In Europe, Manitowoc has substantially invested in its Potain rental fleet, offering customers ready access to a wide array of tower cranes and supporting accessories that can offer fast support to their projects.
Over the past several years, Manitowoc made a strategic business decision to boost its tower crane fleet in Europe, making big investments in large, high-capacity Potain cranes for rental, along with supporting accessories such as chassis, telescoping cages, specialist mast sections and more. Today around 100 cranes plus dozens of accessories, most of them ideal for large construction projects, are available to rent direct from the company. The move has increased customers’ competitive advantage by giving them the flexibility and agility to react more quickly to project needs.
As the two main rental markets in Europe, Germany and France sit at the heart of Manitowoc’s tower crane rental activity. There is one company-owned rental facility in France, and two in Germany, while additional Potain rental services are offered via local distributors in select markets.
“Investments in our tower crane fleet in Europe have helped us increase our market share in Germany and win some strategic orders with key accounts,” said Manitowoc president and CEO, Aaron Ravenscroft.
Benefits to customers
For customers, Manitowoc’s fleet of Potain cranes allows them to rent units quickly to help secure work. For example, in Berlin, Germany, a new MDT 569, one of Potain’s strongest and most versatile cranes, is working on a battery plant near Tesla’s Gigafactory. Launched in 2020, this compact yet powerful topless tower crane was designed to add flexibility to sites where multiple units overfly the construction zone at the same time. It features industry-leading load charts with capacities of up to 32 t (35.3 USt) and jib lengths of up to 80 m (262 ft). Local German Potain dealer Wilhelm Banzhaf rented the crane from Potain to then re-rent it to the contractor at the jobsite, offering a fast solution to a customer’s need.
Over in France there is a similar story. Two MDT 489 and an MDT 809 were rented to a busy data center construction project. All the cranes were rented by customer Demathieu et Bard, which already owns a fleet of 55 Potain cranes, but in this case rented cranes for the project for faster availability and greater operational agility.
Easy and quick to erect, the MDT 489 has a strong load chart and lifts 3.9 USt (3.5 t) at 262 ft (80 m). The MDT 809 is equipped with three winch options which give the crane a maximum capacity of 25 t (27.6 USt), 32 t (35.3 USt) or 40 t (44.1 USt) has even stronger load charts and lifts up to 9t ( 9.9USt) at 262ft. Both are simple to transport and install — as are all Potain topless cranes from the MDT range.
Christophe Simoncelli, SVP for tower cranes in Europe, explained that Manitowoc’s rental fleet in France is comprised of big machines, along with supporting technologies, that are not available on the regular rental market. He pointed out that by offering these products for rent as well as for sale, customers get more flexibility of choice in how they use these machines in larger projects.
“Most dealers, most rental houses, and even contractors, don’t always want to purchase these cranes or technologies outright, especially if they are uncertain of what utilization they will get in future. So in these cases, renting is a great option. Since Manitowoc has such strong European coverage, we can maximize the utilization of this type of equipment. We make it available through our rental fleet which complements our customers’ own fleets,” Simoncelli said.
As Manitowoc continues to offer more complete crane services to customers across the product lifecycle we can expect to see more initiatives such as this in the future.