People should not compromise on safety which comes along with proper maintenance, proper housekeeping, regular inspection, keeping the right kind of operator, etc, says Ahamed Mohideen, Deputy Vice President - Plant & Equipment, Lodha Group. Excerpts from the interview
Which are your major ongoing projects where tower cranes are being used?
We have major projects of the World Tower, The Park and Trump in Worli, Mumbai, New Caffe Parade in Wadala, Mumbai and Palava 2 near Dombivli, Thane district where we use various types and capacities of tower cranes.
Which capacity range and type of tower cranes do you use for your projects?
We use all kinds of tower cranes such as hammer head cranes, internal climbing cranes, external type of tower cranes, and luffing type of cranes for tall building. In luffing jib cranes, we use a jib length ranging 30-70 m. We have all major brands at our various projects. For luffing cranes and higher capacity cranes, we prefer European makes like Liebherr, Potain, Terex, and Linden Comansa. For normal hammer head cranes, we use ACE, Anupam and some Chinese brands as well.
When it comes to high capacity cranes, are you dependent on import?
Yes, for higher capacity cranes, we depend on imported cranes. However, there are many foreign brands which have already started manufacturing in India. Zoomlion, Potain and Liebherr have manufacturing set up in India. And now, Schwing Stetter has associated with XCMG to manufacture tower cranes in India.
What is the price range of tower cranes?
Price depends on the height of the crane, the loading capacity, and the jib length. If you are taking a crane for a free standing height with a 50 m jib length and a normal loading capacity, it may cost Rs 60-70 lakh for a Chinese crane, and Rs 85-90 lakh for a European crane even if it is made in India. For luffing cranes, Chinese crane costs Rs 1.6 crore-2 crore, while European cranes will cost between Rs 3.5 crore and Rs 5.5 crore.
Brief us on the major trends with regard to safety.
Safety in tower crane is of paramount importance. We may lose certain time or add up certain cost element for safety. But at the end of the day, the benefit of safety is really great. It improves the productivity of the site as a whole. So people should not compromise on safety which comes along with proper maintenance, proper housekeeping, regular inspection, keeping the right kind of operator, etc.
Do you opt for rentals of tower cranes, and if so, brief us the pricing structure?
Rental tower cranes are available in the market, but it will depend on the period for which they are going to use the cranes. Normally, the break-even for rental for a cost of operation and maintenance compared to owning a crane with operation and maintenance is between 24-36 months. At some places it is even less also. When a project requires a crane for at least 20 months, and they also have a continuity of the machine in future projects, it is better to own. If it is less than that and wants to use only for one month and they already have many cranes and don´t want to buy additional cranes further, then it is better to go for rental. So rental is for short term management only.
What is the level of technology and innovations in the tower cranes available in India?
Currently, the latest manufacturing methods are followed in India because most of the bigger companies have set up their facilities here. They are always making the latest cranes, and I think similar methodologies will be followed in India as well. At the same time, those who are setting up facilities here should not leave everything with the local team only. The day-to-day procedure of quality check up, process of manufacturing, selection of material, etc should always be monitored by the principal companies which are setting up their factories in India.
Rental tower cranes are available in the market, but it will depend on the period for which
they are going to use the cranes.