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News Release

Ladybird Crane Sales to distribute Potain cranes in UK

4/10/2012

Manitowoc appointed Ladybird Crane Sales, part of the Ladybird Crane Group, as its new UK dealer for Potain self-erecting cranes. The company’s sister firm, Ladybird Crane Hire, already operates the largest rental fleet of the cranes in the UK. This new dealership agreement will see further units join the rental fleet while sales to contractors, builders and other end users will be managed through the group’s nationwide sales network.

Kim Dandridge, Manitowoc’s sales director for the UK and Ireland, said Ladybird’s knowledge of Potain self-erecting cranes makes it a natural choice as a dealer.

“We are delighted to sign this agreement with Ladybird — the company is perfectly placed to represent Potain self-erecting cranes in the UK,” he said. “We have worked with the guys there for years and have always been impressed with their professionalism and knowledge. They are also committed to the highest levels of customer service.”

Ladybird will serve the UK market from its headquarters in Bromsgrove where it has a demonstration area, yard, workshop and training facility. The group supports its rental fleet with a team of full-time engineers and a network of sub-contractors who will also service cranes sold to third parties. In addition, Ladybird employs a full-time training manager to help contractors and others get the most from their Potain self-erecting cranes.

As an additional benefit to customers purchasing or renting cranes from the company, Ladybird offers the services of the innovative GAPO positioning vehicle. GAPO is a remote-controlled dolly that can maneuver cranes into very tight job sites. The motorized front bogie can turn through 180 degrees and connects hydraulically to the crane’s steerable rear axle. Operated together, this allows the driver to turn the crane within its own length offering exceptional maneuverability. Offering GAPO allows Ladybird to install self-erecting cranes in places contractors may have thought impossible.

Robert Bird, managing director of Ladybird Crane Group, said demand for self-erecting cranes has remained relatively strong in a difficult market.

“The UK market for self-erecting cranes has been resilient in recent years, despite lower levels of construction activity,” he said. “Contractors are focusing on costs and operation, and because self-erecting cranes are a cost-effective, single source for material handling, we’re seeing levels of interest remain steady. In terms of technology and productivity, Potain is the market leader and we are excited to be offering the company’s cranes for both sales and rental.”

One of the most popular job sites for self-erecting cranes in the UK are care homes and large residential houses, both of which have been relatively unaffected by the construction downturn. Care homes in particular are well-suited to self-erecting cranes as the construction processes generally involves placing timber frame panels which telehandlers (an alternative to self-erecting cranes) cannot install.

The Igo 50 is a very popular crane for these projects, with a 4 t capacity and a maximum reach of 40 m, where it can lift 1.1 t. Also popular is the Igo 36, which can unbolt a 7 m section from its 32 m maximum jib, allowing the shortened 25 m jib to lift 1.7 t out to its maximum. Ladybird continues to operate many Igo 50 and Igo 36 cranes in its rental fleet.

According to Bird, independent builders will also see good potential for the smaller Igo 22, which can lift a maximum of 1.8 t and has an 850 kg capacity at its 28 m jib end. These compact and affordable cranes have a small footprint and are highly mobile, plus they have the ability to work on single-phase power — particularly useful for sites in remote areas.

Bird said the potential for self-erecting cranes in the UK remains huge.

“We’ve seen good, steady growth in the self-erecting crane market as contractors get more accustomed to the benefits they bring,” he said. “But compared with other European markets the UK is still relatively small. The more customers use self-erecting cranes, the more they are coming back, which is positive news for the industry.”

About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
Founded in 1902, The Manitowoc Company, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of cranes and lifting solutions with manufacturing, distribution, and service facilities in 20 countries. In the United States, the Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane, Potain and Shuttlelift brands are sold and serviced by Grove US, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Manitowoc Company, Inc. In 2018, Manitowoc’s net sales totaled $1.8 billion, with over half generated outside the United States.
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