Irving Equipment’s relationship with Manitowoc enables the two companies to develop industry-leading mobile cranes that are built to last.
For more than 60 years, Irving Equipment (Irving) has been deploying Manitowoc and Grove cranes on its job sites. Little did the company know that someday it would be helping design new Groves for the entire lifting market.
The Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada based company specializes in heavy lifting, pile driving, specialized transportation and project management, and it deploys a fleet of more than 100 cranes. Some 60 percent of those cranes are Manitowoc-made. As its business has grown over the years, leading it to become one of the most well-known crane providers in the country, its fleet has expanded in size to match pace.
Irving says it has come to rely on Grove cranes for their reliability, both on the job site and off, as the support Manitowoc provides helps the company excel. (In one telling example, Irving still has a 1959 Manitowoc 3900B that it can deploy if the right job comes along, such as for pile-driving projects.) Two new additions to its crane lineup — a GMK5250L all-terrain crane and a TMS9000-2 truck crane— have the company poised for another breakout year, according to Victor Murty, operations manager at Irving.
“We purchased a new GMK5250L and a new TMS9000-2, so we are now better equipped to provide the best lifting solution for our clients,” he said. “Both cranes enable us to perform two-hook operations, which we weren’t able to do before, and now we have even more lifting options. This will help us compete for and win jobs we couldn’t have previously.”
Relationships that make a difference
While the cranes themselves have superior features that enable Irving to have a more versatile fleet, it was ultimately the company’s relationships with its dealer, Shawmut Equipment (Shawmut), and also its partnership with Manitowoc, that led to another Grove purchase.
Shawmut helped Irving connect directly with Manitowoc’s design team for collaboration. Irving collects data on all of its equipment, and it shares the data from Grove, Manitowoc and National Crane models with Manitowoc. In 2018 this led the Manitowoc engineering team to sit down with Irving to see exactly where changes could be made to improve its equipment.
“This type of collaboration is indispensable,” said Andrew Miller, director of business development at Irving. “Not only are we receiving great support, but we are able to help Manitowoc deliver quality products to the market. Together, this relationship enables us to be aggressive when bidding on new jobs because we are confident that our machines are reliable and efficient enough to perform any lifting job.”
This close working relationship is evident in Irving’s recent crane purchases. The company plans to keep a close watch on the performance of its two new Groves, and report directly back to Manitowoc to feed the data into future crane designs.
“In addition to the two-hook operation capabilities of both cranes, the TMS9000-2 had a greaseless boom and an automatic truck transmission, which we will be able to compare with our other machines to see if we use less fuel with this one,” Murty said.
“The GMK5250L is a one-engine crane and employs MAXbase outriggers, so the hope is that with one engine we will cut down on maintenance, and the MAXbase technology will enable us to better position the crane around job sites.”
Working smarter Irving strives to be on the leading edge of technology. Its engineering department is no exception, which is why it recently unveiled the Lift Lab. This space enables the planning engineers to work closely with the customer and to showcase new technology that the department is incorporating into its planning.
To ensure that Irving maximizes its lifting capabilities, the company uses a proprietary system called CraneCAD. It’s a unique, computer-aided drafting system that creates three-dimensional drawings of all aspects of proposed lifts. Irving developed the software to help the company plan lifts according to the dimensions of the job sites, load details and crane specs, such as reach and capacity.
Another benefit is that the technology enables Irving to plan what crane is best suited for each job and ensure that it brings a specific amount of counterweight to the site, rather than bringing all of the crane’s counterweight, which cuts down on transport costs.
Irving says this greatly improves how efficiently it operates. With the ability to perform two-hook crane operations with the GMK5250L and TMS9000-2, combined with CraneCAD, Irving can maximize the utilization of its cranes because it can now complete jobs with one crane that used to require two.
“We’re excited to add these two cranes to our fleet,” Murty said. “While it’s nice to buy cranes, we also need the support that comes along with that. Having a dealer like Shawmut and a manufacturer like Manitowoc that are both invested in the product means a lot. That level of support and collaboration speaks to our strong relationships with them.”