Against the backdrop of the scenic Hilton Head Island, SC&RA's annual conference is a time for meeting, greeting, learning, networking and even having fun. American Cranes & Transport reports.

The agenda for the 2006 Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association Annual Conference is packed with education sessions, governing and committee group meetings, networking events and leisure activities.

There's something for everyone but, year after year, attendees report that the most important part of the conference is the chance to meet the movers and shakers in the industry, including: specialized transport, machinery moving and erecting, industrial maintenance, crane and rental, manufacturing and related industries.

A highlight at the annual conference is the Product Fair, a mini-tradeshow where companies can showcase their products and services, and introduce their key management team, ranging from salesmen to CEOs. Some 55 companies will host booths at the product fair this year. Following is a sampling of the companies that submitted information about their plans for the product fair.

Beck Inc

In 2005, Beck Inc introduced its latest invention, “The Traksporter,” a self-propelled, hydraulic driven, radio controlled machinery skate with a 360 degree turning radius. After a decade in development and a mainstay in Beck's own rigging business, the Traksporter is a slow moving crawler system that can push or pull more than 120,000 pounds. The crawler has smooth track pads designed to be easy on floors, and it can climb small floor differences without disturbing the load. Owners Rob and Lynn Beck are excited about sharing their improved skate system with fellow riggers.

Bellville Rodair International

A global project forwarder, Bellville Rodair International specializes in providing international freight services for over-dimensional cargo, including cranes and heavy equipment, as well as offering full expedited air freight service for parts. Representing BRI will be Paul Mcauley, manager North American projects, and Mike Fuentes, general manager of operations. They will offer helpful information about international shipments, how to avoid unexpected freight costs, as well as resource information on popular trade lanes.

Bigge

Bigge Crane & Rigging will promote the cranes and equipment it has for sale and rent as well as Hydrospex hydraulic gantries and strand jacking equipment. Bigge's president Weston Settlemier and equipment sales manager Craig Welch will explain the features of the 1,000 ton capacity Hydrospex Super Boom Lift (SBL) gantries, which have wireless controls to synchronize the movements of the four legs to guarantee optimum stability during lifting. Bigge will also be promoting the Hydrospex strand jacks that were recently used to lift a 2,000 ton deck section on the new San Francisco Bay Bridge.

Bridon American

Leading international wire rope manufacturer, Bridon American, is a member of the Bridon Group that sells in more than 60 countries. With a focus on quality and innovation, Bridon has worked with equipment manufacturers, distributors, and operators to develop a portfolio of products, including its Dyform products designed for the various customers and wire rope applications the company serves. Meet Bridon American's management team who promise to explain that the company's creed, “The Difference is Bridon,” is more than just a statement.

Crosby Group

For more than 80 years, Crosby has been a leader in the lifting industry. The Crosby Group's Jim Peters and Bob Graham will offer information about the latest products, including Crosby IP lifting clamps, Vitalife wire rope lubricant, Crosby Eliminator chain fitting, plus several new chain hooks and revisions to the design of the Shur-Loc line of hooks.

CICB

The Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau (CICB) is a 37-year-old, veteran-owned business that provides training and inspection services on virtually all types of rigging, material handling and earthmoving equipment. CICB offers customized services in such areas as on-site crane safety training, NCCCO crane operator certificate of competency, on-site crane and hoist inspections, maritime inspection and certification services, accident investigations, expert witness testimony, critical lift planning and risk assessment. Visit the CICB booth and find out how to participate in or schedule training programs and to learn about the equipment inspections.

Crane Dispatch Software

If you are in the crane rental business and still using paper and pencil (and lots of erasers), or even a spreadsheet to schedule jobs, you will want to visit the Crane Dispatch Software booth. Senarc Systems of Chicago will explain how companies can take their scheduling and dispatch efforts to the next level with the Visual Dispatch program, which is claimed to be easy to learn, flexible and powerful. See the product demonstrated and learn how to create customized grid and chart layouts, as well as change any field name to your own terminology. Visual Dispatch uses cell-phone technology to increase communication options between dispatchers and operators. With the text messaging feature, job information, reminders and bulletins can be sent from the software to the operator's cell phone.

