Who’s using mobile cranes to handle materials?
The construction and infrastructure development sectors are spurring demand for pick-and-carry cranes (9-30 t) and truck-mounted cranes (25-60 t), and the manufacturing sector also makes use of these cranes, says Pradeep Sharma, President, Action Construction Equipment (ACE). “Truck-mounted cranes are usually preferred to crawler cranes, with the latter taking precedence to implement construction, mining, energy, transportation and logistics projects in rough terrain.”
“We are seeing good growth in demand for mobile cranes of capacity 250 t and above,” says Saeesh Nevrekar, Director, Sales and Service, Terex Cranes. “Our clients are mostly crane rental companies, who serve the needs of companies engaged in the construction of roads, bridges, metro underground tunnels and refinery expansions. In the past three to six months, they have reported crane utilisation rates of 80-85 per cent, which is boosting demand for our product.”
Demand for higher capacity mobile cranes, typically tyre-mounted cranes of capacity over 100 t class and crawler cranes of over 400 t class, is mainly from the windmills sector, refineries and, to a very small extent, from metro projects, says Ajay Kumar Somani, Construction & Material Handling Equipment Consultant and Former Director, Liebherr India. “New thermal power projects and nuclear power projects are not happening as expected.”
In his opinion, owing to falling rental rates, the ongoing payment crisis and bank loans being more difficult to procure, service providers are mostly buying Chinese-made cranes or used cranes from the international market as such cranes are about 40 per cent less expensive than new European models, despite the fact that they usually need more maintenance and longer time to erect.
Anil Bhatia, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, TIL Ltd, expects a 15-20 per cent increase in demand for mobile cranes, with a number of big infra projects expected to start this year, such as the bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and the expansion of the Reliance Jamnagar refinery. “Tenders for the high-speed bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad have already been floated. And as the track will be elevated for most of the stretch, the demand for mobile cranes will be very high.”
The oil sector will be another major demand driver for mobile cranes, adds Bhatia. “With crude prices hardening, new investments are picking up.” Additionally, he notes that new mining tenders in FY20 and new irrigation projects in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra will further boost demand.
Sharma expects government investments in Tier II and III cities and rural areas and projects such as smart cities, Sagar Mala, metro rail, dedicated freight corridors, Pradhanmantri Awas Yojna and bullet trains to drive demand for mobile cranes.