Demand For Cranes Remains Stable Until The End Of 2023

The study forecasts that sales for 2023 will remain at the same levels reached last year, set at 237 units

Cranes have regained a stable position in equipment sales and should remain that way for a long time. This is the perspective of the Sobratema Study of the Brazilian Construction Equipment Market, which points to sales of this equipment for this year at levels equivalent to last year, of 237 units, compared to the 157 cranes sold in 2021.

According to Alex Xiao, CEO of Sany do Brasil, there is currently a demand for these machines, especially the All Terrain (AT) models, where each sector makes its investments based on specific needs. “Wind projects, for example, began to multiply in the country from 2019 onwards, works that justified new investments in large load lifting equipment,” he says.

AT cranes are considered essential for handling larger jobs, such as assembling bridges and on mining sites. This equipment has a structure prepared to travel both on highways and rough terrain, as it is equipped with suspension and steering systems prepared for these circumstances.

According to Xiao, today the market looks differently at AT cranes of Chinese origin, mainly because oriental equipment has gained the reliability of Brazilian customers. “Firstly, at a level of up to 250 t and then moving to machines from 300 t to 650 t. We currently have several negotiations underway for equipment weighing up to 1,000 tons,” says Xiao.

It is worth highlighting that the rental market accounts for 90% to 95% of purchases of this equipment, a segment that is normally closer to the places where the demands occur. “AT cranes have excellent mobility, with the possibility of steering practically all axles. Thus, it is positioned sideways within the work area — which is a huge advantage of this type of machine. Unlike the truck crane, it has hydropneumatic suspension, which together with the more robust chassis allows the machine to run with counterweight,” explains Rene Porto, divisional manager of mobile cranes on crawler and tires at Liebherr Brasil.

This type of crane also has a powerful and long telescopic boom that reaches great working heights quickly and easily. “Flexibility is one of the equipment characteristics. With truss extensions, folding jibs, fixed and tilting trusses, they can be configured for all applications in a short space of time,” adds Rene.

Mobility to Different Locations

According to information published in Magazine M&T – Mercado e Tecnologia, some rules establish limits for the transport of AT cranes on highways, in order to guarantee everyone’s safety and enable efficient logistics, both in cities and on highways. “The National Traffic Council (Contran), the body responsible for regularization in Brazil, published resolution 882 establishing weight and dimension limits for trucks and buses as well,” details Leandro Nilo de Moura, marketing manager at Manitowoc. For All Terrain cranes, the rules include, for example, axle weight of 12 t, length of 14 m (up to 19.8 m), height of 4.4 m and width of up to 2.6 m for tracks regular traffic routes, among different other measures. These requirements came into effect in January 2022.

In the Brazilian market, AT cranes have a capacity range from 40 t to 1,200 t. Furthermore, they are available with a varied number of axles. The five-axis machine is in the range of 130 t to 250 t and the six-axis machine has a capacity of 300 t to 400 t. The seven-axle ones can handle 450 t. Each of these devices is best suited for a certain type of application. “The three- and four-axis models are widely used in quick projects in cities and maintenance of buildings that have little space,” explains Leandro Nilo.

AT cranes from 40 t to 45 t are specific for industrial removal and indoor maintenance work. As it is a very compact machine, it can go where medium equipment cannot. Cranes in the 100-t range (four axles) are of the taxi crane type, which performs different services in very different locations. The 220-t and 250-t machines work hard for the mining, oil and gas and infrastructure areas.

The 400-t equipment is recommended for maintenance shutdowns in various types of factories, in addition to being a machine used in heavy infrastructure services. And while the 500-t AT cranes operate in the wind energy and infrastructure services sectors, as well as in maintenance shutdowns in refineries and petrochemical plants, the 750 t to 1,200 t cranes are more used in the assembly and maintenance of wind towers.

Alex Xiao, from Sany, reiterates that AT cranes above 400 t are mainly aimed at assembling towers, generators and blades in wind farms. “Due to their exceptional load capacity, these machines are essential for the installation of complex, large volume and extremely heavy components. At heights greater than 100 meters in large wind energy projects,” explains Xiao, indicating that the energy sector is a large consumer of AT cranes with capacities above 250 t — a market that absorbs around 40% of the sales volume of these products.

These machines are used in renewable energy projects, such as installing wind farms. Next, with 30%, Xiao mentions the oil and gas industry for onshore activities, including the assembly and disassembly of large equipment at drilling, production and mining sites. Third, but not least, the infrastructure and construction sector accounts for 30% of the use of this equipment, with emphasis on the assembly of bridges, cranes and metallic structures.

By: Santelmo Camilo