The crane was sold to Essex-based PJ Plant Hire, and will be leased on a long term contract to Bell & Webster Concrete, for use at their new production facility in Newark, Nottinghamshire. Peter Issitt, managing director of Universal, said the firm has received a verbal order for a second crawler from an unnamed customer.

Also on the stand was a QY 30V, with Marsh Plant branding. The crane was the first of the 30t mobiles sold to the rental firm. Marsh Plant managing director Geoffrey Marsh said, “We took delivery of our first Zoomlion truck crane (the QY 30V on display at SED) in early March. That meant we were able to enjoy the UK’s 40% first year tax allowance, which has been halved from 1 April 2008. We used it for two weeks in the factory colours, and then sent it back to be repainted in our own colours for display at SED.

“We’re likely to buy at least one or two more Zoomlion cranes this year. That will probably include one of the 50t models that we expect them to begin exporting this year. We’ll use that for special applications, not routine jobs. We’ll continue to use the Zoomlions, as long as they give a good account of themselves. They’re the only current replacement for the old Japanese 25t truck cranes. Unlike some cranes that can only just manage to lift their claimed capacity, these can lift 32t at 3m radius.

“We have had horrendous, expensive, problems with some other cranes recently, and the common problem seems to be their electrics and electronics; today, every crane seems to have an ECU (electronic control unit) or PCB controlling various systems. The Chinese cranes are a lot simpler, and easier to maintain, just like the old Japanese truck cranes were.”