Custom Mobile Equipment

Gary Dick will man the booth for Custom Mobile Equipment, which has been in the machinery moving business since 1983. He will be promoting the four models of the company's Versa-Lift product line. The Versa-Lift is a compact, solid-tired lifting machine with two-speed hydrostatic drive, hydraulic boom and extendible frame.

Fleet Cost & Care

The product line includes software to help equipment owners cut costs, manage fleets and maximize profits. An accounting interface also eliminates duplicate tasking. Fleet Cost & Care is introducing its NexGen FMS software. Product engineer Sagar Maramreddy will join FCC's management team in the booth to answer questions.

Garrod Hydraulics

This family business remanufactures hydraulic cylinders and does industrial chrome plating. Founder Eugene Garrod started in a four-car garage and now operates from a 65,000 square foot facility in York, PA where it has one of the largest chrome-plating facilities on the East Coast, with the capacity to chrome rods up to 48 feet long and five feet in diameter. Garrod has been remanufacturing hydraulic crane cylinders for customers in Pennsylvania and Maryland for many years, but with the opening of its new facility, it can now support a much larger client base. Meet the Garrod family and learn how the company can help eliminate the need to send long crane cylinders back to Europe for repair. Garrod is ISO 9000 certified and does work for companies with large fleets and for small businesses with one or two cranes.

J&R Engineering

A regular product fair participant, J& R Engineering is the manufacturer of Lift-n-Lock hydraulic boom gantries. Meet key staff and see examples of J& R Engineering products in action. J& R's gantries are claimed to offer the ultimate in structural strength when lifting heavy loads to ever-increasing heights. Safety features include telescopic booms and a Cam Lock System.

Kobelco Cranes

On hand to discuss the Kobelco product line will be Tatsuo “Mike” Maruo, president; Jack Fendrick, general manager; J.D. Hughes, western regional manager; and Greg Ballweg, eastern regional manager. “We are very proud to be a member and feel that SC & RA is the flagship of associations related to our industry,” says Fendrick.

Kalyn Siebert

Representatives of Kalyn Siebert, a subsidiary of Heil Trailer International, will be on hand at the product fair to talk about its trailer line, specifically the newest “Commander” series, introduced in March.

The name was chosen for the new line of hydraulically detachable gooseneck trailers because of their commanding product presence, the company says. The Commander is designed to perform in demanding and diverse work environments, on and off road, under extreme weather conditions and under various types of loads and loading profiles.

Liddell Trailers

This Springville, AL-based company has been a leading manufacturer of premium-quality, custom low bed trailers since 1981. Its specialty is custom, heavy-haul units for on and off-road use locally, nationally and internationally, providing trailers ranging from 55 ton, three-axles to 14-axle models and hydraulic transport systems. Liddell is also US sales representative for Nicolas hydraulic suspension trailers. Liddell has a full-functioning manufacturing facility, but can also repair and fully refurbish any brand of trailer.

Liebherr

Representatives from Liebherr Nenzing and Liebherr Werk Ehingen will be on hand to talk about cranes built for the US market, including the new Liebherr LR 1200 and LR 1130 crawler cranes, of which several have now been delivered to US clients.

“These cranes provide high line speeds and pulls, plus a multiplicity of other features that customers are finding very attractive,” says Scott Moreland, vice president of sales and marketing at Liebherr Nenzing Crane Co.

Lift Systems

Ray Shuman, Lift Systems vice president and CEO, and Brian Wagner, vice president sales and marketing, will man the booth. Shuman and Wagner will present information about the company's new CARL electronic control system that can be incorporated on both telescopic hydraulic gantries and mobile equipment.

Lifting Gear Hire

At the Lifting Gear Hire booth meet Tony Fiscelli, general manager of LGH USA operations, and Keith Marynowski, manager of the Chicago branch. Lifting Gear Hire's new table-top exhibit displays all aspects of their business – rental, sales, and service of all kinds of lifting and rigging equipment.

The company carries numerous hoisting products for rental or sale, including come-a-longs, clamps, lifting and spreader beams, modular lifting beams, man-baskets and barrier grabs. Also stocked are rigging, pulling and jacking equipment such as wire rope slings, hydraulic jacks and rams, winches, and sheave blocks.

