Late last year, Philadelphia-based AmQuip made the strategic decision to boost its market share in t

Late last year, Philadelphia-based AmQuip made the strategic decision to boost its market share in the tower crane rental market. The company has opened a tower crane center in Birmingham, AL

In its continuing efforts to expand its tower crane business, Philadelphia–based AmQuip has opened a tower crane headquarters in Birmingham, AL. “Our entire tower crane operations are based here, including sales, overhaul, parts, service, the whole nine yards,” said Dennis Bates, vice president of AmQuip's tower crane division. “We will use AmQuip's other locations as satellite staging areas for parts, but operations–wise we will run it all through here.”

A former steel plate cutting plant, AmQuip's tower crane center occupies 12 acres and includes a 50,000 square–foot shop and a separate office building. There are facilities for fabrication, paint, sandblasting and crane refurbishment.

“It's a complete factory, essentially,” explained AmQuip general manager Frank Bardonaro. The new facility “will allow us to expand our geographic reach for tower crane rental and also allow us to go after some of the longer term bare rental projects with our crawler and rough terrain cranes in that market area.”

AmQuip's expansion into the tower crane rental market included the purchase of the tower crane division of Skyline Crane of Philadelphia and the flat top tower crane division of a company located in the north east. Both deals involved some 17 tower cranes, all of which are out on jobs in the north east, Ohio, Florida and Colorado, Bardonaro said.

Opening the new center in July follows AmQuip's $60 million purchase at ConExpo earlier this year of more than 60 Potain and Terex tower cranes. At the time of writing in late August delivery of the first six units was imminent. Between this September and May 2006 AmQuip is expecting delivery of one new tower crane a week. “The situation with the market is so good that everything arriving is already booked,” said Bates.

Bardonaro said demand for tower cranes is higher because of inner city growth and because newer tower cranes are more neighborhood–friendly, quiet, cost effective, and space– and user–friendly. More contractors are now using tower cranes on smaller structures.

“They are not just for 40 or 100 storeys,” he said. “We're using them for 10 storey buildings. We can place cranes where they couldn't have gone before.”

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