Tag Archives: Crane and Hoist Equipment


With higher buildings the order of the day, Potain tower cranes can be specially configured for better standing height.

According to Louw Smit, sales director at Crane & Hoist Equipment SA, this allows the hook height to be raised without the added cost of anchoring or jacking. The company is the southern African dealer for Potain cranes.

“Configuring the mast makes the crane more suitable for the high-rise structures that are popular in today’s construction sector,” says Smit. “It adds to the freestanding height of the tower crane itself, without the need to tie the crane onto the building. This saves time and money, as anchoring and jacking are expensive.”

He highlights, however, that the special configuration option needs a high level of expertise and experience.

“It is vital that contractors partner with technical tower crane experts like Crane & Hoist Equipment SA, who have in-depth knowledge of tower cranes configurations,” he says.

The process can be implemented by starting with bigger mast sections and then adapting to the normal mast size – giving a better hook height. This differs from the standard configuration available on the crane’s specification sheet, and offers greater flexibility at reduced expense to the customer.

Crane & Hoist Equipment SA deals in both rental and sales of Potain tower cranes. Its own rental fleet comprises eight top-slewing cranes and one bottom-slewing crane.

“Our rental fleet is well-suited to meet the needs of small and medium-sized projects, where lifting capacity of between 5 tonnes and 8 tonnes is required, with jib lengths of 50 metres to 60 metres,” Smit concludes.


Constant design improvements in tower cranes is making work sites safer, along with strict compliance with local safety regulations.

Tower crane leader Potain innovates continuously to raise safety levels, according to David Semple, senior vice-president at Manitowoc, Potain’s owners. It does this by working with other industry players to develop world-class standards. The safety features on its cranes are guided by these standards, ensuring safer working conditions.

As important is the ability to safely deploy and operate the tower crane on site, in line with the applicable safety regulations, says Crane & Hoist Equipment SA managing director Brenden Crous. As the local Potain distributor, he says there is no room for compromise when it comes to safety.

“This means always meeting OEM specifications in whatever work we do with Potain tower cranes,” says Crous. “As a highly experienced team, we are also registered with the Department of Labour as a lifting machine entity.”

The capacity to conduct training in-house – whether for its own staff or for customer personnel –sets the business apart. The quality of training is certified by Potain. Detailed engineering studies also enhance safety by highlighting dangers including congested sites and difficult geological conditions.

Crane & Hoist Equipment SA can even call on experts at Potain for specialist studies, says Crous. Ready availability of spares also contributes to safe operation.

“We ensure smooth logistics with Potain so that parts reach customers quickly,” he says. “Our experience with regular maintenance means the right part is correctly installed with minimal downtime.”

Potain’s tower crane design optimises interchangeability of parts between models, notes Crous. This further improves availability and service by streamlining dealers’ inventory.


The depressed state of construction in South Africa means that tower cranes are usually rented rather than purchased, but there is a chance that this trend may start changing this year.

This is according to Crane & Hoist Equipment SA managing director Brenden Crous. The company is the local distributor for global tower crane leader Potain.

“Rental makes up most of our business at the moment, but customers will start buying again when the sector starts recovering – hopefully later this year,” says Crous.

He notes that there are already about 200 Potain cranes active in South Africa, making it an established brand with a loyal following. Producing cranes since 1928, Potain has sold over 120,000 cranes into the global market.

Formed in 2017, Crane & Hoist Equipment SA has already had a busy few years. Its rental fleet serves projects with up to 8 tonne lifting requirements and 50 to 60 metre reach. Its appointment last year as Potain distributor is testament to its experience and skills, says Crous.

“Our management team has a combined four decades of hands-on familiarity with Potain cranes,” he says. “Likewise, our staff have been selected for their equivalent levels of experience with tower cranes.”

Distributor expertise is vital to customers, says David Semple, senior vice-president at Manitowoc, the owner of Potain. The company awards distribution rights only where the depth of product knowledge and proficiency has been demonstrated, says Semple.

