At an elaborate ceremony at Kobelco's ConExpo stand, Doug Williams, president of Buckner Companies (below), officially took ownership of the new Kobelco SL6000 crawler crane. ConExpo was also the debut of the crane in North America. After receiving the keys to the machine and taking part in the traditional breaking of a Saki barrel, Williams said, “We appreciate the recognition from Kobelco and the relationship we have with the company, which has grown strong as a business relationship and a personal relationship as well. It was just about three years ago that we started talking about the development of this crane and since that time we have added nine Kobelco cranes to our fleet, four of which are SL600s. I would like to thank Kobelco for their development of this crane and I'd like to thank our customers and our employees for their support.”

Jack Fendrick, general manager of Kobelco America, said Williams' input regarding the engineering and design of the crane was very important to the success of the crane, 50 of which have already been sold worldwide.

“We had a lot of respect for the Buckner Companies and their work in the area of heavy lifting,” said Fendrick. “We invited Doug to work with us on the design and engineering and he went to Japan and we went to North Carolina and there was a lot of back and forth. The seeds for this ceremony were actually planted several years ago.”

The SL6000 is a new model addition, the largest crane in Kobelco's range of crawler cranes. In the heavy lift configuration, the SL6000 has a 276 foot maximum standard main boom, a 354 foot maximum long boom and a luffer option of 217 foot main boom plus 236 foot luffing jib. Williams said the machine would be used for windmill erection.

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