This report covers North American sales and production volumes of lattice boom, all-terrain, rough-terrain, hydraulic truck and industrial cranes. We do not monitor pin-mounted hydraulic truck or tower cranes and these products are not part of this report. Cranes are used to lift materials and move objects from one location to another. Some are better suited to lift extremely large weights to very high locations; others to move materials a short distance in a storage or utility yard; some operate in off-highway environments (rough terrain) all the time while others work in both rough-terrain and flat paved conditions. Mobile cranes are most often found in non-residential construction projects requiring lifting and moving of materials of size; higher capacity crawler cranes are often used on power generation projects.
Mobile cranes are very expensive to buy and operate. They require a high level of maintenance, specially trained operators, heavy equipment to transport them from site to site, a huge place to store them when not in use and they are not always suited for all projects. The larger the crane, the larger the barrier to entry. Most cranes are held by rental equipment companies for the reasons stated above. Crane manufacturers do not design cranes for specific applications. Yet, today’s crane suppliers generally offer a complete product range to be competitive and to keep pace with customer demands. The table below summarizes the situation in 2016 and a brief forecast is seen at the bottom of the table to show our projections for sales and production levels within the industry for 2017 through 2021.