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

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 technical working group at the end of January.

Organised by ESTA, the meeting took place in Frankfurt and was hosted by the German association and ESTA member BSK.

The eleven-strong group was co-chaired by ESTA’s Section Transport President André Friderici, technical director of Friderici Special, and Vice-President Iffet Türken, Executive Board Member of Kässbohrer.

 As a first step, the group has started collecting and analysing information about the different regulations currently in force in different European states. This includes the methods of cargo and vehicle marking; rotating beacons; side marker lighting and conspicuity marking. 

“This is a really important issue - unnecessary and often petty rules, differing from country to country, make the industry less efficient and less safe and ultimately put up costs for our clients,” Iffet Türken explained. 

“What is more, such rules can be used as a form of protectionism to discriminate unfairly against international carriers,” she added. 

Apart from ESTA and BSK, organisations on the working group were the Dutch association TLN; Tii Group; Hipertrans, Broshuis, Kässbohrer and Faymonville. 

ESTA hopes that the new working group will produce best practice standards that can be adopted by national government and international bodies to make them binding.

Details of the project were first announced at ESTA’s autumn meeting in Krakow, Poland. Hosted by OSPTN, the Polish Heavy Transport Association, the Krakow meeting was attended by almost 250 ESTA members and guests from 25 countries.

Wind farm safety tops agenda at planned ESTA and FEM experts summit in Hamburg

December 4, 2017

Reducing accidents and improving safety during the erection and transportation of on-shore wind turbines will be the focus of the third edition of the popular ESTA and FEM Experts Summit in Hamburg on March 6.

The one day conference and reception, will feature leading industry speakers from across the sector and will follow up the work started at the 2017 event, especially on the development of new safety policies and best practice guides.

The conference will also include “bonus” sessions on the safety implications of the new European Crane Operators Licence and developing a meaningful safety culture. 

The conference has the support of the leading wind turbine manufacturers through VDMA Power Systems, part of the leading German engineering and manufacturing trade association. 

Concern about safety standards on site has long been worrying ESTA’s members and the leading crane manufacturers – members of the Cranes and Lifting Equipment Product Group of FEM (the European Materials Handling Federation).

Key subjects include the increasing size of wind turbines, bad ground conditions and inadequate project planning – coupled with poor communication along the supply chain. 

ESTA Director Ton Klijn said: “This is an important issue now because the height of the turbines is increasing and with the cranes we have now, we are using them to their limit.

“As the tower heights increase further, we see even bigger cranes having to be used, which in turn affects the requirements for the hard stands, which have to withstand higher ground pressures and increase in size.

“In addition, the access roads also have to be stronger.


“The greater heights mean there is more wind pressure on the boom and the load. This means the time window in which the lift can safely be carried out is further reduced.  And that has both safety and cost implications.

“There needs to be much better communication between the developers, the contractors, the turbine manufacturers and the crane and transport companies, including the crane and trailer manufacturers.”

He added: “We would encourage all of our members and affiliates to support this important event.

“We have kept delegate and sponsorship prices as low as possible as we are not looking to make a profit, but just to break even and publicise what is an important and increasingly serious issue.”

David Collett, ESTA President and Managing Director of the Collett Group, is one of the driving forces behind proposals for an industry-wide best practice guide.

He said: “As an industry, we are challenged to deliver a safe solution, and we have to comply with all the relevant health and safety regulations, but the problem is that the site might have been designed dangerously in the first place, before the crane or transport company became involved.

“Quite simply, the quality of the pre-planning and the quality of communication between all the stakeholders is the key issue – that is what we have to improve, and that is why we are so keen to develop better relationships with the developers and turbine manufacturers and their contractors.”

ESTA and FEM Experts Summit

Delivering safety and best practice in on-shore wind farm construction

Plus bonus sessions on:

- building a practical safety culture 

- safety and the new European Crane Operators Licence

For further information please contact the ESTA main office or go to

Final work on ECOL before pilot launch in February

December 4, 2017

The European Crane Operators Licence scheme is undergoing its final round of preparations before its trial “pilot” launch in February next year. 

