Before Encore became a mini crane fan and dealer, we bought an old one, 2.9 ton, sight unseen, from an auction in Vancouver. It was an odd-looking package, with spidey legs, worn tracks, and faded paint, but it started easily, and all the crane and drive functions worked. We knew this machine could access sites that were impossible for any other lifting machine in the business, at 24 inches wide it could walk into the bathroom. But was that enough? it seemed so tiny around our 18 and 50-ton truck cranes. We cleaned it up and looked for a ‘mini crane’ type job.
It didn’t take long.
The first real interest was a large mechanical outfit but they also sat behind us at the football games. Perfect, they wanted to rent it for a couple of weeks and we dropped it off late in the day. We phoned them first thing the next morning, anxious to let them know we were on the way to demo the crane and train their people.
Now, remember these are football fans, ex-local players. The conversation went something like this. “What do you wanna come over for?”
“You know, to show you the controls, how to…”
“You know who we are right?”
“We’re pipefitters, plumbers.”
“millwrights. We can figure things out. And we have been running it for the past 2 hours. Don’t come over.” And he hung up the phone.
Then we knew we had something.
The little machines have been a great and valuable addition to our work and Alberta’s industrial service business overall. We added our low profile jibs, different power plants, electric, gas, diesel, propane, battery; but the crane limitations kept hindering their success. The problem with the larger machines is their size. Any attempt to make the mini cranes stronger made them too large to fit thru that man door, which was the key to their success in the first place.
We waited until a stronger crane, with the same tiny footprint and dimensions, could be developed. We now have the next generation in mini cranes. A Dutch invention. Phone us, or check our website for more particulars. A separate story will be posted about this incredible line of tiny but mighty Hoeflon spider cranes.
In the meantime, check out our new brand video and watch the mini crane in action.