Link Belt

A long-time SC & RA member, Link-Belt will bring its top staff to the conference. Be sure to stop by to talk about Link-Belt's product line with Bill Stramer, vice president of marketing, sales and customer support; Brax Snyder, manager, worldwide sales; and Pat Collins, manager, lattice boom cranes.

Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company, with headquarters in Lexington, KY, is a leading designer and manufacturer of telescopic boom and lattice boom cranes for the construction industry worldwide. Don't miss the breakfast on Thursday sponsored by Link-Belt, and where Vicki Hitzges is the keynote speaker.

Manitowoc Crane Group

The MCG collection of crane brands has a single focus: to offer customers the most advanced and comprehensive range of lifting solutions. Brands include Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane and Potain.

Also represented will be support services Manitowoc CraneCare and CraneCredit. MCG will focus on its newest products, including the 440 ton capacity Manitowoc 16000 crawler, the 275 ton capacity Grove GMK5275 all-terrain, and the Potain MDT 98 city tower.

The company will be represented by Glen Tellock, president; John Wheeler, executive vice president, Americas; David Birkhauser, senior vice president sales, Americas; Bruce Buchan, vice president sales, North America; Bob Hixon, director of sales, North America; Roland Hammer, director of strategic accounts; Jay Buechler, customer finance manager, North America; and Chris Bratthauar, marketing communications manager, Americas.

Manitowoc CraneCredit

Capital starts a business and keeps it growing. Equipment allows a business to do its job more efficiently and competitively. Both are essential. Holding on to both often requires considerable effort and the right financial solution. Manitowoc CraneCredit can allow businesses to keep their capital and acquire the cranes they need. CraneCredit is the preferred provider of financing and leasing for all Manitowoc crane products. Manitowoc CraneCredit has a team of financing professionals to offer proven industry experience and the highest level of service quality.

MTU Detroit Diesel

Engines for lifting and heavy haul applications will be showcased. Three engines will be highlighted, including the MTU Series 60, Series 900 and Series 500. Product performance, reliability and product support are key points for customer discussions. MTU Detroit Diesel sells and services heavy duty diesel engines for a range of on and off-highway applications. Engines range from 45 hp to more than 3,500 hp and are used in stationary and mobile applications. MTU products are supported by a worldwide distributor network with more than 150 locations here in North America.

North Cascade Industrial

Specialty software developer North Cascade Industrial (NCI) continues to improve its lift planning software as well as to develop new products to aid rigging, dispatch and general construction. At the annual conference, North Cascade plans to launch new products and enhancements to existing ones. NCI Dispatch was developed as a low-priced alternative to dispatch programs.

TPS Tower Crane Planning Software was designed based on numerous requests for a solution to planning lifts with tower cranes.

LiftQuote.com is a new web service designed to help find cranes for specific jobs, allow customers to view charts from more than 675 cranes in NCI's database, to compare cranes customers may be interested in buying or renting, and to research which cranes to use for certain job by looking at radius and capacity of the crane.

LPS 2.0 Crane Selection and Planning Software is a new release that will allow customers to plan lifts with multiple cranes. Company representatives will also preview the new Spreader Bar DesignPro software, which will be released later this year.

Rayco-Wylie Systems

Available for demonstration will be Rayco-Wylie's i3000 rated capacity indicator and W3375-W3350 radio product line. The i3000 is now well-known in the market as being user friendly, mainly because of its graphical display, the manufacturer says. Frank Beardsley, technical director, will be on hand to discuss the company's product line. Rayco-Wylie Systems has been in the crane monitoring systems, products and services business for more than 70 years. The original Wylie Systems founded in 1933 pioneered the first crane overload warning system in the world.

Royal Tractor

Since 1970 Royal Tractor has been custom designing and manufacturing heavy mobile industrial material handling equipment. The company's Liftmasters and Rig-n-Lift cushion tire lift truck product lines are available from 15,000 to 150,000 pounds capacity. The Rig-n-Lift models are designed for the rigging industry and include hydraulic powered booms, extendable frames, and segmented, removable counterweights. All Liftmasters and Rig-n-Lift models are designed to offer compact dimensions for the best maneuverability in their rated capacity class. Jim Hardwick, president, and his wife Kathy, and Ron Christopher, national sales manager, and his wife Jolene, will attend the conference.