ESTA Director Tom Klijn presented the latest developments to delegates at the World Crane and Transport Summit in Amsterdam in November.

He then hosted a separate “multiplier” seminar for those interested in hearing about the scheme in much greater detail – a meeting that also raised the possibility of liaising with Liebherr on their e-learning scheme. 

ESTA still has a few vacancies for training and examination organisations to take part in the trial pilot project and also wants to sign up would-be ECOL operators to participate in the same exercise. Candidates can be novices that have to be trained from scratch, or operators with demonstrable experience.

ESTA Director Ton Klijn said: “We have had an excellent response to our work to date, but we want to get a broad range of people and organisations involved in the pilot, so we are calling on any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.”

Changes at the top of ESTA confirmed

November 1, 2017

ESTA’s General Assembly in October confirmed the following changes at the top of the organisation:

- Stijn Sarens of Sarens becomes ESTA Secretary

- Alexandre Vernazza of Mediaco  has taken over as Vice-President, Section Cranes.

- Jens Enggaard of BMS, becomes ESTA Treasurer, taking over from Hendrik Sarens whose term has ended.

Stijn Sarens and Alexandre Vernazza took over the positions vacated by Ton Klijn when he succeeded Søren Jansen as ESTA Director in the summer.


ESTA Users’ Night and Awards - call for entries

November 1, 2017

Next year’s ESTA Users Night and Awards 2018 will take place at the Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on: Thursday, April 26, 2018, during the Intermat exhibition.


The evening has long been hailed as the best networking event in the industry and an excellent opportunity for all member associations – and their members - to present their companies and successes on a European platform.


The awards are run in partnership with International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazine and full details are on the ESTA website at Entry forms can be found here

As in previous years, there are ten categories and one winner will be selected in each category out of a maximum of four finalists. The finalists in each category will be announced in the last week of February.


Awards entries can be submitted in English or in one of the following languages: French, German, Italian and Spanish.


 The closing date is January 19, 2018. 


* ESTA member Associations and Special Members are entitled to six free dinner seats, and ESTA Supporters can have one free dinner seat. Registration for these seats is required. Contact the ESTA Office for more details. 

ESTA Krakow meeting hears calls to harmonize European marking and lighting regulations

November 1, 2017

ESTA’s Section Transport is planning to create a new technical working group in an attempt to harmonize standards and regulations governing lighting and marking on heavy transport throughout Europe.

The plethora of different regulations cause unnecessary costs and bureaucracy and impede cross-border trade. Some in the industry fear that local regulations are used to obstruct the work of international hauliers. 

The new working group was announced by Section Transport President André Friderici and Vice President Iffet Türken at ESTA’s autumn meeting in Krakow, Poland. 

The successful meeting and dinner attracted almost 250 ESTA members and guests from 25 countries. Hosted by OSPTN, the Polish Heavy Transport Association, it was one of the biggest heavy transport and lifting events held in the country.

ESTA hopes that the new working group will produce best practice standards that can be adopted by national government and international bodies to make them binding.

Any organisations interested in joining the technical working group should contact the ESTA office as soon as possible.

Poland’s OSPTN hosted ESTA autumn meetings

November 1, 2017

Poland hosted the 2017 ESTA Autumn Meetings in Krakow on October 19 and 20 – the first time that ESTA has met in Eastern Europe. 

Organised by the Polish Heavy Transport Association (OSPTN), ESTA’s General Assembly along with the transport and cranes sections met at the Sheraton Grand Hotel near the Vistula River. In the evening, an official networking dinner was held 125 meters underground in the famous Salt Mine in Wieliczka where guests weere entertained by live music, magicians and art shows.

The autumn dinner is open to ESTA member associations and their members; affiliate members; supporters; and sponsors. The Section Crane and Transport meetings are open to ESTA members, affiliates and supporters. The General Assembly is only open to ESTA members.

ECOL trainers, candidates wanted

October 10, 2017

ESTA is looking for training and examination organisations to take part in a trial pilot project for a new European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL) in February next year. 

