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First Tadano GTC-1800EX telescopic boom crawler crane goes to Steil Kranarbeiten

Left to right: Birgit Steil and Jens Ennen

The moment was really something special for both companies: For Trier-based Steil Kranarbeiten because it was taking delivery of the first Tadano GTC‑1800EX to be handed over worldwide, and for Tadano because the crane is the first one to symbolically represent the integration of its Tadano and Demag brands: It was developed at Tadano Demag in Zweibrücken, is built there, and is sold under the Tadano brand name. Accordingly, the handover in Zweibrücken had a number of high-ranking witnesses: Steil General Manager Birgit Steil and Head of Technology Karl Trippel traveled there together with a crane operator and a truck driver. And CEO Jens Ennen and Sales Manager Frank Brachtendorf were there on behalf of Tadano. Together with Tadano Product Manager Vincent Stenger, these witnesses told us about the expectations they had for the crane as a customer and as a manufacturer:

Birgit Steil: We expect, first and foremost, to save a lot of time and money with the GTC‑1800EX. Especially because of the short setup times and the logistical advantages when it comes to transportation. Since the crane is also very versatile, we’ll be using it primarily at work sites with tight space conditions and on difficult terrain. With its intelligent IC‑1 Plus control system, it has the advantage that it automatically determines the available lifting capacity under consideration of factors such as ground inclination and the track setting.

Vincent Stenger: That really is one of the special strengths of the GTC‑1800EX. As a true telecrawler, it offers enormous lifting capacities even at an angle of inclination of up to 4°. It is designed in such a way that it can be transported very efficiently, and it only takes one heavy-load lowbed trailer that can handle the base crane’s compact 3 x 3 m (w x h) transport size and four standard trucks to get it to a work site. Once there, it can be set up quickly in just a few steps. The crane’s powerful carrier delivers high tractive power and allows for stepless variable track width adjustment – even asymmetrical configurations are possible, which make it an extremely versatile machine under all terrain conditions.

“The GTC‑1800EX is an extraordinarily versatile crane.”

What are the specific potential applications you see for this new crawler crane?

Birgit Steil:  We’ll first be using it primarily as an assist crane for our Demag CC 3800 in wind turbine projects. But it will also be extremely useful for installing prefab concrete elements. In fact, we ordered the crane with two winches precisely because of this.

Vincent Stenger: The GTC‑1800EX was designed in such a way that it would be usable in virtually any industry worldwide. For installing and assembling prefab concrete elements, bridges, or tunnels in structural and civil engineering projects; as a setup and pre-assembly crane in wind power projects; and when maintaining large mining equipment and facilities, for instance.

How is the GTC‑1800EX important to Tadano Demag and the integration of both companies?

Vincent Stenger: With the GTC‑1800EX, we have put an enormously powerful and competitive crawler crane on the market. We’re so confident in our development approach and the corresponding results to date that we’re currently working on a roadmap in Germany to bring additional GTC models to market. We’re coordinating this with the Tadano GTC product line, which is developed in the USA.

Jens Ennen: The GTC shows not only how innovative we are, but also how our approach of getting customers involved is fruitful. It’s not enough to just offer innovations. You have to make your customers part of the development process. That’s the only way to develop what they need. The GTC‑1800EX is a compelling example of this. And I’m very happy that Steil took delivery of the first unit. The company is an important customer and has confirmed its trust in our products and our company with this purchase.

And that is something that is especially important in times like these. What does the current situation look like for you and your company?

Birgit Steil: The current situation is very challenging for all of us due to the coronavirus pandemic. We keep re-evaluating it every week and use the results, when necessary, to derive measures that enable us to respond flexibly to all developments. Our topmost priority is to protect our employees and customers as best we can. However, I can also say that we are still quite satisfied as far as our own situation is concerned, as the lockdown measures have barely affected us so far.

“We stand by Tadano Demag!”

And how would you evaluate the current situation at Tadano?

Birgit Steil: We know that Tadano Demag is a professional and reliable crane manufacturer. Because of this, we trust that the company will come out of its protective shield proceedings in good shape. It’s important to us that Tadano Demag continues to exist, and our intent is to buy cranes there in the future as well.

Jens Ennen: For us, it’s obviously very important that our customers continue to stand by us. And this has been the case to date. We’re using these protective shield proceedings to elaborate a reorganization plan. This plan will ensure that Tadano Demag and Tadano Faun remain competitive by enabling us to take even better advantage of synergistic effects across the entire value chain, optimize our production operations in a lasting manner, and shorten our lead times. It goes without saying that our customers will benefit from this too – the GTC‑1800EX is only the beginning of our integration process!

It is worth mentioning that Steil’s GTC‑1800EX has already passed its trial by fire with flying colors: Directly after the handover, it was taken to a wind farm in the Black Forest, where it was used to lift rotor blades and disassemble a Demag CC 3800-1 on site after the latter completed its last lift – exactly as the people at Steil had envisaged.