Terex has sold just two crawler units in the Middle East so far this year: a CC 2400 and a CC 2800, but Joerg Mueller, senior manager for international sales at Terex Cranes, is confident that things will improve – especially in Saudi Arabia.

He notes: “The market is not as big as it was before, but we still have some enquiries, and we will have to see how it goes. In Saudi Arabia, our expectations are improving compared with last year, when everyone was pulling out or de-investing, but either wat not buying new stuff – so the situation is getting a little bit better.

I expect that it will get better by the end of 2017, and definitely by 2018. Saudi Arabia was our biggest market before, and last year was terrible – we didn’t sell a single unit.”

Previously, combining rough-terrain, crawlers and all-terrain cranes, Terex Cranes sold 40 cranes a year in the Saudi Arabia market alone.

Terex Cranes has also introduced a boom extension kit for its Demag CC 3800-1 lattice boom crawler crane that increases the maximum system length to 183m and increases lift capacities by up to 30%.

As Mueller notes: “It’s a 650-tonne crane already, but if you want if lift something that’s a bit on top of this, you can use the boom booster, which basically strengthens all of the statics. It will not extend the total capacity, but it will extend the load moment for certain lifts – which in certain applications makes sense.”

Contrasting Terex’s super boom system with the similar extension recently launched by Liebherr for its LR1750 he adds: “Ours in more compact: Liebherr’s is over three metres in width – so it will be difficult and more expensive to transport it in the region.”

In Europe, these booms extensions are especially directed towards the wind segment, where the growing size and weight of wind turbines is rapidly driving up the cost of transport and assembly.

However, the same segment represents a rising concern in the Middle East, where many regional governments have ambitious plans to roll out renewable energy, and have already set aside significant budgets for wind projects.

Indeed, it was a Liebherr LR1750 was recently used by the Dammam-based Gulf Haulage Heavy Lift Company to erect the very first commercial wind turbine in Saudi Arabia.

Questioned on the potential growth of the segment in the region, Mueller adds: “That would be great. In Jordan there have been a couple of projects. In Germany, it is a big thing, and still most of our crawler cranes in this range, CC 3800, go for wind turbine erection.

“If that kicks off then definitely it would be a big driver for the market. It’s an ideal crane for that market, because in Germany you already have wind turbines that are over 170m.”

One of the few potential challengers to crawler cranes in the wind segment could come from Mammoet, which is currently developing two dedicated cranes for wind turbine assembly and maintenance.

However, Mueller returns: “The way wind turbines are erected with crawler crane and the development is proven in Germany. With the CC 3800-1, we are already at around 170 sales, and it started only three years ago – so you can see that there are quite a lot of numbers.

“One of the benefits of this crane is that it is so versatile – there are so many different ways of changing the jib and other parts of the crane to different heights and applications.”

In the Middle East, he adds: “A lot of customers do different jobs. The big companies that might do wind turbines – such as Sarens Nass or GHHL – also work in the oil and gas industry and construction.”