Capital Equipment News

While a large market remains for rental tower cranes, this has to come to an end at some stage. This is according to Louw Smit, sales director of Crane & Hoist Equipment SA, who says there is already a distinct shortage of rental tower crane units locally.

With more than 12 years’ experience in the tower crane sector, Smit was mentored by Quentin van Breda, the now retired founder and managing director of SA French, and believes there will be a turn in local market conditions towards the purchase of new tower cranes again.

Crane and Hoist Equipment SA to set new benchmarkThe recently established Crane & Hoist Equipment SA is a specialist operation that will supply new and refurbished cranes as well as construction hoists to the sub-Saharan markets.

“With an eye on being a sustainable business and keeping our customers top of mind, we have to ensure that there are options available for the built environment and infrastructure contractors, some of whom are feeling the effects of the slowdown in contracts being awarded,” he says.

“Tower cranes are definitely not an off-the-shelf product,” he says. “Each tower crane is unique and configured for the exact application requirement of the contract.”

As an example, Smit points to the instance where a contractor is faced with space constraints. This is one of the more frequent challenges being experienced as more and more construction is taking place in heavily built up areas. In many cases, a construction site could be surrounded by buildings on three sides, and this can prove challenging for a contractor in terms of mitigating the materials handling activities while striving for optimum productivity.

“The best option in this scenario would be the use of a luffing jib crane,” Smit says. Essentially, this crane is configured in such a way that the luffing jib is raised and this allows slewing to take place without affecting the surrounding buildings. On a large site, use of these cranes will also allow more than one to be in action at the same time.

With structures becoming taller and taller within the built environment, it is essential to apply optimal material handling solutions to ensure productivity is achieved on the construction site while operating safely.

Smit says that contractors who partner with competent technical tower crane experts are at a distinct advantage as they have access to people with an in-depth understanding of tower cranes configurations. He says that the special configuration of the mast will allow for a higher freestanding height of the tower crane itself, and this is a good solution for high rise structures.

“But what is extremely important,” Louw cautions, “is for contractors to communicate directly with a specialist supplier such as Crane & Hoist Equipment SA prior to site layout to ensure that the materials handling solution is fit for the actual conditions and application.”

“In the above example of the increased free standing height option, this tower crane would not have to be tied into the building or anchored and this will give the contractor both a time and cost saving on the project,” he adds.

“Often when we are involved from the initial site layout, we are able to offer alternate materials handling solutions to the contractor, and in some cases it is preferable from a cost saving perspective to make use of a tower crane in the initial stage of the project and then to use a construction hoist,” Smit says.

Construction hoists have gained traction in the construction sector as these are ideal for the vertical movement of personnel and materials, and significantly reduce the manual handling of equipment and materials. Hoists are not only suitable for almost all lifting activities on a site, but can travel at a speed that is both safe and effective, increasing productivity on site.

Commenting on the new company, Crane & Hoist Equipment SA, Smit says he is excited about future prospects, and that the key to the company’s success lies in the wealth of experience of its management team and the commitment of its people.

Operations director Danie Roos, with over 18 years’ experience in the industry, has in-depth technical knowledge and will be able to provide sound technical product support to clients.

Significantly, Crane and Hoist Equipment SA strives to be a leader in the lifting industry, and managing director, Brenden Crous says that in the high risk environment in which tower cranes and hoists operate there is no room for error.

“Quality and safety are a priority for Crane and Hoist Equipment SA and this translates to all our products and services,” Crous says. “Further by providing turnkey tower crane management and lifting solutions we offer a major differentiator to industry and this market offering will allow our clients to focus on their core business – construction - knowing that their lifting and materials handling equipment is well maintained and compliant with legislation.”

“We believe the Crane & Hoist Equipment SA team has the depth of experience and technical expertise needed to assist customers in selecting the most appropriate materials handling solution for any given application, whether it is a tower crane or a hoist and we look forward to serving the southern African construction and mining sectors for years to come,” Smit concludes.

Contact Capital Equipment News

Title: Editor
Name: Munesu Shoko
Email: capnews@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Elmarie Stonell
Email: elmaries@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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