Going mobile: Jörg Müeller on Terex’s Demag all-terrain cranes
Jörg Müller, senior international sales manager for Terex Cranes, discusses the state of play in the region after the manufacturer’s relaunch of its popular Demag all-terrain mobile crane range
Over a year has now passed since Terex Cranes relaunched an updated range of 11 Demag all-terrain cranes at Bauma 2016 and announced its resurrection of the brand’s five-axle range, as well as plans for a range of three-axle all-terrain cranes.
By the end of the year, the Demag mobile crane range will consist of machines ranging from the 55-tonne capacity, three-axle AC 55-3 up to the 1,200-tonne capacity, nine-axle AC 1000-9, with many models in-between.
The reintroduction of the five-axle range after a significant research and redevelopment effort plugged what was previously a wide gap between the 100-tonne and 300-tonne models, and does so with four models with lifting capacities of 130, 160, 220 and 250 tonnes.
In the Middle East, where construction and logistics work is frequently weighted towards the heavy end, the revival of the five-axle range was more than welcome and customer interest has already translated into serious business — with majors order signed month-after-month from March through June this year.
Jörg Müller, senior international sales manager for Terex Cranes, notes: “It’s been much better than last year, definitely, so let’s hope it continues. We relaunched the Demag brand at Bauma, and I think people are still relating to this. The five-axle family makes a lot of sense for rental companies — particularly as you can interchange certain components. For example, the second hoist is interchangeable within the five-axle family, from 130 tonnes to 250 tonnes.”
The run of deals were led in both size and precedence by Sarens Nass, the Bahrain-based joint venture of the Belgium-based Sarens, which in March signed an order for 15 units of the 130-tonne capacity AC 130-5 cranes.
These 14.3m-long and 2.75m-wide carriers come with a standard 60m-long main boom and can reach a maximum system length of 86.5m with boom extensions.
Müller explains: “Nass didn’t buy Demag machines for a couple of year, so this was a deal where we were discussing with them what they need, and what advantages we could provide when it came to the machines. Our load chart, in particular, was stronger than the competition — especially with the IC-1 Plus control system, which safety wise was an advantage for them — so they chose our cranes.
Terex Cranes has been strongly advocating the merits of its IC-1 Plus crane control system, which boosts lifting performance. The system works by calculating the maximum lifting capacity of a crane in real-time based on the outrigger extension, counterweight configuration and slewing angle.
In many cases this allows the cranes to far exceed the lifting capacity limits associated with a pre-calculated, 360-degree load chart, which is based on the most unstable position.
In practice, the IC-1 Plus control system allows smaller cranes to perform jobs where a higher capacity crane might previously have been required, or for smaller jobs can allow the operator to quickly set up on site and safely carry out a lift with reduced counterweight or just partially extended outriggers.
The latest version of the six-axle Demag AC 300-6 crane is meanwhile the first 300t-class in the Demag range to be equipped with a luffing jib — bringing the maximum system length up to 118m.
Commenting on whether there’s interest in the model in the region, Müller notes: “Absolutely, because the predecessor model, the 250-6, was very successful over here in the Middle East, and has a very good reputation — so what we did now was strengthen this crane.
“There were a couple of cranes coming out from the competition, so we tried to make this crane stronger, and it is: it’s stronger than all of the competition load chart-wise and I think it will be very successful here.”
The Sarens Nass order in Q1 was followed by an April order by Kuwait’s Integrated Logistics Company for 12 Demag cranes, including two AC 130-5s, four AC 160-5s and six of the new six-axle AC 300-6 cranes, which they will receive at the end of the year.
In May, Bahrain’s Modern Mechanical, Electrical and Transporting then placed an order for two four-axle Demag AC 100-4Ls, a five-axle Demag AC 160-5 and AC 220-5, and an advance order for the three-axle AC 60-3 model. The lifting contractor also ordered a two-axle Terex AC 40/2L rough-terrain crane.
In June by Kuwait’s Jassim Transport & Stevedoring Co., or JTC, then placed an order for four four-axle Demag AC 100-4L units and one six-axle Demag AC 250-6 crane.
Müller notes: “We have actively approached both new customers and old customers who perhaps hadn’t made a purchase in a long time — we put a lot of effort into regaining them.
“It’s important that you put determination into it, and that’s what we’ve done since I started in November last year. We have put a lot of effort into this, and discussing what can be done or what can be improved with our customers — and this has paid out. Kuwait and Bahrain have definitely been strong this year. There are a lot of new projects coming up, and we are supporting that market development.”
In the next 12 months, Terex will also be rolling out the new three-axle Demag AC 55-3 and AC 60-3 all-terrain cranes. These models were revealed in March 2017, and will begin shipping from mid to end 2018.
Müller continues: “The latest crane model that has gone into serial production that is perhaps important in the Middle East is the RT90, which is a Terex rough-terrain crane. We are having the first field test units in the region in August, and then the serial production will start in September.
“That will be an important product launch, because it targets the segment which is still the biggest here in the Middle East for rough-terrain cranes: from 80 to 90 tonnes.
But, he adds: “I’ve had a good start: if the numbers are right it always helps — we will have to see how it continues, but so far I am very happy.”