Pick-and-carry Cranes Continue To Excel

01 Jul 2020

Mobile cranes are the third-largest selling equipment type in India after backhoe loaders and hydraulic excavators. According to an Off-Highway Research report, sales of these machines hit an all-time high of nearly 12,000 units in 2018. Among the total mobile crane sales, pick-and-cranes constitute more than 90 per cent and the 96 per cent pick-and-carry cranes sold are of Indian origin. The sales of pick-and-carry cranes have increased by around 41 per cent during 2016-18.

Cost advantage

Pick-and-carry cranes are used for loading, unloading, moving, shifting and erecting material. These cranes are in high demand among all types of mobile cranes due to their broader application range and lower price as compared to other mobile cranes. According to Karan Chechi, Founder and Research Director, TechSci Research, pick-and-carry cranes are mainly used for lifting and moving of lightweight materials. As all the sectors having a requirement of lifting and moving of several materials, the pick-and-carry cranes play a critical role in key site management and load handling. So, “the demand for pick-and-carry crane is continuously increasing with the rise in the number of projects in different sectors, and this trend is expected to continue in near future,” he says.

According to Manish Mathur, Vice President - Marketing & Product Support, Action Construction Equipment, India is a cost-conscious market and pick-and-carry cranes come with low owning and operating cost. Moreover, maintaining pick-and-carry crane is easy as all the manufacturers are based out of India with vast sales and service network.

Anil Bhatia, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, TIL, also highlights the lower price making it an attractive proposition for the price-sensitive Indian market. According to him, the other considerations that go into the customer’s choice of a pick-and-carry crane are the inter-site mobility, ability to maneuver around tight corners, and a pricing that would make rental operations viable.

Changing designs and features

There is a gradual shift visible in the pick-and-carry crane models in terms of design and features to address the changing needs of the customers. Leading pick-and-carry crane players have in the recent past introduced new designs and features in their range of cranes.

Mathur elaborates on the changes taking place in ACE range, “In the past couple of years, demand from most of the project sites is for Nextgen pick-and-move cranes over traditional Hydra. Nextgen range offers many advantages. They are safer compared to the traditional ones because of their two-part chassis, front cabin and advanced dual circuit brake system. Also, most of the Nextgen cranes come with synchromesh advance transmission used in commercial vehicles and hence bigger capacity cranes can be designed easily.”

Considering the safety requirements in metro and other projects, customers have now started moving towards safe cranes. Looking at the new safety requirements, Escorts has done some changes in its product portfolio. Abhijit Shinde, Head - Sales & Marketing, Escorts Construction Equipment explains, “Recently, we have introduced the NXT series of cranes, which are advanced versions of hydra with additional safety features like front outriggers and safe load indicator with hydraulic cut off. There is increasing demand of cranes in higher tonnage and height along with safety features. We are working on these upcoming requirements and will soon be launching some of these models in the current fiscal.”

According to Bhatia, TIL’s pick-and-carry cranes are equipped with a host of innovative features like the 360-degree non-continuous slew, carry deck, microprocessor-controlled safety system etc among others. The Mobiload 415, recently launched by TIL, is a new version of pick-and-carry crane, with a maximum capacity of 15 MT at 2.5 m radius over front for pick-and-carry operations and 8 MT at 2.5 m radius for 360-degree slew on-tyre duties. The crane features a four-section boom with extended boom length reaching from 6.5 m to 17 m.

Competition to pick up

The Indian pick-and-cranes market is dominated by homegrown players with almost 96 per cent of the total market. Looking at the consistent growth of pick-and-carry cranes in the Indian market, global players are also now planning to enter the market and set up shops here. For example, Franna, a leading provider of mobile pick-and-carry cranes under Terex brand, is set to expand its global manufacturing footprint into India in order to support international growth plans. In addition to production at the Brisbane facility in Australia, a new Franna pick-and-carry crane designed specifically for India will also be manufactured at the Terex Materials Processing facility in Hosur, with production expected to commence in early 2021. Terex already has a strong manufacturing presence in India having first entered the region in 2009.

Franna’s expansion will give them access to the Indian crane market and the geographic location of the plant will allow them to better serve surrounding countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Demand to sustain

Simple design and wide application scope, irrespective of bigger or smaller projects, has driven the demand of pick-and-carry cranes over the years. The key players have also improved the design and features of their products over the years in order to fix the safety issues and for better productivity in the demanding conditions. Considering the low price range and working advantage, the pick-and-carry cranes will be in trend for the coming years, according to Shinde. With an expected rise in infrastructure projects and growth in other industry sectors, the demand for pick-and-carry cranes will continue to grow.

Related Stories