There's A New Crane On The Block - A Closer Look
Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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SECTION: A Closer Look

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There's A New Crane On The Block

Written By: Mary Sedor

Article Date: 04-02-2007
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

Typical construction cranes are large pieces of equipment designed for large loads and big spaces. While these large pieces of equipment are well equipped to handle tough jobs, there hasn't traditionally been a good solution for smaller jobs - until now.

Jekko mini-cranes, manufactured by Italy's IMAI Manufacturing, are the only cranes of their kind in the United States. The mini-cranes have been used throughout Europe for a decade and in Asia for 20 years, but only recently became available in the United States through C4 Cranes, the sole U.S. distributor.

Keith Shank, owner of C4 Cranes, first used a mini-crane as part of his contracting business.

"Two years ago, we purchased a mini-crane from Europe, imported it and started using it," says Shank. "Every time we went to a jobsite, the owner or other contractors would ask us where we got it and how they could get one."

Shank contacted the manufacturer and discovered no one was importing the cranes into the U.S. market; so he started C4 Cranes and signed a distribution agreement.

The two mini-crane models - the SPD-265C and the SPD-360 - are battery powered crawler cranes capable of traveling through standard doorways. The SPD-265C has an operating weight of 3,748 pounds, a 20-foot boom and a 3,000-pound maximum lift capacity. Maximum work radius is 19 feet 4 inches and maximum work height is 22 feet 11 inches. Model SPD-360 has a 4,000-pound maximum lift capacity with a 25-foot work radius and a 32- foot maximum work height. Lift capacity is 875 pounds at full reach. They're 8 feet 2 inches long, 2 feet 7 inches wide and 5 feet 9 inches high.

C4 cranes are ideal for any job requiring movement of lightweight materials using an easily transportable machine. One of the most common uses in Europe is installing of glass in buildings.

Shank says the cranes are great for installing pipes and beams where forklifts can't work. "These mini-cranes do the heavy lifting so you don't have to," he says.

The mini-cranes are easy to use and provide exceptional lifting capacity for their size.

"With zero emissions, the cranes are more environmentally friendly," says Shank. "They can easily be used in museums, offices and other applications without disrupting the normal flow of people."

Currently, C4 Cranes is working to expand U.S. distribution. And, Shank says, he ‘d prefer all his dealers were AED members.

"I want the top dealers in the country representing our product, and that means AED dealers," he says. "Our mini-cranes are specialized and unique - not just any dealer can represent them."

According to Shank, mini-cranes are ideal for rental.

"Since these are new products, people will definitely want to try them out before they purchase them, but once they see the benefits of the mini-cranes, end users will be buying them," he says.

Shank says dealers representing the mini-cranes can position themselves as having a complete lifting package.

"I think dealers will find this will provide them a competitive edge," he says.

Al Steinhagen, owner of Steinhagen enterprises, a mechanical demolition and rigging contractor, bought a mini-crane to save on labor costs and improve safety. One of Steinhagen's most recent uses of the crane involved taking down valves weighing 1,700 pounds each at a Minnesota Correctional facility. Steinhagen was able to use the mini-crane to loosen and take down the valves. Without it, they would have had to cut open the roof.

"I was very curious about the crane," he says. "I had never seen anything like it before. I'm glad we purchased it; we can walk it through the front door of a building, drive it down the hallway and set it up wherever we want."

For information about distribution opportunities, call Keith Shank at 763-488-4009.

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