The market looked good in 2010-11 and 2011-12, but since April 2012, it is in decline.Shortage of floating money, difficulties in getting term loans, a payment crisis in the market, shortage of coal supply for new power plants, reduction in tax advantage in windmill investments etc, are the factors which have affected the market, says Ajay Kumar Somani, Director – Mobile Crane Division, Liebherr India. Excerpts from the interview. The developed markets are dominated by the slewing type mobile cranes while in India it is predominantly pick n carry cranes. In India pick and carry cranes are still quite popular. Lack of safety awareness and loopholes in safety regulations are allowing people to continue to use pick and carry cranes.Which segments drive the demand for crawlers? The demand is mainly in construction of refineries, thermal power plants, atomic power plants and windmill erection for crawler cranes.For tyre-mounted cranes, it is cement plants, steel plants, support cranes for windmill installation, Metro, flyovers, elevated roads, etc.The requirement of crawler cranes is about 20 percent if the complete range is considered, and for all-terrain cranes, it is about 5 percent.What are the major challenges Liebherr faces as an OEM and service provider? Most of the companies do not want to get their people properly trained at manufacturer’s plant and also do not want to store spares.Hence, all service calls become emergency calls.What is your take on unrestricted import of cranes, especially used ones? A used crane without any ceiling on age is a big danger from the safety point.Most of such cranes are purchased from traders or from auction dealers where the condition of cranes are not good as well as the correct age of crane is rarely declared. Normal purchasers cannot find out the facts.Sometimes the cranes are accident cranes with major internal defects.Also, as such cranes are available at very low prices, it ruins the crane hiring market; the reputed crane hiring companies try to buy either new or very young used cranes and they are comparatively expensive. If this trend will continue, India will become a junkyard of used cranes in the future.The only solution is to put an age restriction and also to make it compulsory for used crane buyers to get these cranes inspected by the manufacturer and take an OK certificate from them. It should be done at least every two years.How do you address the issues of devaluation of rupee, high cost of funding, and ever-increasing cost of input materials? It all affects the sale price but there is no option.Our competition is with Euro countries and the US countries, and it is same for our competitors, too.What is the demand-supply scenario for high capacity cranes over 500 T? At present, supply is much more than demand, as about 40-50 percent cranes are idling.Tell us about the range of cranes offered by Liebherr. We offer crawler cranes from 100 T to 3,000 T capacity and all-terrain cranes from 35 T to 1,200 T capacities.Brief us on the features of the LTM range, LTF range, and LR series of crawlers.LTM cranes are all-terrain cranes with telescopic hydraulic boom, which can run at high speed on roads and also can work in marshy lands, too.The crane has two cabins, one for drive and the other for crane operation.All tyres are single tyres. It has multiple axle drive and multiple axle steering. LTF cranes are where the chassis is of any standard truck manufacturer and crane superstructure is mounted on it. LR cranes are crawler cranes with a lattice boom.What kind of built-in safety features are offered?There are several features, which are difficult to explain as they differ from model to model.Do the cranes that you offer have too many electronic components which make it difficult for the operator? With the modern trend when everything is becoming electronic, use of electronic components has to increase. Now, even small gadgets like mobile phone, television, and camera have more electronic components.Actually, the use of electronic components is making such cranes more user-friendly.What about your operator training programmes?We do conduct such training at our plant and also at the site at the time of commissioning of cranes, free of cost.If such training is needed later on, it may be on a chargeable basis.How do you look at the potential from the hiring and rental segment?This segment is set to grow every day.What do you have to say about future prospects?The requirement curve is never up continuously but on an average, it is going up every year.