Christian-Jacques Vernazza, president of the European Special Transport Association (ESTA), the organisation that represents major lifting contractors and crane hire companies, is inviting equipment manufacturers to become associate members of the organisation.

The move is partly to help realise Vernazza’s ambition of ESTA growing to the size and influence of the USA’s Specialised Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA). It is also, more importantly, designed to promote greater understanding among manufacturers of the needs of their customers. ESTA believes that mobile crane manufacturers have let down their customers in recent years by producing machines that do not match the needs of the rental companies.

Unlike the SC&RA, which attracts hundreds of delegates to its annual conference and its other meetings during the year. ESTA has until now maintained a low profile and largely confined its activities to lobbying the European Commission in Brussels.

Vernazza, who is also president of Mediaco, France’s largest crane hire company, has paved the way to grow ESTA by establishing the new class of associate membership for equipment manufacturers.