The region covered by the agreement is South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. However, experts from Crane & Hoist Equipment SA have already contributed in African countries including Ghana, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Guinea.


Safely deploying tower cranes on construction sites is critical to raise the pace of the project through higher productivity, however any non-compliance with the numerous safety regulations will have the opposite effect.

Brenden Crous, managing director of local Potain distributor Crane & Hoist Equipment SA, says that the company is well versed in all relevant safety regulations and can take as much of the administrative load as possible off its customers’ shoulders when it comes to lifting-related safety compliance.

“Erecting tower cranes requires competent and experienced crews who undertake the risks associated with this activity. One of our main priorities is to control the risks associated with working at height,” Crous says.

The company covers all bases with the necessary procedures and documentation, so that everything is on hand for inspection. This is very important as Crous highlights that should there be any significant gaps in compliance, then a Department of Labour inspector may consider a site shutdown, leading to costly and inconvenient delays.

“All areas of risk in relation to tower crane safety procedures must be identified, assessed and mitigated so that our customers are not exposed to that risk.”

Crous highlights the importance of the fall protection plan, which must be compiled by a competent person with the necessary training and experience. The plan must address all risks relating to working from a fall-risk position and provide procedures and methods that eliminate the risk of falling.

Tower cranes must comply with both the Driven Machinery regulations and the Construction regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). These stringent requirements demand compliance with a range of South African National Standards relating to the installation and maintenance of tower cranes.

Crane & Hoist Equipment SA facilitates these various procedures and permissions by employing qualified lifting machine inspectors, who themselves must be legally and professionally recognised in terms of their scope of expertise and operation.


For decades Potain has built tower cranes that are easy to assembly, flexible in configuration and simply to use, and the Potain MDT 389 topless crane is no different.

The MDT 389 is well suited to crowded construction sites where space is tight and multiple cranes are needed. Like other topless cranes it has been designed to allow more cranes to over swing in a smaller area.

Louw Smit, sales director of Crane & Hoist Equipment SA, the sub-Saharan distributor for Potain tower cranes, says there are a host of features which make the Potain MDT cranes stand out from the competition.

The complete range, including the MDT 249, MDT 259, MDT 269, MDT 319 and the MDT 389, is equipped with Manitowoc’s Crane Control System, or CCS. CCS is a standardised, user-friendly operating system on all Potain tower cranes.

“CCS assists users to enjoy the highest levels of comfort, flexibility, ergonomic control and, most importantly, improved lifting capacity. The enhanced productivity achieved as a result translates into a faster return on investment for Potain crane owners,” Smit says.

In addition to having a fresh and modern design that allows for ultra-fast ground preparation and assembly, the Potain MDT range easily beats the competition when it comes to transportation.

“For example, the turntable, cab mast and Ultra View cab travel in a single compact package, while the counter jib can be folded and the winch platform can be sized to take up less space,” Smit explains. Another advantage is that the mechanisms are grouped in a central technical zone for easier access and maintenance.

As part of its standard features, the Potain MDT 389 is equipped with Manitowoc’s CraneSTAR, a GSM data transfer system that provides information on crane location and operation to support fleet management.

There are two versions of the Potain MDT 389, one with a 12 t maximum capacity and the other with a 16 t maximum capacity. Both versions have up to 75 metre (m) of jib available. The 12 t version can lift 3.4 t at its jib end, while the 16 t version can handle 3.3 t.

Potain also offers a smaller range of CCS equipped cranes, the Potain MDT City line, which includes the MDT 219. Other cranes in the range are the MDT 109, MDT 139 and MDT 189.

Like the Potain MDT 389, the MDT 219 is the highest capacity model in its range. There are two versions of the Potain MDT 219, one with an 8 t maximum capacity and one with a 10 t maximum capacity. All are evolutions of previous Potain MDT City cranes with jib lengths ranging from 55 metres to 65 m and hoisting capacities ranging from 6 t to 10 t.