It is also wants to sign up would-be ECOL operators to participate in the same exercise. Candidates can be novices that have to be trained from scratch, or operators with demonstrable experience.

ESTA Director Ton Klijn said: “We are calling on any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.

“We hope that training organisations across Europe will see working with ECOL as a great business opportunity - while at the same time helping make our industry safer, more professional and more efficient.”

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Victory in Spanish permits dispute

October 10, 2017

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.

One of the most vocal critics of Spain’s action was TLN, the Dutch Association for Transport and Logistics and a leading ESTA member.

Ambro Smit, TLN’s policy advisor on technical affairs, said: "We are very pleased that Spain has been forced by the Commission to change this absurd and discriminatory regulation.  

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ESTA Director Søren Jansen stepped down

June 15, 2017

Søren Jansen is to step down from the post of  ESTA Director at the end of June. ESTA Secretary Ton Klijn will take over until the appointment of a new director can be announced at ESTA’s autumn meeting in Krakow, Poland.

Jansen, who has both business and engineering degrees, has spent more than 30 years in the crane industry and is a former President and CEO of Danish crane rental company, BMS. He has long played a major role in trying to improve safety standards and raise awareness of safety issues, working closely with the major crane manufacturers. 

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ESTA’s ECOL plans pass important milestones

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June 1, 2017

ESTA’s ground-breaking project to establish a European Crane Operator Licence (ECOL) is making good progress. 

A meeting of ESTA’s ECOL Working Group on May 15 has agreed a date to trial the project – February 1, 2018. “Once everything is in place, we will trial the system with selected groups to ensure that it is working effectively before it goes live,” ESTA Secretary Ton Klijn said.

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ESTA’s dual action on wind turbine safety

June 1, 2017

ESTA is supporting a twin-track approach in an attempt to reduce accidents during the transportation and erection of on-shore wind turbines. 

The issue has been raised by ESTA and FEM in the wake of the organisations’ successful specialist conference on the subject in Hamburg in February. 

Following that conference, ESTA and FEM met VDMA Power Systems, part of the German Engineering Federation and whose members include the major turbine manufacturers. The VDMA is also discussing developing new best practice guidelines

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Safe use of mobile cranes on floating barges

The ICSA is working on new guidance on the use of mobile cranes on floating barges following the Alphen aan den Rijn accident in Holland, in which two cranes and part of a prefabricated bridge fell on several buildings in August 2015.

Chaired by the SC&RA, Mammoet and Sarens have agreed to share their internal guidelines and the work will also draw on guidelines operated by the US Corps of Engineers, which has responsibility for many of the waterways in the USA, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency of the United States Department of Labor.

ESTA Director Søren Jansen said: “There is a lot of experience in various companies and organisations, but to date had not been brought together for the benefit of the industry as a whole.

“The idea is to pull all this expertise together to produce a document that can have a major impact on improving safety standards.”

Safety discussions to follow Hamburg conference success

ESTA has been invited to raise its concerns about safety during the construction of on-shore wind farms at a meeting with VDMA Power Systems in April.

The meeting follows the success of the experts’ safety summit organized last month in Hamburg by ESTA and the Mobile Crane Product Group of FEM, the European Materials Handling Federation.

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EU Commission filed official complaint against Spain

Earlier we informed you about the problems in Spain regarding new legislation for exceptional transport. For the release of exceptional transport permits, Spain makes a distinction between Spanish transporters and foreign transporters in the new legislation. Foreign transporters cannot use long-term exemptions and they have to cope with stricter regulations when incidental transport permits are issued. This is contrary to the basic principles of the EU regarding equality and non-discrimination of free-trade and services. TLN and other countries have raised this issue with the IRU. IRU lawyers sent a letter to the European Commission in response. As a result the European Commission forwarded an official complaint to Spain. For now, we’re waiting for a reaction from Spain and possible next steps from the Commission. The main goal is to induce Spain to adapt her legislation, but this might take a while. We will inform you as soon as there are new developments.

