ESTA is the leading European association for the abnormal road transport and mobile crane rental industry.


Welcome to ESTA, the leading European association for the abnormal road transport and mobile crane rental industry.

We represent national trade associations whose members are mobile crane and access platform, rental and abnormal road transport companies.

Individual companies can become special members if there is no appropriate national association from their country.

ESTA also welcomes affiliate members from relevant clients, government departments, regulatory bodies, service companies and all organisations active in our markets.

In addition, ESTA has recently created the category of “Supporter” for companies that are members of their ESTA’s national associations but who want to become more directly involved in ESTA’s work.


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ESTA and IRU in talks on abnormal transport issues

The problems faced across Europe by abnormal road transport operators was the subject of the first of a series of top-level meetings between ESTA and the IRU – the international road transport industry association – in Brussels on May 15.

Subjects discussed included the need to harmonize marking and lighting regulations for abnormal loads across Europe and ESTA’s previous work on a best practice guide for abnormal transports.

The meeting also discussed ESTA’s call for a network of heavy transport road corridors. 

Go to ESTA News for more.

Canadians and ECOL sign mutual recognition pact

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between ECOL and the British Columbia Association for Crane Safety in Canada.  The agreement means that future European ECOL card-holders will be able to work in British Columbia without taking any further tests, and vice versa, as the two bodies’ training standards are fully aligned.  The organisations hope that the agreement will eventually apply to all of Canada.

The MoU was formally signed by ESTA Director Ton Klijn and BCACS Executive Director Fraser Cocks in Munich during the Bauma exhibition.

European Crane Operators Licence update

ESTA’s European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL) project took another significant step forward in April with the announcement of further backing from leading names in the crane industry and the first official meeting of the new organization’s 9-strong Committee of Experts which took place during the Bauma exhibition in Munich. Go to ESTA News for more

Winners of 2019 ESTA Awards announced in Munich

Fagioli, Mammoet and Sarens took two prizes each at this year’s ESTA Awards held in Munich on April 11. The awards dinner, organized jointly by ESTA and International Cranes and Specialize Transport magazine, was one of the biggest ever with more than 530 guests in the ballroom of the Westin Grand Hotel.

Four other winners chosen from the 36 finalists – from ten countries - were Heavy Load Services, Liebherr-Werk Ehingen, Spierings Mobile Cranes and Wagenborg Nedlift. Go to the ESTA Awards  ection for full details

New ESTA members from Turkey and Switzerland 

Turkish heavy cargo lifting and transport association AKT has joined ESTA. Based in Istanbul, AKT has just under 100 members who work throughout Turkey and internationally. In a separate move, Swiss training and consulting company Combe Driver Services is the latest organization to become an ESTA supporter.  

Marking and lighting regs work making progress

The ESTA Working Group developing proposals to harmonize European standards and regulations on lighting and marking for heavy transport continues to make progress. The next meeting will be held in Munich in April during the Bauma exhibition. The group  hopes to produce draft proposals later this year and then  lobby national authorities and international bodies to make them binding. 

MEP backs ESTA on permits and infrastructure

Dutch MEP Caroline Nagtegaal has written to the European Commission in support of ESTA’s campaign to develop heavy transport corridors across Europe and reduce the bureaucracy caused by the maze of different permits required by member states. Her action follows a meeting earlier in March with ESTA Director Ton Klijn who detailed the problems being faced by exceptional transport companies across Europe. Go to ESTA News for more.

Jury announces finalists in ESTA Awards 2019

The finalists for the 2019 ESTA Awards have been announced by the independent Jury. The winners will be revealed at the awards dinner on April 11 in Munich during the Bauma exhibition.

For the full list, go to the awards section of this website. 

ESTA and SC&RA find common ground in Texas

ESTA has been looking at the lessons Europe can learn from the experiences of abnormal load and heavy transport organisations in the USA - and especially the SC&RA’s Uniform Permit Transport initiative which aims to harmonize weight allowances and permitting systems across all US states, something that ESTA is attempting to do in Europe.

The subject was discussed last month when ESTA Director Ton Klijn and Section Transprt President André Friderici spoke at the annual Specialized Transportation Symposium run by the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association in Houston. Go to ESTA News for more

Sarens in new boost for ESTA’s ECOL project

Global crane and heavy transport specialist Sarens has applied to qualify its Belgian training facility under ESTA’s new European Crane Operators Licence. The move is another big boost for the ECOL scheme. To date, two European training facilities have become ECOL qualified – Mammoet in the Netherlands and EUC-Lillebǣlt from Denmark - with a further six at different stages in the qualifying process. Go to ESTA News for more

Tadano acquires Demag from Terex

Terex Corporation has agreed to sell its Demag Mobile Cranes business to Tadano for approximately US$215 million.  Included in the transaction are the manufacturing facilities in Zweibrucken, Germany and multiple sales and service locations.  The sale, which is subject to government regulatory approvals is targeted to close in mid-2019. Go to ESTA News for more

ECOL’s future structure takes shape

The final meeting of the current ECOL Working Group was hosted by crane company BMS in Copenhagen, Denmark at the end of January. The group will soon be superseded by a permanent management team as the project nears its formal launch. Go to ESTA News for more

Growing client support for ECOL

ESTA’s planned European Crane Operators’ Licence  is receiving growing support from major clients who see it as a way of improving performance and safety on site. 

Go to ESTA News for more

ICSA developing two new position papers

The International Crane Stakeholders Assembly is working on two new position papers – on the transport and erection of large wind farm components and the use of cranes on barges.

New wind turbine safety BPG expected in New Year

The first draft of new best practice guidelines for the safe transportation and erection of onshore wind turbines could be published early in 2019. The news follows the latest round of discussions between ESTA and the wind turbine manufacturers in Hamburg at the end of November.

