Business is really picking up for Berry Cranes in Northamptonshire. From a single, second-hand truck-mounted model in 2000, the company has grown progressively over the last 16 years, currently boasting a ten-strong fleet of all-terrain and truck-mounted cranes with lifting capacities up to 100t.

The current line-up includes seven truck-mounted cranes and three all-terrain cranes: a 40t Tadano ATF 40G-2, 70t Tadano ATF 70G-4 and 100t Grove GMK4100L.

The latest addition to Barry Cranes’ fleet is a Tadano ATF-70G-4. Having purchased Mitas tyres ever since the company entered the crane tyre market in 2010, Berry Crane’s managing director Neil Berry opted to have his new ATF-70G-4’s factory-fitted tyres replaced before the machine even left Tadano UK’s factory in South Yorkshire.

In their place, Earthmover Tyres fitted the machine with eight Mitas 445/95 R25 CR01 tyres, of the type and size which is now on all of Berry Cranes’ self-propelled units.

Mitas’s CR-01 and CR-02 tyres are designed to be a new generation of crane tyre which is designed to maximise the vehicle’s productivity. The former has an open tread block design which produces excellent traction and allows for easy self-cleaning in off-road applications, while also providing tread pattern of 26mm compared with the industry-standard 25mm for other brands. The CR-02 provides high operating economy on the road because of its low rolling resistance.”=

Neil Berry underlines the importance of tyres to his business, he said: “In my view tyres are a key issue. I see many instances where crane hire companies re-cut tyres or run them down to the wire with a view to saving money. But to my mind both of those approaches are ultimately a false economy because, from listening to others’ experiences, they simply lead to more downtime and expense, plus unhappy customers because of the delays caused by tyre failures.

“I changed to Mitas tyres having experienced reliability and longevity issues with [other manufacturers’ tyres]. We look for a four-year working life from tyres but found that some of those were only lasting 24 months, which was unacceptable.”

Berry said operating tyres at the right pressures is fundamental, because cranes are heavy machines which put a lot of stress on their rubber and generate a lot of heat when running on the road, which can lead to premature failure if not correctly maintained.

“Downtime is something that I am very keen to avoid and if a tyre blows out because it has been poorly maintained that will be costly not just in terms of potential lost earnings but also the inconvenience for our customers, replacement cost and possible associated damage to the crane itself,” Berry said.

He said that the company’s new Tadano ATF 70G-4 is equipped with a pressure gauge on the valve of each tyre, which runs at 9.5 Bars, but he is considering installing an in-cab tyre monitoring system which continuously monitors the situation.

“It also incorporates a history function, so that if we do have a problem we can check the exact condition of the tyre at the time of the incident,” he added.