The local Manitowoc perspective on the cessation of the supply agreement between Kobelco and Manitowoc was given to CAL by John Stewart, VP & General Manager, ANZ for Manitowoc Cranes.
“The agreement with Kobelco was very successful but we felt it was time for a change of direction for our smaller cranes, with the introduction of models built at our new crawler assembly line in Shady Grove in the US,” said John Stewart, VP & General Manager, ANZ for Manitowoc Cranes.
“For Australia, we will oversee deliveries of Kobelco-built Manitowoc 11000-1 and 12000-1 models through the first quarter of 2019. We plan on bringing in the new MLC100-1 in mid-2019. Most of the benefits we discussed during the launch of the MLC100-1 in the US will apply to customers here in Australia. These include ease of transportation and erection; strong load charts (including when walking with the load); reliability; and, of course, excellent return on investment for buyers. We will probably have a Manitowoc MLC100-1 on display at CICA 2019.”
In responding to a question about ongoing support for Kobelco-built, Manitowoc-branded cranes sold in Australasia, Stewart said: “Manitowoc will fully support these cranes and the customers who bought them. We maintain a very good relationship with Kobelco and have contractual agreements in place to ensure the timely supply of parts. Manitowoc Australia has trained factory technicians. In addition, our network of dealers is fully trained to support our range of crawler cranes. We have plenty of parts in stock and the latest crane deliveries on the way. For now, it’s business as usual.”
Not just crawlers
The Manitowoc MLC100-1 was unveiled at the company’s Crane Days event in Shady Grove, Pennsylvania (USA) in June this year, with the 100-tonne crane having a maximum boom length of 61 metres and features that allow fast set-up and pull-down. However there were other cranes at this event with relevance to the local market.
“At the Crane Days event, we also presented several rough-terrain cranes and they will be very important for the Australian market too. The GRT8100 and its little brother the GRT880 are totally new cranes, and are direct replacements for the RT880E and RT890E, both of which were very popular in the mining sector,” Stewart explained.
“The GRT8100 is a 100-tonne capacity crane with a 47-metre 5-section boom and features class-leading capabilities and Manitowoc’s Crane Control System. With a full complement of boom extension and insert options, the crane has best-in-class reach of up to 77 metres. The 80-tonne GRT880’s 40-metre main boom was designed using Grove’s formed boom technology, which uses laser welding as opposed to the traditional submerged-arc process.
“Both the GRT8100 and the GRT880 have benefited from the design phases undertaken at the Manitowoc Product Verification Center (PVC). This ensures component quality prior to crane production and dramatically improves reliability and quality. Our engineers for the RT and GMK all-terrain cranes, in the US and Germany respectively, combined the best of both product lines to produce the GRT8100 and GRT880 cranes.
“The new GRT9165 epitomises this combined effort, using many components from our very successful GMK all-terrain crane line. The GRT9165 offers the longest reach and highest capacity of any model in Grove’s rough-terrain line-up. The GRT9165 is a 149-tonne capacity crane that features a 62.5-metre 6-section, pinned boom. It has a host of features that will help companies increase efficiency while maintaining a low total cost of ownership.”
When asked about Australian availability, Stewart said: “We have staggered the release of the new line of GRT cranes. The GRT8100 and GRT880 are available now and are built at both our Shady Grove (US) and Niella Tanaro (Italy) factories. This flexibility can offer savings in transit times and additional volume to meet customer needs. The new GRT655L, which was shown at Conexpo, will be ready for Australia in early 2019. This unit is built only at our Shady Grove factory for now.”
Truck cranes were also on display at the Shady Grove event. When questioned about whether these were targeted at the US or had potential for Australia, Stewart responded: “It’s an ongoing process of reviewing their potential for the Australian market. There is one truck crane – the larger TMS9100 – that we currently sell in low volumes… Manitowoc has established a firm foothold in Australia with this new product line-up that is perfectly suited for a recovering market. We are excited to bring these to the country.”