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News Release

Alistair Group's self-rigging Manitowoc MLC165 crawler crane is first of its kind in Africa


Requiring a crane that could be easily dismantled and transported throughout Africa, Alistair Group, a handling equipment and logistical support services company based in Tanzania, has recently purchased a Manitowoc MLC165 crawler crane – nicknamed ‘Big Red’.

The Manitowoc MLC165 – the first crane of its type in Africa – was delivered to Alistair Group earlier this year and commissioned at the remote Mtwara Port in Tanzania. The crane’s initial contract will provide the port site with lift support for offshore oil and gas exploration. The Manitowoc MLC165 crawler crane can install and remove its own tracks and counterweights, and has an environmentally efficient engine.

“We specifically purchased the MLC165 due to its amazing versatility,” said Clementine James, business development director. “The machine can be disassembled and easily transported. It can be rigged up or down depending on capacity requirements and weight restrictions – and best of all – we are able to move it anywhere in the region on 11 truckloads without incurring any overweight penalties.”

The MLC165 is exceptionally mobile, measuring only 3 m wide and can assemble and disassemble itself without the aid of an assist crane. The 165 t capacity Manitowoc crane is powered by a Cummins 300 HP engine. The open-loop hydraulic system, served by two variable displacement piston pumps, gives the MLC165 more lifting power than other cranes of its class. Big Red has a 60 m boom and a 90.7 ton hook block.

The crane was assembled and rigged by a team of technicians that finalized the calibration, tests and training before it started work on the quayside in Mtwara.

The machine complements Alistair Group’s fleet of rough-terrain Grove cranes ranging from 60 to 130 t capacity. From a maintenance and servicing perspective, it made sense that the company add the MLC165 to its growing fleet. Alistair Group has Manitowoc diagnostic software and qualified technicians on site, and were supported by a Manitowoc Crane Care service engineer during the handover.

“Here in Africa we don’t have the support infrastructure that companies have in other regions,” continued James. “We have found Manitowoc Crane Care to be a natural partner as they give us such responsive aftermarket product support, which is imperative to guaranteeing uptime on our remote worksites.”

Alistair Group’s cranes are used at a number of different sites across Africa, mainly to support the oil and gas exploration industry as well as construction sites, mining projects and general infrastructure developments, including power plants, wind farms and pipe lines.

Established in 2008, Alistair Group is an asset-based organization with core competencies in rental and operation of material handling equipment, road freight – including movement of hazardous material and project cargo – and the provision of source-to-site logistics solutions. The company bought its first crane in 2011. Alistair Group is headquartered in Tanzania, with regional offices in Mozambique, Kenya, DRC and South Africa as well as operations throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

See Alistair Group’s video of Big Red’s assembly here.
About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 116-year tradition of providing high-quality, customer-focused products and support services to its markets and its 2018 net sales were approximately $1.8 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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