Manitowoc’s Crane Care program keeps customers’ cranes running even on the most remote jobsites. In this Looking Up series, we speak to the technicians that travel the world, troubleshooting issues for customers so the lifting work can continue no matter what.
What is your name and role?
My name is Laurent Siebert and I'm a “Flying Doctor”, which means I’m a technical inspector for Potain cranes. I travel to jobsites when troubleshooting on a crane is needed, to support our dealers and customers and to report to our engineers. I also inspect new cranes and train our dealers on new models.
From time to time I’m also assigned to special projects – for instance, we will have a big new project in Tanzania this year. It’s a dam construction in the jungle for which we will use two Potain cranes. A team of technicians from Manitowoc will be working on this jobsite and I might go and support them.
Where are you based? What regions do you usually cover?
I’m based in Dardilly, near Lyon, France, but I work across the globe. I travel to wherever customers are, whenever they need technical support.
How long have you been at the company?
I have been with the company for 30 years, starting my first role at Potain in 1990.
Tell us about one of the most memorable or challenging Crane Care jobs you were involved with?
My most memorable job was installing our biggest Potain model, the MD3200, on a dam project at the Peace River in Fort St John in British Columbia, Canada. Working together with an installation team from the customer, it was a great adventure and a big challenge, personally.
The MD3200 is a very special and very large crane – it took 54 containers to ship this crane to Canada and we spent three months at the jobsite to assemble and erect the crane. Because the MD3200 is so large and specialized there are only a few in the world, so I had only limited experience of the model before arriving on the jobsite. I had to learn a lot about the crane directly on the jobsite, but with my knowledge of Potain and understanding the attention to detail of our designs, this part was not too daunting. But I’m proud of taking on this challenge and having the opportunity to work with the fantastic MD3200.
How does Manitowoc’s commitment to innovative design make your job easier?
We have a very good team of engineers and a great Crane Care team. We work hand in hand to improve crane performances over time, making them easy to use for our customers and ensuring they deliver strong performance.
In recent years, our new cranes have included the Crane Control System (CCS) to help customers and technicians optimize settings for operation, and the system is a big help in troubleshooting. It is a big step forward for us and the feedback from our customers is very positive. For instance, last year I supported a few customers with the MDT809, our largest topless crane yet. It is equipped with CCS, which is one of the reasons that customers really love this crane.
What’s the best part of being a Manitowoc Crane Care technician?
Frankly, every part is good because we learn something new all the time. I have 30 years of experience in this job and I’m still learning! This is my motivation. And of course, leaving a jobsite and seeing a smile on a customer’s face gives me a great feeling as well.
When you are not assisting customers with their cranes, what else do you like to do?
I ride my motorcycle with my wife, and we take trips with other friends with bikes. I try to spend as much time with my family as possible. I travel a lot for my job and am not home very often, so it’s important for me to have a good balance between my professional and personal life.