Manitowoc restructures UK tower crane distribution

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Manitowoc is restructuring its Potain tower crane distribution in the UK, as its current dealer, Belgium based tower crane rental company Arcomet, prepares to pull out of the UK.

As part of the closing of its UK operations it is giving up its current distribution of Potain tower cranes in the UK. As a result, Potain has decided to sell its top-slewing cranes direct to customers from Manitowoc UK headquarters in Gawcott, near Buckingham. Earlier this year Ladybird Crane Sales of Bromsgrove, West Midlands was appointed as the Potain self-erecting tower crane distributor for the UK.

Steve Barnett, managing director of Manitowoc UK said: “Selling Potain cranes directly will enable us to react faster to customer inquiries and to raise awareness of the full capabilities of the product line. Over the past five years, the Potain range has grown, with new models and technologies across the board. Nobody in the UK knows Potain cranes better than our own team, so we look forward to getting in front of customers and highlighting the latest technology advances in tower cranes.”

“Earlier this year Ladybird Crane group was appointed distributor for Potain self-erecting cranes exclusively in the UK. Combined, the two new developments means there are more staff, resources and support dedicated to the Potain brand in the UK than ever before.”

“We already have a very large population of Potain cranes in the UK, both top-slewing and self-erecting. Our Manitowoc facility in Buckingham, plus the facilities and team at Ladybird, mean we can offer better parts, service and training support than was available previously. We believe this increase in Potain capabilities here will ensure the brand continues to be a popular choice for contractors and rental companies in the UK.”

Ladybird Crane Sales’ sister company, Ladybird Crane Hire already operates the largest Potain self-erector rental fleet in the UK. Its dealership agreement will see further units added to the fleet, while sales to contractors, builders and other end users will be managed through the group’s national sales network.

Robert Bird, managing director of Ladybird Crane said: “The UK market for self-erecting cranes has been resilient in recent years, despite lower levels of construction activity. Contractors are focusing on costs and operation – self-erecting cranes are a cost-effective and a single source for material handling. Compared with other European markets the UK is still relatively small. The more customers use self-erecting cranes, the more they are coming back, which is positive news for the industry.”

Kim Dandridge, Manitowoc’s sales director for the UK and Ireland, added:
“We are delighted to sign this agreement with Ladybird — the company is perfectly placed to represent Potain self-erecting cranes in the UK. We have worked with the guys there for years and have always been impressed with their professionalism and knowledge. They are also committed to the highest levels of customer service.”

Arcomet, which took on the Potain distribution in 2006, has not responded to calls regarding its plans future plans the UK market.

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