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On the up

Balaji Mani, a technical service specialist for mobile and crawler cranes at Manitowoc, spends his time supporting customers across Southeast Asia. He shares what drives his passion for his work in an interview with Looking Up.

Balaji Mani’s career is on an upward trajectory: his working life began underground, servicing mining machinery and now he’s moved above ground to service cranes. Although he’s been doing the job for a decade, he still gets a thrill from making customers happy and getting their cranes back to work as fast as possible.

In this conversation with Looking Up, Mani discusses his most memorable projects and reveals how the latest software advances are making life better for Manitowoc technicians and customers alike.


Looking Up: Where are you based? What regions do you usually cover?

Mani: I am based in Singapore, which is an ideal headquarters for supporting customers throughout Southeast Asia.


LU: How long have you been at Manitowoc and what other jobs have you had?

Mani: I joined Manitowoc just over 10 years ago in November of 2012. Before that I spent several years working as a service engineer for a mining equipment company in India.


LU: What is one of the most memorable or challenging service support jobs you were involved with at MTW?

Mani: I was involved in a major repair project on a Grove GMK4100L all-terrain crane in Singapore after it was seriously damaged in an accident. Our team didn’t just fix the damage — it was more like a refurbishment. So, by the time it was delivered back to the customer, the crane looked as though it had just left the Wilhelmshaven factory in Germany! Good as new!


LU: How does Manitowoc’s commitment to innovative design make your job easier?

Mani: I’ve always appreciated the ease of access for maintenance work, but the real game-changer is undoubtedly going to be Grove CONNECT. Allowing owners and other authorized parties to remotely access and monitor a crane’s operation in real time is already proving to be extremely helpful. The new system enables us to properly understand any faults before we even set foot on site.

It eliminates the risk of us having to immediately return to base to collect the right spare parts — we’ll already ensure we have them before we’ve even seen the crane. The customer enjoys maximum uptime, with reduced service expense, and we get to spend more time with our families as a result.


LU: What’s the best part about being a Manitowoc service support technician?

Mani: The job satisfaction that I get from solving problems and nursing cranes back to life is priceless. We might not be able to tackle every project the same way that we did with that refurbished GMK all-terrain crane, but we’re still 100% committed to getting customers’ machines back up and working with the minimum of downtime!


LU: When you are not fixing customers’ cranes, what else do you like to do?

Mani: I enjoy gardening and playing badminton.


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