Smit says the incorporation of CCS into the new range of Potain topless city cranes helps contractors get work done faster and with greater precision. “Aside from the enhanced levels of comfort and ergonomic control, this technology also delivers more precise control in positioning loads as well as increased capacity,” he says.

In fact, for the Potain MDT 219, the inclusion of CCS gives the crane a load chart advantage of up to 12.5% over the MDT 218 A, the equivalent pre-CCS topless city crane from Potain.

These cranes can be engineered to incorporate one of two new crane operator elevator solutions which provide fast and efficient transportation for the operator to and from the cab. Both systems comply with the highest levels of regulation as well.

One of the solutions, CabLIFT, exclusive to Potain cranes, has a slender design allowing it to fit inside all K-mast systems from Potain. It comes in three widths, 1.6 m, 2.0 m and 2.45 m. It is also compatible with all tower crane bases, fixing angles, chassis and cross-shaped bases. CabLIFT’s intelligent design includes a service platform above the main car that provides comfortable access and safety for the erection technicians during the mast assembly process and crane erection.

The other operator elevator solution is TCL, an externally-mounted system.

Potain has long been at the forefront of topless tower crane development, and with the introduction of CCS to its tower cranes, the brand is securing its market leadership position for years to come.


The Potain Hup 40-30 self-erecting crane boasts a range of innovative design and technology features which, according to Louw Smit, sales director at Crane & Hoist Equipment SA, will enable greater versatility on construction and other project sites.

“One of the major advantages of the Potain Hup 40-30 unit is that, with its 40 metre jib, it offers different configurations making it unique to this category of self-erecting cranes,” Louw explains. “The crane can easily be adapted for a range of job site applications increasing efficiency and versatility.”

The crane has a maximum capacity of 4 t, can lift 1 t at its jib end of 40 metre and features a telescopic mast for a range of working heights. This design boosts the height under hook attainable by the crane to 25.6 metres in its “low position,” and 30 metres when extended to its greatest height. The logistics are also improved, as no extra mast is required to install the crane.

Further versatility is delivered with the crane’s luffing jib that offers three positions: horizontal, 10° and 20°. These options give the crane a height under hook range of 20 to 40 metres.

Louw explains that shortening or extending the jib is a swift and straightforward operation, with the Hup 40-30 offering convenient configurations for both short and long jib lengths.

“Agility on a job site is a key consideration particularly with projects in built up areas and customers will benefit from the greater flexibility and adaptability of the Hup 40-30,” he says.

The Potain Hup 40-30 has a high-performance slewing radius that allows it to be positioned closer to buildings. And with its transport package of only 14 metre long when folded, this self-erecting tower crane is easy to move from job site to job site.

Operator efficiency is maximised through Manitowoc’s remote control unit which features a large, coloured screen with easy to use navigation and optimised ergonomics for operator comfort. Its Smart Set Up software delivers on-screen step-by-step information during crane erection and enables automatic folding and unfolding of the crane from the crane’s remote.

It offers three selectable profiles for operators that vary the working speed of the crane to suit the application: “dynamic,” for quick and easy lifting; “standard,” for typical lifting applications; and “high precision,” for precise load positioning.

The Hup 40-30’s hoist unit features Potain’s High Performance Lifting (HPL) technology which delivers unparalleled lifting speeds on the job site. The crane can deliver this maximum speed as soon as it is configured on the job site, thanks to its standard four fall rope configuration.

The tower crane’s High Performance Slewing (HPS) technology enables load moment optimisation, even as the crane swings. Integrated maintenance warning indicators also support crane maintenance throughout its lifecycle.

It also features a new Power Control function that enables it to work on a variety of job sites. With this technology, the crane is able to operate via a wide range of power inputs, including from low-level power supplies. This versatility means the user may not have to provide additional power supplies, which could lower both the costs and preparation for many projects.


