Firm says rental companies are looking to expand fleets as construction activity grows in the region
Hitachi Sumitomo Cranes (HSC) is focusing on Middle Eastern rental companies as a key group of customers for its crawler cranes, a senior executive said at a recent open day.
Piet Hein van Bakergem, general manager for sales and marketing, said firms specialising in heavy lift operations, many of which offer rentals, are looking to expand their fleets as the region’s construction sector grows.
While the firm is seeing demand for its crawler cranes in industrial settings like steel factories, the cranes are also being used onsite in construction-machinery operations, a market successful for rental companies, he said at an event organised by Hitachi Construction Machinery (CM) Middle East and HSC last month.
“It’s not often that companies invest in a crawler crane because the investment is quite high. They depend on rental companies who also have skilled operators, so that is a very important group of customers for us.”
A key example of tapping into the rental sector was the handover of a SCX2800-2 to Tony Nuyts, general manager of Aertssen Machinery Services Middle East, a Belgium-based firm specialised in heavy lift operations and offering crane rentals.
On display at the Open Day were four cranes with boom heights reaching 73m: the SCX550E, SCX2800-2, SCX800-2, and the SCX1500A-3. The SCX1500A-3 was used in a demonstration at the event, held in Hitachi CM Middle East’s headquarters in Jebel Ali, Dubai. Also on display were a range of Hitachi CM medium excavators, mostly 22t and 35t models.
The open day was organised for both existing and potential customers, van Bakergem noted.
Commenting on the market for crawler cranes, he said that specifications are getting higher as the needs of the construction sector evolve in Saudi Arabia and other markets. While earlier a 100t crane would be “the talk of the town,” companies now prefer models with greater capacities, he pointed out.
“At the moment the 150t and the 280t are fast movers for us, and we also have a 500t crane available in our product line.”
The company is also looking at introducing a 350t in the latter half of 2015 to provide a more complete product range for customers, he added.