Go to ESTA News for more

ECOL experienced operators standards agreed

Members of ESTA’s European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL) working group have reached agreement on one of the most important outstanding issues – how to set a standard for experienced operators without forcing them to completely retrain. Go to ESTA News for more

Gunnar Mardon

ESTA is very sorry to announce that our good friend and colleague Gunnar Mardon died on October 2 following a stroke. Gunnar was Chief Executive Officer of Canada’s National Occupational Council and sat on ESTA’s European Crane Operators Licence working group. 

See Gunnar Mardon’s obituary in ESTA News

ECOL wins Liebherr backing

Leading equipment manufacturer Liebherr has agreed to become an approved training centre for ESTA’s planned European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL) after talks between the two organisations in August.  The decision is a big boost for the ECOL project as it goes through its final testing before going live early in 2019.

Go to ESTA News for more details

“Cautious optimism” on crane rental workloads

ESTA is “cautiously optimistic” about workload prospects in the European crane rental sector as public finances continue to improve after the 2008 crash. Recent European construction industry forecasts have been positive for almost all sectors from commercial building to energy, water, and transport and economists say that bodes well for the industry in the short and medium terms.

Go to ESTA News for more details

ESTA expands standards work

ESTA Director Ton Klijn has been appointed to the lifting appliances committee NEN 345002 “Hijswerktuigen” of the Dutch standards institute (NEN). Through this role, Klijn will be able to sit on behalf of ESTA on the European standards committee CEN/TC 147, alongside the major crane manufacturers and regulatory authorities. Go to ESTA News for more information

Bulgaria’s NSPIT joins ESTA

Bulgaria’s heavy transport association has joined ESTA as the association’s expansion in Eastern Europe continues. NSPIT - the Bulgarian Association for the Transportation of Oversized Cargoes – was formed in 2015 as part of the industry’s attempts to update the country’s regulations governing heavy transport. Go to ESTA News for more information

ESTA to relaunch SERT campaign

ESTA is planning to relaunch its campaign to persuade EU member states to adopt the European Best Practice Guidelines for Abnormal Road Transport, first published in a European Commission Transport Directive back in 2005.  Crucially, the directive contains SERT, the Special European Registration for Trucks and Trailers, intended to reduce the paperwork and bureaucracy faced by the industry. Further details of the new moves will be announced soon. Go to ESTA News for more information.

First ECOL trials completed successfully

The first trial of the new European Crane Operators Licence scheme has been successfully completed at Mammoet’s training centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The ECOL organisers now intend to run three more pilot projects, one more in the Netherlands plus one each in Denmark and Italy. 

Posthumous ESTA Award for Benny Sarens

The Gino Koster Personality of the Year Award for 2018 was awarded posthumously to Benny Sarens, who died suddenly in December 2017. It was presented to Carl Sarens at the 2018 ESTA Awards ceremony in Paris at the end of April. 

Benny Sarens started working at Sarens in 1972 and built up the technical solutions department of the Belgium-based family-owned business. He was instrumental in developing a world class technical team of experienced problem solvers, capable of designing and executing the most challenging engineered lifting projects. 

ECOL validation of national training schemes begins

ESTA Director Ton Klijn is calling on European training organisations to send in their training schemes so that they can be validated against ECOL standards. “The idea is to compare all of the national training schemes and to identify what is needed – if anything – for them to comply with ECOL standards,” Klijn explained.

New call for European heavy transport corridors

Pressure is growing on the European Union and national transport authorities to agree heavy transport corridors throughout Europe in the wake of increasing concerns about deteriorating infrastructure and unnecessary bureaucracy.

The issue – and the related problem of obtaining permits from local regulators - dominated discussions at last month’s meeting in Paris of ESTA’s transport section.

ESTA submits ECOL EQF application

ESTA has applied to have the ECOL operator certificate registered and recognised at European Qualifications Framework (EQF) Level 2 across Europe. A decision is expected in later in June. 

ESTA joins IRU to boost Brussels influence

ESTA has joined the IRU – the international road transport industry association - as an affiliate member in a move to increase the organisation’s profile and influence with the European Commission and international road transport authorities.

Moves to harmonise marking and lighting regs

New moves to harmonize standards and regulations governing lighting and marking on heavy transport throughout Europe are underway following the inaugural meeting of a new ESTA technical working group hosted by BSK in Frankfurt at the end of January.

Apart from ESTA and BSK, organisations on the working group were the Dutch association TLN; Tii Group; Hipertrans, Broshuis, Kässbohrer and Faymonville. Any organisations interested in joining should contact the ESTA office. For the full story go to ESTA News. 

Victory in Spanish permits dispute

Spanish transport authorities have backed down in their attempts to enforce changes in the country’s exceptional transport regulations that discriminated against international hauliers.

The move follows a series of complaints made to the European Commission and the Spanish government from ESTA, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) and a host of national trade bodies. Go to ESTA News for the full story. 

Upcoming events

  • 18th of June 2019 Multimodal, UK

    June 18-20, 2019, Multimodal, NEC, Birmingham, UK. Go to

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  • 11th of September 2019 Project Cargo Summit 2019

    Project Cargo Summit
    September 11th|12th, 2019, Rotterdam Netherlands

    The Project Cargo Summit 2019 focusses on sharing knowledge and discussing major issues and developments that influence the project cargo industry. By offering high-level presentations, critical discussions and in-depth interviews the Project Cargo Summit will inform professionals about the latest trends and challenges.

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  • 25th of September 2019 JDL Beaune, France

    September 25-27, 2019 JDL Beaune - French cranes and access exhibition, Beaune, France. Go to

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