There has been heaps of movement in the crane manufacturing space in the last 20 years - with crane brands buying other crane brands, and some crane brands disappearing off the face of the earth. We break down the big 'boom' brands dominating the lift and shift space in 2022.
The world's leading crane manufacturing companies have been around for many years and have a proven track record of producing quality cranes that meet the needs of their customers. Here is our list of some of the biggest crane brands in the world right now, along with an overview of what turned them all into global crane manufacturing powerhouses.
Here are our picks for the 12 biggest crane brands in the world:
- Liebherr Cranes
- Terex Cranes
- Manitowoc Cranes
- Palfinger Cranes
- Tadano Cranes
- Grove Cranes
- Cargotec Cranes
- Kobelco Cranes
- Sany Cranes
- Hitachi Sumitomo
- Kato Cranes
Who are the leading crane manufacturers I should know?
Not all crane brands are available in Australia - below is a combination of the world's biggest manufacturers - but with a particular focus on the cranes most commonly found in construction in Australia. Also - crane manufacturers have a habit of buying other crane manufacturers - as you will see in the list below. Many of these big crane brands have changed hands over the years, leading to consolidation and some crane brands disappearing altogether.
Image courtesy of Liebherr Australia
When it comes to crane brands, they don't get much more reputable than Liebherr. Liebherr Cranes is a crane company that has been around for many years and has a proven track record of producing quality cranes that are loved by Australian equipment companies. This German manufacturer's range provides lifting solutions to clients across a variety of industries, including construction, shipping, and mining. Some of the company's most popular crane models include the Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1 mobile crane, which has a maximum lifting capacity of 1,200 metric tons, and the Liebherr LR 11000 crawler crane, which has a maximum lifting capacity of 10,000 metric tons.
Image courtesy of Terex Australia
If we have a national crane, there's a good chance it'll be a Terex. Terex Cranes is a crane manufacturer that specializes in the design and manufacture of construction cranes which can be found in use all across the globe, and they have a strong foothold and market share in Australia. Terex is a division of General Motors (in the US), and has manufacturing facilities in Italy. Terex has a wide range of different crane models (plus a whole pile of other types of construction equipment) that are suitable for use in many different applications, but they have the lion-share of the mobile non-slewing crane market in Australia.
Here is a fun fact : Mobile non-slewing cranes in Australia are called ' Frannas ' - because Australia used to have its own brand called 'Franna' that was purchased by Terex in 1993. Terex also purchased Demag in 2002 and sold it in 2019 to Tadano.
Just a few of the most popular models of Terex cranes include the Demag AC250-2, the AC700-2, and the AC350, all of which you'll probably have seen on an Australian construction site at some point in your life.
Image courtesy of TRT Australia
Manitowoc Cranes is a leading crane company based in the United States that specialises in the design and manufacture of mobile hydraulic cranes and crawler cranes . Manitowoc Cranes can be found across many industrial applications - and they also produce over-head gantry cranes and specialist cranes for the stevedoring industries. Manitowoc has a range of crawler cranes that are used extensively in the construction industry, because of their massive lifting capabilities and ability to operate on soft or uneven ground. Manitowoc Cranes purchased the Grove Crane company in the USA in 2002 for a cool $300mil USD (give or take a few mil).
Image courtesy of Kone Cranes Lift Truck
Konecranes is Finnish-based a crane manufacturer that specialises in the design and manufacture of material handling cranes - particularly pick and carry cranes. Their cranes are used in a variety of industries, including construction, shipping, and mining. Some of the most notable models of Konecranes include the Gottwald Model 6, and the Gottwald Model 8, which are both used extensively in construction and shipping applications.
Image courtesy of Palfinger USA
Palfinger Cranes is an Austrian crane manufacturer that specialises in the design and manufacture of hydraulic cranes. Palfinger is a leading supplier of hydraulic cranes to many different crane rental companies across the globe, which rely on them for their durability, quality, and performance.
Image courtesy of Tadano Cranes
Tadano Cranes specialise in manufacturing rough terrain cranes and all-terrain cranes , which are used extensively in many industries, including global construction and mining projects. These cranes come to life in tough outdoor terrain. This Japanese company is a leading supplier of rough terrain cranes to crane rental companies and major construction concerns all over the globe. In 2019, Tadano purchased Demag from Terex and now the Demag designs and IP will likely be incorporated into the Tadano offering going forward.
Grove Cranes was a United States-based crane company that specialises in the design and manufacture of mobile cranes (particularly frannas) - until they were purchased by the Manitowoc Company in 2002 for $271 million. Their range includes all-terrain, rough terrain, and crawler cranes which can be found in use across many industries worldwide. Many of their all-terrain and rough terrain models are used extensively in high-end construction applications. The designs of Grove cranes have been absorbed into the Manitowoc fleet now, but there are plenty of Grove cranes in service working around the world.
Image courtesy of Cargotec
When it comes to maritime cranes, Cargotec is the leading specialist in the design and manufacture of big-hoey cargo cranes found in stevedoring. This Finnish company is responsible for some of the most innovative and technologically-advanced cranes in the world that are extensively relied on by the shipping industry in moving port equipment.
Image courtesy of Kobelco Construction Equipment
A Japanese company, Kobelco is a crane manufacturer that specialises in the design and manufacture of crawler cranes. These are used extensively in the construction industry for their ability to move heavy loads over rough terrain - and some of the beasts that Kobelco make are the largest in the world. Some of their most popular models include the Kobelco 7090, and the Kobelco 7150, which are both used extensively in construction applications.
Image courtesy of Tutt Bryant
Based in China, Sany is the leading manufacturer of construction and overhead cranes that are used extensively all over the world - leading because of the sheer number of cranes they make, and their market-share in China (with China being the largest industrial & construction market in the world). Almost all of the Chinese-based construction equipment companies are the largest in their field - due to the sheer number of machines being used in the Chinese market at any one point in time. Sany have a wide range of different models suitable for use in many different applications, including their flagship product, the Sany SRC843 which is one of the largest crawler cranes in the world.
Hitachi Sumitomo Cranes
Image courtesy of Tutt Bryant
Hitachi Sumitomo is a Japanese crane manufacturer that specialises in the design and manufacture of mobile cranes. They have a wide range of different models suitable for use in many different applications, including their most popular model, the HS8100, which is extensively used in the construction industry.
Image courtesy of Tutt Bryant
Kato is a Japanese crane manufacturer that specialises in the design and manufacture of mini cranes and mobile cranes. These are used extensively in the construction industry for their ability to manoeuvre in tight spaces and lift heavy loads. Some of their most popular models include the Kato KR25H, the Kato KR50H, and the Kato KR100H, all of which are extensively used in construction applications. These are just some of the biggest crane brands in the world right now. Each one of these manufacturers has a proven track record of producing quality cranes that meet the needs of their customers. If you're in the market for a new crane, then you can't go wrong with any one of these brands.
- Best Franna (Mobile Non-Slewing) Crane Brands
- Types of Construction Cranes
- Do you need a License to Operate a Crane?
- Biggest Cranes in the World