Global tower crane leader Potain has appointed Gauteng-based Crane & Hoist Equipment as its official distributor in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland.

“With about 80 years of combined experience in this sector – focusing on Potain equipment – we are certainly very proud to have this close partnership with a world player of this stature,” says Brenden Crous, managing director of Crane & Hoist Equipment SA. “The management and staff of our business have a long relationship with Potain products, which we will leverage to the benefit of our customers.”

A major producer of tower cranes and self-erecting cranes since 1928, Potain offers more than 60 models in a variety of product ranges. Over 100,000 Potain cranes have been sold and installed around the world.

“With at least 200 Potain cranes in active service in South Africa alone, we can see that the local market is very loyal to this strong brand,” says Crous. “We look forward to providing existing and new customers the highest level of service and support.”

He highlights that Crane & Hoist Equipment SA will make it easier for customers to source original spares. The company’s direct sourcing from Potain in France will also make its pricing to customers more competitive.

“We place a priority on safety and compliance with all our products and services, and being part of the Potain family will also give us direct access to their global expertise,” he says. “For our part we are, of course, a registered lifting machine entity (LME) with the Department of Labour, and believe in close compliance with OEM specifications in all our work.”

Crane & Hoist Equipment SA was formed in 2017 by a management team that together have amassed over 40 years in the tower crane sector. This team includes sales director Louw Smit and operations director Danie Roos. The experienced staff includes two Potain-certified master technicians, accredited lifting machine inspectors (LMIs), and qualified riggers and electricians.

“We even have in-house training capacity which is certified by Potain, so we are able to train our own staff and customers’ staff,” says Crous.

Strong relationships with key customers in the local market has meant that Crane & Hoist Equipment SA has been busy since day one, mainly in rentals, servicing, anchoring and jacking but also in crane sales. The company already boasts its own fleet of seven tower cranes suitable for medium-sized and small projects, where 5 to 8 tonne lifting capacity is required with 50-60 metre jib lengths.

Beyond its Gauteng base, is has also recently been active in several KwaZulu-Natal residential developments and significantly its experts have been called on from as far afield as Ghana, Sudan and Burkina Faso. Potain itself has also collaborated with Crane & Hoist Equipment to assist with a commissioning project in Guinea.

In addition to Potain’s GME and GMA ranges, it also offers specialised cranes such as the giant MD3200; this model has a maximum capacity of 85 tonnes and can lift 26 tonnes at 85 metres, and boasts a hook height of some 104,5 metres.


Relative newcomer to the tower crane and hoisting sector, Crane & Hoist SA has secured an order for the supply and erection of a Potain tower crane for the new Stor-Age Self Storage facility being constructed in Craighall.

Louw Smit, sales director of Crane & Hoist Equipment SA, says that the company was able to offer the end user the most appropriate tower crane for the project and at the right price with full back up support over the duration of the eight month hire period.

“It is all very to be able to supply pieces of materials handling equipment, but it is critical to be able to support these sophisticated machines in the field,” Smit says. “And this is in terms of the safe erection of the tower crane making sure that it complies with all the legislative requirements as well as being able to maintain and service the unit during its usage on site.”

A Potain MDT 98 tower crane was selected for this particular project as it will provide a 1,2 t lifting capacity at a 55 metre radius allowing optimum materials movement on this fast track project. Significantly, this top slewing modular tower crane can be easily adapted for individual sites and brings optimum performance coupled with flexibility to a construction site.

Smit that this particular tower crane was considered ideal for several reasons including that it is fast and simple to erect and that while it only requires a limited footprint it facilitates optimum reach on sites which are constrained. “This reach ensures enhanced productivity by ensuring that materials can be moved to where required with ease,” he says.

Crane & Hoist Equipment SA was established as a specialist operation that supplies new and refurbished cranes as well as construction hoists to the sub-Saharan markets. The company provides turnkey tower crane management and lifting solutions, and demand for its services has rapidly gained traction.