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News Release

Potain crane endures earthquake in New Zealand and immediately returns to work

10/14/2013 Wellington, New Zealand

A Potain luffing-jib crane withstood a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Wellington, New Zealand, and returned to work with almost no delay, after a thorough inspection found no damage.

The 14 t capacity MR 225 A was constructing a hotel in the nation’s capital when the 20 second tremor struck. Windows were smashed, buildings damaged and part of the city’s port fell into the sea.

Tidd Ross Todd, Manitowoc’s New Zealand dealer, supplied the crane to main contractor Dominion Constructors. The Auckland-based construction company was delighted that the potentially lethal quake caused such little damage, as Grant Thomas, senior project manager at Dominion, explains:

“A 6.5 quake is no small matter,” he says. “While an earthquake is not part of the usual crane testing process, we can now vouch for the stability and strength of Potain tower cranes, even in such extreme conditions.”

The MR 225 A is converting an old office block into a 15 story luxury hotel in the city’s downtown area. The crane, which is anchored to the building at a height of 26 m, was erected in March 2013 and will remain at the $35-million project until early 2014.

Rigged with a full 55 m jib and at a working height of 52 m, the crane is stripping the office block to its basic skeleton and deconstructing the top level of the building. After which it will add six more floors, lifting a variety of general construction materials, including concrete, rebar and glass.

Thankfully, the crane was not in use at the time of the earthquake, which struck at 5:09 pm on Sunday July 21. It was the strongest quake to hit the region since 1942. Train services were shut and dozens of buildings were damaged but the financial cost was minimal, despite the earthquake’s power.

Robert Carden, engineering director at Tidd Ross Todd, adds:

“We represent the world’s best brands that are made to the highest quality standards, and we supply these cranes using the most skilled people. This earthquake proves our business model works – and we are just thankful that no one was badly hurt.”

Formed in 1973, Dominion Constructors is a well-established, privately owned construction company offering building solutions to all sectors of the industry. The company owns a large fleet of construction equipment, which includes a variety of tower cranes, self-erecting cranes and mobile cranes.

Tidd Ross Todd is a transport and lifting specialist based in Hamilton on the north island. Established in 1967, the company’s 160 employees provide the complete range of Potain tower cranes, Manitowoc crawler cranes, Grove mobile cranes and National Crane boom trucks to customers throughout New Zealand.

About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 117-year tradition of providing high-quality, customer-focused products and support services to its markets and its 2019 net sales were approximately $1.83 billion. Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of engineered lifting solutions. Manitowoc, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, markets, and supports comprehensive product lines of mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, lattice-boom crawler cranes, and boom trucks under the Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane, Potain, Shuttlelift and Manitowoc Crane Care brand names.
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