A photo of a Mantis Cranes site with multiple cranes, showing the advantages of working with many cranes.

Industry Changes Over the Past 25 Years

In 1999 when Mantis Cranes introduced the first self erecting crane to the Irish market, the Ma-sol 18 06 had a maximum lifting capacity of 1,500 kg. Fast forward to 2024 and the self erectors in the Mantis Cranes range now lift loads up to 6 T, with tower cranes lifting up to 24 T.
Advancements in crane capabilities in response to changing customer requirements have resulted in a very different landscape for the crane hire industry. Today our customers look for greater capacity, improved efficiency and reduced environmental impact. The industry has responded to customer demands with innovative technologies and engineering solutions.

A photo of a Mantis Cranes site where multiple cranes are working to improve speed and efficiencies on site.

Here we will look at some of the main changes in the crane rental market since Mantis Cranes hired out the first self erector in 1999.

Reduced Reliance on Telehandlers

It cannot be overstated the value that telehandlers bring to construction sites however over the last 25 years, there has been a shift on some construction sites from the use of telehandlers for material handling to cranes and especially self erecting cranes. Cranes get the material exactly to where it’s needed thus improving productivity and reduces labour costs and at the same time reduces risk by eliminating vehicular movements. The small footprint and substantial working radius of a self erector or tower crane will also maximise any free space available onsite.

Higher Capacity Cranes

Buildings methods have changed and some structures are getting taller, in particular where land is limited. Over the years there has been a move to off site construction where some of the components within a building, like the concrete wall, are now been manufactured off site. This reduces build time and inevitably costs but it has created a demand for larger capacity cranes to cope with the heavier weights of off site construction. Consequently, demand for cranes with greater lifting capacities and height capabilities has increased as contractors construct and maintain these soaring structures.

Increasingly Restricted Sites

Urban development, higher land costs and limited space available for construction over the last two decades have resulted in very restricted construction sites. The small footprint of the self-erector allows the placement of the crane close to the building to maximise free space. A tower crane can be placed where it can service the entire site efficiently, freeing up space for other services.

Enhanced Health and Safety on Site

Increased use of cranes in construction sites reduces the need for manual handling of materials and equipment. Replacing telehandlers with cranes reduces movement, congestion, and clutter on sites and contributes to a safer work environment.

Multi Crane Sites

Having multiple cranes with different capacities and capabilities on-site will help achieve the shorter build times that contractors strive for.  The use of multiple cranes on sites has been increasing steadily over recent years.

A photo of a Mantis Cranes self erecting crane working on a site with limited space

Remaining Unchanged

One thing that hasn’t changed significantly over the time is rental costs. On most of our crane models the hire rate today is more or less the same as it was 25 years ago. This demonstrates great value to customers but possibly with a caveat! Crane prices have escalated over the same timeframe especially in recent years with some models costing three times what they did some 20+ years ago. Admittedly the technology and safety features have moved on considerably as well and customers will always want to experience these improvements in the plant they bring onto their construction site.

However in order to offer a modern, well-maintained and creditable rental fleet there needs to be year on year investment and to do this requires a fair and moderate rental return, something that is questionable at the moment! Mantis have not been wanting when it comes to investment and has consistently replenished our stocks of cranes over the past 25 years.

The changes in the crane hire industry from 1999, when Mantis Cranes first took a self erector to a trade show in Dublin, have been remarkable. Ongoing collaboration between crane manufacturers, rental companies and customers will see further advancements in the lifting solutions market in the future. What changes will take place in the next 25 years can only be imagined, but undoubtedly, they will shape the future in ways we can’t fully foresee.

Mantis Cranes are a leading crane hire company, and supply self-erecting cranes, tower cranes, luffing tower cranes, and construction hoists. We are established throughout the UK and Ireland. For information on hiring or buying cranes and crane attachments, email us on info@mantiscranes.co.uk or info@mantiscranes.ie  or visit  www.mantiscranesgroup.com

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