10 NFT tower cranes are at work at Expo Village in Dubai.

10 NFT tower cranes are at work at Expo Village in Dubai.

NFT boosts fleet to meet demand

NFT continues to add to its extensive fleet of 2,500-plus tower cranes to respond swiftly to regionwide demand, which has seen its cranes being used in some of major airport and mall projects in the GCC.

October 2019

NFT, ranked as the second largest tower crane supplier in the world, continues to add the latest machines that are appropriate for the region to its growing inventory. The newest member to this list of 2,500-plus tower cranes is the MDT 809 model from Potain, a Manitowoc brand.

The tower crane, which has a full jib of 80 m lifting 8.3 tonnes at tip load, is part of the new CCS (Crane Control System) range from Manitowoc and offers a user-friendly interface, full graphic display, ergonomic controls, a jog dial for easier navigation and data input, and shares parts commonality across all Potain product lines, enhancing operator familiarisation and serviceability.

The MDT 809 offers ground-breaking performance for a topless crane, Nagham Al Zahlawi, deputy general manager, tells Gulf Construction. “Its low space requirements allow it to adapt to multi-crane jobsites, and it can achieve high working heights through newly developed installation bases and mast sections.”

The MDT 809 offers the fastest assembly in the 40-tonne class.

The MDT 809 offers the fastest assembly in the 40-tonne class.

The MDT 809 has the fastest assembly in the 40-tonne tower class: its wired tower head and cab assembly can be fitted just once (no inter-site dismantling); the cathead/jib foot is a single element; and the modular jib is without tie bars, allowing for the possibility of several configurations.

Another feature of the MDT 809 is its optimised and economical transport: each of the crane elements is compact in size and has limited weight.

The MDT 809 is among the 600 units that NFT has added to its portfolio this year with other key additions being MR 608, MR 418 and MDT 369. The largest tower crane in terms of capacity in its fleet of 2,500-plus used and brand new units is the Potain MD 2200, which has a capacity to lift 80 tonnes.

Furthermore, NFT has already placed orders for 2020 with Potain, focusing on models that will support the Gulf and international construction markets, says Al Zahlawi.

NFT’s aim as a tower crane supplier is to always ensure it has in its fleet assets that match the market demand.  The company was recently ranked as the second tower crane supplier in the world by the ICT Towers Index 2019.

Commenting on some of its ‘in-demand’ models in the GCC, Al Zahlawi says the most popular hammerhead model here is the Potain MC 310 model, which can lift up to 64 tonnes and has a full boom extension up to 71.7 m. “This is our fast moving product because the price is quite attractive and it’s a tower crane that can work on most sites,” she says.

In terms of flat tops, Al Zahlawi says, the Potain MCT 205 has the highest turnover for NFT. Competitively priced, this model allows lifting up to 10 tonnes with 1.75 tonnes at 65 m boom.

When it comes to luffing models, the most popular ones are the Potain MR 418 and Potain MR 225. “To meet site requirements for height, space, multi cranes, or especially crowded sites, the luffing range provides clients the ability to position the jib in a vertical position, enabling clients to attain up to over 130 m of under-hook height and, at the same time, avoid neighbouring obstacles,” Al Zahlawi explains.

NFT currently has more than 530 tower cranes working on various sites at the moment. It supplies cranes across several industries including the power, residential and commercial sectors.

In the UAE, it is associated with projects like the Meydan Mall, where it has 40 tower cranes and Expo Village (10 tower cranes), both in Dubai; and Reem Mall, where 16 tower cranes are in operation and Water’s Edge residential development on Yas Island (31 tower cranes), both in Abu Dhabi.

In Kuwait, 26 tower cranes are currently working on the expansion of Kuwait International Airport (KIA) and 24 tower cranes on the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC)’s Al Zour New Refinery.

In Bahrain, NFT has installed a self-erecting tower crane working on a barge for an offshore project.

Commenting on the trends in the cranes sector, Al Zahlawi says that companies serving the sector need to be full service suppliers offering tower cranes, service, and spare parts.

She says suppliers who only provide tower cranes without all the support around them cannot compete in this market.

Meanwhile, in terms of products, the trend is toward luffing tower cranes as the UAE becomes increasingly urbanised and contractors are forced to work in tight spaces. Al Zahlawi believes self-erecting tower cranes will serve as a substitute for mobile cranes in the future as they provide a better reach and lower cost for clients.

NFT will be participating in The Big 5 Heavy, which will be held in conjunction with The Big show this year, to gain an insight into the market demand that is anticipated for next year.

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