Safety J Hook

The Safety-J hook is a “below the hook” lifting device developed with safety in mind. It has both a manual and remotely activated radio release mechanism and meets or exceeds all OSHA, ANSI and ASME standards, the manufactuer says. Primarily used for roof trusses, other applications include bar joist, sheet pile and pipe. Ed Protesto will man the Safety J Hook booth to answer questions and discuss the attributes of this versatile device.

Slingmax

The Slingmax Rigging Solutions exhibit will feature photos of unusual or challenging lifts made with Twin-Path Extra high performance fiber slings.

One such is a recent 10-crane lift of a roof truss assembly almost as large as a football field. Jeff Susman, president of Slingmax, will be in attendance assisted by local dealers. Slingmax Rigging Solutions include both high performance synthetic slings and high performance wire rope slings. These products are fabricated and sold under license by 34 independent companies in 11 countries.

Superior Tire/Rowles A Long rigging skates

Tim Rowles and Superior Tire will present the Rowles-A-Long line of high performance rigging skates, including the new 15 ton steer skate as well as the entire line of skates ranging from 7.5 to 50 ton capacity.

The Rowles-A-Long skate line is floor safe with high carrying capacity, low rolling resistance polyurethane load wheels. The skate uses a 1 inch shaft, heavier than the industry standard, to avoid breakage, as well as special 6205zz bearings that are standard hardware.

Superior Tire manufactures polyurethane tires and wheels, assuring that all replacement parts are available directly from the manufacturer.

Trail King

Trailers for the construction, commercial hauling, aggregates, waste, recycling and agriculture markets are built by Trail King. Open deck trailers include utility, tag, tilt, rollback, hydraulic tail, and sliding axle trailers; rigid, mechanical, and folding gooseneck types; hydraulic detachable gooseneck trailers; and specialized multi-axle models for heavy haul applications.

Trail King materials hauling trailers include half round, side dump, bottom dump, and dry bulk pneumatic trailers; aluminum frame-type and frameless end dumps; and live bottom trailers. Attending this year's conference will be Jerry Thomsen, Trail King and SC & RA president; Butch Odegaard, national accounts manager; and Geoff Fischer, district sales manager.

Trail King is also sponsoring a breakfast on Friday, April 28 where the speaker will be John Powers who will present a talk on “Do what you love... love what you do.” Trail King is part of the Transportation Products segment of Carlisle Companies, Inc, based in Charlotte, NC, and owns 12 operating companies, and employs over 12,000 people around the world.

Transport Systems and Products

Regardless of the industry, all businesses face certain challenges, among those the collection, processing and distribution of data. Transport Systems and Products of Stamford, CT offers a product line to allow companies to streamline their business operations using advanced technologies from PortNexus, HP, Cingular and others.

At the product fair, TSP will introduce mobility solutions that can ensure timely collection, processing and distribution of data throughout an organization. TSP is bringing to market offerings using PortNexus product suites, mobile phones, pocket PCs and digital pens. These systems require virtually no change in workflow, no training and no new actions.

USI

A leader in crane and rigging insurance and risk management brokerage, USI is focused on helping crane and rigging companies become more successful by offering comprehensive management of insurance programs and risk management needs.

USI offers strategic advice and counsel with creative risk solutions to meet individual needs. Randy Proos and Jeff Haynes will be available to discuss USI's services.

Wheco Corp1

For the eighth successive year, Wheco Corp. will participate in the product fair, with Ron Williams, Dave Wood and Jay Shiffler on hand to explain the company's approach to engineered structural repair for cranes and its Service Life Extension (SLEP) programs. For more than 26 years Wheco has provided customer service to the crane industry by working with contractors, crane rental companies, equipment distributors and manufacturers and the insurance industry.

Wheco is also proud to have two members of its team active on SC & RA committees, including Wood who is on the Allied Industries Group Governing Committee and Doreen Williams who is on the Ladies Group Governing Committee.

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