Tag Archives: Johnson Crane Hire


Customers of Africa’s lifting leader Johnson Crane Hire were recently treated to an impressive display of a selection of the company’s lifting equipment at an open day where its heavy lift fleet was likened to the ‘big five’ of the wild.

“Johnson Crane Hire is a home grown South African business, and like the big five we are firmly rooted in Africa,” Peter Yaman, sales executive at Johnson Crane Hire, says. “Just as the big five have adapted to their natural environment, so have we succeeded in adapting to our economic environment, which is not always easy.”

Yaman describes the company’s LR 750-ton crawler crane as the elephant in the fleet: “This is a brute of a crane, with the ability to lift over 100 African elephants at once – with each of these great beasts weighing five tons or more.”

Next in line is the LR 600 crawler crane, displaying the toughness of a buffalo. He notes that the buffalo is also the ultimate herd animal, reflecting the company’s focus on teamwork to get every job successfully and safely accomplished.

“The rhino is the creature that comes to mind when talking about our powerful Kobelco 400 ton crawler crane,” he says, “as they share the attributes of ruggedness, durability and stability.” At the same time, he notes, heavy lifting also requires speed, precision and agility – qualities that make the LTM 750 ton hydraulic mobile crane comparable to the leopard.

Last but certainly not least is Johnson Crane Hire’s LG 750 ton lattice boom crane, which Yaman compares to the lion – king of the Jungle and a force of nature and leadership.

“Leadership in safety and in lifting is what we are passionate about, being driven to attain ‘SMART’ lifting – through safety, maintenance, availability, reliability and total cost effectiveness – as our brand promise,” he says. “Of course, we also have our zebras and impalas in the form of our 20 ton and 30 ton cranes, as well as our access platforms.”

Ranked amongst the top crane hire companies in the world, Johnson Crane Hire operates the largest mobile crane fleet in Africa, with strategically located operations to ensure quick delivery and ongoing support to customers. Outside of South Africa, it is actively engaged in several African countries including Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Zambia.


Extending its total lifting solution for customers, Johnson Crane Hire now offers an extensive fleet of access platforms and telescopic handlers from its branch network around South Africa.
According to Steve Robson of Johnson Crane Hire’s business development executive, the new units were put in place last year after the company concluded its supply agreement with a leading international OEM.

“Our expansion into the platform and telehandler business was primarily to enhance our offering to our many blue-chip customers, who over the years have tended to prefer working with one reliable partner for all their lifting and access requirements,” says Robson. “The synergy between these different types of equipment means that we can further assist customers in promoting productivity and safety on site.”

Johnson Crane Hire’s national footprint of 13 branches is therefore now equipped with its own access platforms and telehandlers, giving customers immediate access to them, and the branches continue to provide technical support as well.
The new fleet includes platforms with a working height from 12 to 28 metres and telehandlers with capacities from 2 ton to 9 ton.

Robson highlights that the new equipment has been very well received in a variety of sectors to date, from construction, mining and marine to petrochemical and power generation.
With the company’s long history in serving the construction sector, this new range of equipment is allowing it to see more of the ‘inside’ of big commercial or retail developments, rather than just the big cranage work on the outside.

“Shopfitters in shopping malls are part of this new customer base for us, as well as lighting and electrical installation contractors,” says Robson. “The added equipment range has also grown our opportunities in big warehouses, storage units and even in airports.
We have even found considerable demand from the entertainment sector, where South Africa is becoming an increasingly popular destination for film-shoots.”


Consistently increased demand for medium to large range mobile cranes has seen Johnson Crane Hire strengthen its position as the leading crane hire company by ensuring that these machines are readily available directly from its branch network.

Sales executive at Johnson Crane Hire, Peter Yaman says that the company proactively monitors crane usage at its 14 branches. “Our customer driven focus has always been to ensure that crane hire needs are met in the individual regions we service, and this is only possible by maintaining close relationships with existing customers and understanding the market demands.”

Yaman says analysis of the usage and demand statistics allows the company to plan ahead, and this has seen the company take delivery of one 250 t and two 140 t machines with two 100 t mobile cranes due for delivery mid-2018.
This level of planning facilitates the phased delivery of the new machines as well as the reallocation of cranes from the existing fleet to the Johnson Crane Hire branches that need them, thereby facilitating optimum availability.

“It is not unusual to reallocate various capacity mobile cranes to those branches that have shown increased demand, and by doing this we empower our team in those regions to offer an even more rapid response,” Yaman says. “It is all about having the appropriate mobile cranes available where and when the customer needs.”

Examples of the reallocation of machines within the current fleet are the moving of a 440 t unit to Cape Town last year, and more recently a 275 t machine to Durban and a 275 t to Burgersfort.

Commenting on the new machines acquired by the company, Yaman says the Liebherr LTM 1250 mobile crane is not new to the Johnson Crane Hire fleet, however unlike the existing six axle LTM 1250-6.1 machines in the fleet, the new 250 t unit is a five-axle machine making it more compact and lightweight.
This provides the manoeuvrability to operate in confined spaces where previously this was not possible.
In addition to this, the LTM 1250-5.1 is equipped with and driven by a single engine which drives both the carrier and the upper crane. This translates into a significant weight saving as well as a reduction in operation and maintenance requirements.

Johnson Crane Hire has an established reputation for the reliability and performance of its fleet, and Yaman says that safety underpins all Johnson Crane Hire operations, with comprehensively documented and implemented safety systems that comply with all industry safety standards in place.

“We have a focus on proper crane maintenance at all branches, and this supported by the national workshop in Johannesburg where we have comprehensive workshop facilities,” he says.