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Challenges of the Crane and Lifting Industry

Press Release   •   Aug 28, 2012 14:16 BST

Harold Potter Ltd is a Nottingham overhead crane and lifting equipment company located in the east of the city close to the River Trent. They’ve been in business since 1921 when Harold Potter identified the potential demand for overhead cranes, and have since provided equipment to a wide spectrum of UK industry.

Hallam Internet visited with Harold Potter’s M.D. Tony Calladine and Business Development Manager Nathan Gladwin to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing their business and the crane industry as a whole.

 On the roadside as we approach, loaded onto a large truck, we see a bright yellow overhead crane sitting ready for onward transportation to its new home.  We later learn this huge piece of equipment has just been prepared over the previous weekend, ready now to ship off to an eager customer.  Normally needing several weeks lead time to execute an order for manufacture and delivery, Harold Potter had pulled out all the stops to fulfil this client’s urgent requirements in a matter of days.  We were impressed by how the company responds to its clients needs, no matter how challenging!

 Victims of their Own Success?

Getting down to business, we asked Tony and Nathan how business was going, in what is a tough period for most companies?

Tony assured us business was going well, and they were satisfied that Harold Potter was getting a healthy share of the market.  They were, however, conscious of becoming victims of their own success.  Why?

Their used overhead crane stock, which is overhauled and modified to suit each new clients’ specific requirements, was steadily becoming depleted and fresh stock of used cranes was becoming more scarce. Why?

This is for a number of reasons.  Firstly, more used stock is being sold to emerging overseas markets, such as India and Africa.  Secondly, some companies are taking a DIY approach to sourcing and installing their own overhead crane systems!

Crane Auction DIY Approach – take care!

Tony has had experience of companies who have bought overhead cranes directly from auction at a ‘competitive price’, only to find they don’t have the skills, knowledge and experience to prepare, modify and install the equipment into their own premises.  This equipment has then sat rusting in a yard, unused and of no use to anyone.

Why You Should Talk to Overhead Crane Professionals like Harold Potter

“The main problems with these auctions are that people really don’t fully understand what is required to get a used overhead crane back into working service.” Tony explains.”There is a process that has to be followed to make sure the new equipment is prepared and installed properly and safely in its new home.

  1. Buy the right equipment with the right hoisting capacity.
  2. Dismantle and remove the crane carefully from its current location, taking care to pack and store the parts well.  Make sure to use experienced engineers to carry this out (both mechanical and electrical).
  3. Transport the crane and associated equipment on a suitable flatbed transporter; these costs are often a higher cost than many anticipate.  An onsite crane will be needed to lift the plant onto the truck.  Transportation costs of well over £1,500 are not unusual.
  4. Make sure the span of the crane will fit the new intended premises; if not, then this needs modifying.
  5. Make sure the height of the gantry rail and lifting height fits the new premises.  If it doesn’t, then a new one will need designing and fabricating.  (Harold Potter will produce the design drawings free of charge, with order)
  6. Install the equipment and electrical cabinet using experienced, skilled and qualified engineers.

It’s clear that the process is not straightforward, and is riddled with potential traps which can incur huge costs if the right experience is not brought in at the beginning.

Keeping ahead of the Competition

Outside in Harold Potter Ltd’s yard it’s clear to see why Tony Calladine and his team keep ahead of the rest.  In view can be seen a wide range of heavy duty steel beams, girders and disassembled crane parts, alongside a workshop buzzing with activity and next week’s customer deliveries.   

A single bright yellow painted Goliath crane towers above all, and dedicated staff can be seen painting and preparing more orders through an open warehouse door in the service yard.

Why Experience and Knowledge are the Key to a Better Overhead Crane Installation

Offering a full turnkey service, from sourcing and designing your equipment to meet the client’s requirements, to the final installation and certification, Harold Potter understands how to keep their customers happy.  Follow on maintenance and inspection services are available too, once the equipment’s in and has been running for a while.




About Harold Potter Ltd

Harold Potter Ltd is a leading UK-wide supplier, manufacturer and installer of overhead cranes and heavy lifting equipment for the construction, manufacturing, transport and shipping industries.

The company specialises in providing bespoke solutions for all overhead crane and specialist lifting requirements, and will be delighted to discuss your needs today.


Telephone: 0115 9838111

Comments (1)

    A very good information is provided so far thanks . i read on many sites but the content on this site is very good. i like to read about cranes and i have also many cranes actually i see many people did same thing he takes crane on rent from different company and run his business successfully . i like this thing.

    - Molar Fastagu - Jan 25, 2016 08:16 GMT

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