Larry Eckardt, vice president of operations at Imperial Crane, attended Liebherr’s Customer Open Days at the Liebherr-Werk Ehingen factory in Germany on June 13 and 14. The event brought over 3,000 people around the world to view their equipment, production facility and newest cranes.
We have had a positive relationship with Liebherr since 2001, currently owning 12 of their all-terrain cranes. Eckardt played a substantial role in our recent purchase of the 600-ton Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1. Feeling that the logical progression was a larger, high capacity all-terrain for our petrochemical work, he collaborated with Liebherr on finding the best crane with the right options for our fleet. Their knowledgeable staff and reliable service made the process an easy one. His positive experiences with the company made him optimistic about the trip but unsure as to what to expect.
Georg Diesch, president of Liebherr Crane, Inc., hosted the trip for Eckart and 35 others from the United States. Together they traveled in Germany and Austria ending their trip at the themed “Keeping the Balance” event. They were taken to the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany followed by a bus trip to Austria to stay for two days in the extremely impressive five-star Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol, built by the founder of Liebherr. After two beautiful days in hotel located in the mountains they headed off to Ulm, Germany near the Liebherr factory for 2012 Customer Open Days.
The site, covering around 840,000 square meters and employing 2,800 people, is the world’s largest production facility for all-terrain mobile cranes. Eckardt was impressed by its size but most importantly its efficiency.
“The factory was immense, holding huge amounts of inventory. What sets Liebherr apart from the competition is how rapidly they are building equipment, not only for specific orders but just to have available. Their confidence in crane sales allows them to have equipment ready to go and deliver on demand.”
Part of the inventory included the unveiling of the LTM 1220 telescopic crawler and LTM 1750-9.1 all-terrain crane. The LTR 1220 combines the advantages of a telescopic crane with those of a crawler crane, outdistancing the telescopic crawler cranes offered by competitors, both with regard to load capacity as well as boom length. The LTM 1750-9.1 mobile crane complements the Liebherr range between the highly successful models LTM 1500-8.1 and LTM 11200-9.1. One particular feature of the new nine-axle machine is the fact that the complete telescopic boom can be carried when travelling on public roads.
In addition to the large amount of inventory and new equipment, Eckardt saw firsthand the extensive testing their equipment must pass. They are constantly looking for new ways to test the components and complete cranes. The equipment is put through 17 state-of-art tests, from noise and vibration testing to wind simulation at every configuration.
Already pleased with Leibherr, Eckardt walked away even more impressed then he had expected with a renewed confidence in the quality of the equipment and appreciation for the dedicated work being done at the facility.