Perspectives on Potain



    French construction company Angevin is a long-time Potain customer. Director of materials Dominique Joly talked us through the partnership between the two companies.


    Take a drive through any city, anywhere in the world, and there’s a good chance you’ll see Potain tower cranes on the skyline. Nowhere is this more true than France, the birthplace of the brand and a country where the name Potain is synonymous with tower cranes. From coast to coast there are contractors, rental companies and dealers associated with the brand, and France is also home to two factories and several Potain offices, including a headquarters in Dardilly, just outside Lyon.


    So it’s fair to say the people of France know their stuff when it comes to Potain, and few know the brand as well as Angevin, a contractor based in Rennes that operates predominantly across the west of the country. The company started out over 80 years ago and has been running Potain cranes for decades, using them to support its program of construction work that covers residential, industrial and infrastructure projects.


    Dominique Joly, director of materials at Angevin, is the person responsible for the company’s equipment fleet and he explained how strong return on investment is at the heart of its ongoing Potain purchases.


    “The added value we get from investing in Potain cranes is their quality and reliability,” he said. “To get the best profitability from a tower crane, it needs to be fast and reliable, that’s what’s going to make you money on a job site.”


    Joly explained that the company’s philosophy and investment in Potain is always based on stronger return on investment. For example, when the company added MDT 219 cranes, it opted for the shortest jib length, as that was most cost-effective for its projects. In addition, it already has a large number of higher-capacity Potain cranes, so the company knew it would be able to employ those on sites that were too big for the new MDT 219 cranes.


    “When we’re looking to add cranes to our fleet, we’ll always look at the load curve, but then just pay for jib length based on our needs,” he said. “However, in general we almost always prefer to have a large Potain crane on our projects — it’s the fastest way to get the job done.”


    Angevin operates a Potain fleet of 25 top-slewing cranes and 24 self-erecting cranes. Of the 25 top-slewing cranes, 17 are topless MDT units. These are fast becoming the most popular cranes in the company’s fleet with their excellent lift performance that is complemented by fast transportation and easy assembly on site.


    “Transport is important,” noted Joly. “Potain components are light and fit together well for transportation. The markings are also clear, which is especially important for us when we’re sorting the cranes back at our yards and depots.” Angevin takes a highly professional approach to running its fleet of cranes, again making a partnership with Manitowoc and Potain a natural fit.


    Its latest MDT cranes are equipped with Manitowoc’s unique Crane Control System (CCS), and Angevin ensures that Manitowoc’s advanced anti-collision software is incorporated into the operating system. The company also tries to digitize as much of its business as possible, so it takes advantage of Manitowoc’s Global Technical Library (GTL) program for online technical publications. Specific management and operating costs for each crane are closely monitored, enabling Angevin to understand the return on investment for each Potain purchase. Potain owners enjoy a range of benefits, according to Joly, and he’s been particularly impressed with developments over the past few years under The Manitowoc Way. “There’s been a real acceleration in innovation from Potain and that’s been great to see,” he said. “It’s good to see the company continuing to challenge itself and provide even better cranes and higher service levels.” Angevin was founded in 1936 by Alexandre Angevin and started its business building houses in the South of Rennes. After the Second World War, it expanded significantly and welcomed its second generation of leadership, Daniel Angevin, son of the founder. Today the third generation, David and Sébastien Angevin, are also part of the leadership team at the business that employs around 800 people and operates from six depots.

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