to operator visibility and safety, many tower crane manufacturers were showing new cabs. Innovation in this area wasn’t limited to towers however. Terex, for example, was showing a newly redesigned mobile crane cab.


Spierings also had an innovative new cab design on its five new City Boy compact mobile tower cranes. Previous Spierings cranes have used two cabs, for driving and operating. The new compact crane instead uses one cab for both jobs. When travelling, the cab offers good visibility forward and up. When the crane is unfurled, the cab rotates by 90º, bringing what was the front windscreen down below the operator’s feet, allowing him to see the load below him without obstruction. To make this design possible, the driving controls are moved out of the way, and the seat rotates in relation to the rest of the cab. As with all Spierings cranes, the complete assembly operation is fully automated.