Jaso Tower Cranes Brings Simple Service to End Users in the U.S.

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Pockets of the United States are proving to be robust for construction, and tower cranes are providing the much-needed support to keep these projects on track. Some expect tower-crane rentals to remain strong through 2017 as dozens are erected in major cities across the country. One of the newest players is the Spanish-made JASO tower crane line.

Earlier this year, Crane Tech Solutions (CTS), Portsmouth, Va., became the exclusive distributor for Jaso cranes in the United States and its territories. Jaso has manufactured equipment for 50 years, getting its start in the overhead crane business, and has supplied 10,000 tower cranes to more than 60 countries. CTS recognized the benefits these hammerhead and luffing-jib cranes can provide to buyers in the United States.

According to Frank Hegan, president of CTS, Jaso exhibited at ConExpo 2008 but realized that U.S. tower cranes are larger than what they were offering. “They went back and designed larger cranes—the ones we are now offering—and had been successfully selling those in Australia for over five years, so the cranes have been proven in the field,” Hegan says.

Currently in the United States, CTS is distributing five hammerhead and four luffing-jib tower cranes. The hammerhead models include the J 150, J 300, J 420, J 560, and J 600, which have maximum capacities that range from 22,000 to 52,900 lbs. Their maximum freestanding tower heights range from 175 to 269 ft., and their maximum tied-in heights can reach as much as 2,830 ft. Maximum jib lengths range from 215 to 279 ft., and their maximum jib-tip capacities run from 3,525 lbs. at 213 ft., to 11,200 lbs. at 262 ft. Maximum hoisting speeds run from 262 to 890 fpm, and the larger four models all have a 344 fpm maximum trolley speed.

The four luffing-jib tower crane models include the J 168, J 180, J 280, and J 450; maximum capacities range from 13,200 to 79,370 lbs. Their maximum freestanding tower heights range from 147 to 220 ft., and their maximum jib lengths run from 129 to 197 ft. Other key performance rates include maximum hoisting speeds from 344 to 715 fpm, maximum swing speeds of 0.8 rpm, and 90 seconds to luff the jib from horizontal to maximum angle.

All hammerhead and luffing-jib models can be mounted on a variety of foundations, including a traveling chassis. The largest luffer, the J 450, has been approved for work in New York City.

U.S. appeal
CTS is in the business of connecting with European manufacturers and developing a market for their products in the United States. “We look for a quality product, first and foremost, and with the Jaso cranes, we saw that,” Hegan says. “We have a good feeling for Jaso’s management because they are willing to adapt their cranes to the local market. They realize each market is different.”

Hegan reports he talked to dealers in Australia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom about their impression of the product line. “It came back overwhelmingly that these cranes are easy to work on,” he says. “The dealer in Mexico said that a lot of new cranes from current manufacturers require a specialized technician if there is a problem on the crane. He said Jaso has done a good job trying to keep it simple.”

For example, the Jaso hammerhead and luffing cranes are electric like other European cranes, but where they differ is the hammerheads only have two Programming Logic Controllers and the luffers have three. Hegan says this cuts complexity when troubleshooting the cranes. “They have taken a lot of effort to make it so the owner does not need a high-level technician to fix the cranes,” he adds.

The first Jaso crane, a J 560 hammerhead, is expected to arrive this month and will be running by mid-December on a jobsite in the Washington, D.C. area.

The unit will allow the user to see, touch, and operate the crane. “There are no large Jaso towers in the United States at this point, so the best way to [introduce potential customers] is to go over the features of the cranes, capacities, and load charts,” says Hegan. “Several have said they like what they see on paper, but they want to see it in person and have their operators comment on it.”

In the United States, CTS will be handling service of the Jaso cranes. The company has technicians in Portsmouth, Pittsburgh, and Oakland, Calif. “All of our service technicians will be factory trained when the cranes start coming in, and CTS will open service centers as required,” Hegan says. The Jaso sales team consists of industry veterans Manfred Kohler, Robert Kohler, and Robert Hileman.

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