Australia:Crane rental major, Verticon, has sealed its recently signed “strategic alliance and exclusive agency agreement” with Lewis Equipment by ordering tower cranes and hoists to a value of AUS$30 million (US$27.5 million).

Andrew Torrington, Verticon managing director and CEO, said the deal with US-based Lewis was the largest commitment of any rental company to bring new tower cranes and hoists to Australia.

The alliance and agency agreement is for the ongoing supply by Lewis of tower cranes (Yongmao/Sun), hoists (GJJ) and crawler cranes (Fushun) to Verticon.

“This alliance will enable Verticon to substantially reinvest in new plant and equipment in Australia and begins a clear process of retiring older Verticon fleet, particularly our Queensland-based tower cranes, and introducing brand new cranes and hoists into the Australian market over the next 24 months. The agreement also provides access to Lewis's USA-based personnel, expertise, systems and procedures and gives Verticon access to better delivery times, support and spare parts. Combined with the new Queensland workshop, yard and office facility due for completion in April 2008, I feel that this alliance now clearly sets the way forward for Verticon in Australia,” Torrington explained.

The $30 million order is for up to 40 new Sun Crane electric tower cranes and 50 new GJJ third generation hoists. “The new generation of tower cranes and hoists are safer, smarter and more efficient and will benefit both our customer base and indeed the overall hire market going forward,” Torrington continued. The first shipment is due in May 2008.

Verticon has a fleet of more than 100 cranes and more than 60 hoists. Lewis Equipment USA has a rental fleet of more than 200 tower cranes, 250 hoists, and a crawler crane, mobile crane and rigging business.

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