Uri Toudjarov truly enjoys the crane industry. For him, it’s the people and the cranes.
Toudjarov speaks fondly of his 30-year career in the industry, appreciating the knowledge he gained working through the ranks of Terex Cranes, starting as a regional manager in Canada and holding such key positions as sales manager, product manager for PPM and American Crane, sales director and vice president of crane sales for North America. After leaving Terex he worked as international sales director for Bigge Equipment.
“With Bigge, I was able to gain experience from the distribution side of the business,” he said. “I joined Global Cranes to create a new brand of rough terrain cranes that will provide the end user with the best return on investment.”
Global Cranes was created to be the biggest rough terrain sales organization in the world, Toudjarov said.
“The idea to create the company came in late 2007 when all the existing crane manufacturers took advantage of the big backlogs and robust market and increased their crane prices to unreasonable levels,” he said. “We all know that crane rental rates have not gone up much over the years while crane prices have more than doubled in the past decade. This provides opportunity for us to provide a better crane at a better price.”
As president of the company since the beginning, Toudjarov overlooks every aspect of the organization from design and engineering to sales, marketing, parts and service.
“We have many talented individuals in the organization that I can rely on to make the company the success that it has become,” he said.
We caught up with Toudjarov in June at the Crane Rental Association of Canada Annual Conference in Whistler, B.C. In this beautiful setting, we talked about Toudjarov’s vision for Global Cranes and his thoughts about the crane industry in general.
Global CRANES has now been operating for five years. Is the company performing as expected?
Currently the company is performing as expected. I wish the process from idea to reality was shorter and easier, but as I always said, if it was easy to do, then anyone could have done it.
How do you characterize the state of Global cranes and its entry in the North American crane market?
The North American market is the most important rough terrain crane market in the world. We delivered more than 300 cranes worldwide before we decided to enter North America.
We are very pleased with the positive response. Our customers in North America who are currently using our cranes are extremely satisfied with the specifications, performance and price of the machines.
We have just opened a new facility in Houston, TX and we are looking to extend our operations from coast to coast.
What is the big news to come from Global Cranes over the past year or so?
We have developed three new rough terrain models and two new crawlers specifically designed for the North American market.
We are very proud of our new 65-ton capacity RT 65, which has a 141-foot formed boom and provides the longest reach in its class and has an equally impressive load chart.
We are also winning large international bids and have increased our international partnerships to more than 40 countries on six continents.
What are the biggest challenges for the company?
Keeping costs down and continuing to provide the best-priced cranes in the world is a constant challenge. We work very hard to maintain our prices. It is also challenging to penetrate the North American market with machines assembled overseas.
The positive part for us is that the major components for our cranes are the same as those of our competitors. People then ask: How is it possible that your prices are 30 percent less than your competitors? The answer is simple. There are three parts that affect the cost of a crane: labor, material and overhead.
Compared to our competitors, our material costs are the same. Our labor rate is less, but the part that makes the biggest difference is the overhead. Global Cranes’ overhead costs are almost zero compared to our competitors and that is how we are able to provide a better crane at a better price.
What is it you like about the crane industry?
I compare the crane industry to science. Numbers tells all. We deal with weight, angles, length, capacity and dollar values. Numbers never lie.
Crane people are also different from let’s say the people in the fashion industry, who may be willing to pay unreasonable prices just for the brand name. Crane people understand the value of their purchase and will be loyal to those who provide the better service at the lowest price.
Our low-cost approach works in the crane industry. I love being part of an industry that provides tools for those that build the world’s infrastructure.
What is your business philosophy?
We understand that rough terrain cranes are commodities and tools to various industries. The only way those industries will be successful is if they pay reasonable prices for the cranes and add more to their bottom line. I believe in providing customers with the best product at the lowest possible price.
What do you like to do in your leisure time?
My hobby is work.