 Source: TLN newsletter 27/10/2016

Interview with Iffet Türken, Vice President Transport

IffetMrs. Iffet Türken was elected ESTA’s new Transport Vice President at the organisation’s general assembly in April.  

She explains why ESTA is so important to her and the industry. 

Iffet Türken is well-known in the heavy transport industry. She is also a busy woman. 

A board member for business development for trailer manufacturer Kässbohrer and a member of BSK, the German heavy transport and crane association, she is also vice president of TAID, Turkey's Heavy Commercial Vehicles Association, and is on the Supervisory Board of the Council of the trailer, body and bus section of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA),

What is more, she attends the Executive Masters Programs at the world-renowned INSEAD business school in France, focusing on change management. Read More

ESTA submits bid for next stage of ECOL funding

A European crane operator licence is needed more than ever to help the industry raise standards while dealing with rowing skills shortages and an ageing workforce.

That is the view of ESTA Secretary Ton Klijn, one of the driving forces behind the ambitious ECOL project.

He was speaking as ESTA – the European association for abnormal road transport and mobile cranes – submitted the project’s latest progress report to officials in Brussels.

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ESTA’s SPMT BPG to be published in six languages

ESTA’s well-received best practice guide for the use of self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) is being translated into six languages to meet demand from across Europe.

The new guide helps address the problem of trailers occasionally tipping over, even though existing operating rules and stability calculations have been precisely followed.

Translations into German and Polish have already been published and are available free of charge from ESTA’s website.  French, Danish and Spanish editions have been completed and work has started on an Italian edition.

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ESTA welcomes engine emissions agreement for mobile cranes

News that the European Parliament has agreed an extension to the timetable for introducing the new Stage V engine emissions regulations has been strongly welcomed by ESTA.

“It comes as a huge relief and show what can be achieved by concerted and effective action and lobbying,” said Søren Jansen, director of ESTA, the European association for abnormal road transport and mobile cranes.

“Many feared that the Commission’s original plans would have meant the industry cutting capacity by two-thirds while they adjusted to the new regulations.

 “This would have caused great uncertainty and upheaval in the crane market for rental companies and manufacturers alike.”

The European Commission has said that new regulations for engines in non-road mobile machinery will become mandatory on January 1, 2019.

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Engine emissions agreement 

Engine emissions agreement averts job loss fears of mobile crane manufacturers

The European Parliament has agreed an extension to the timetable for introducing the new Stage V engine emissions regulations  – and averted fears of job losses.

The European Commission has said that the new regulations for engines in non-road mobile machinery will become mandatory on January 1, 2019.

 Under the Commission’s original proposals, all OEMs were given a 12 month transition period after the regulations had come into force to adapt their machines to Stage V engines, plus a 6 month “sell-off” period. 

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ICSA meeting, Munich 2016

Industry representatives gather at 2016 meeting of the International Crane Stakeholder Assembly (ICSA) meeting in Munich, Germany.


The annual meeting of the ICSA took place at the Novotel Munchen Messe in Munich, Germany on April 13, 2016.

It was hosted jointly by the European Federation of Materials Handling (FEM) and the European Association of Abnormal Road Transport and Mobile Cranes (ESTA).

The meeting brought together 19 participants from 8 countries representing industry users and manufacturers from around the world.

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ESTA SPMT best practice guide

Cover ESTA BPG SPMTESTA has published its much-anticipated best practice guide for the use of SPMTs.

The new guidelines will help address the problem of trailers tipping over, which has happened on some occasions even though then operating rules and stability calculations have been precisely followed.

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New axle pressure gauge rules in Germany

From January 2016 in Germany, it is compulsory for abnormal load transports to have their vehicles equipped with a gauge which measures axle pressure, if the vehicle has air- or hydro-pneumatic suspension.

Download full report here

FEM 5.022 Guideline

The FEM guideline "Working at Height" is now finally available through VDMAs webshop.

This guideline available in the languages English and German and gives an overview regarding the Safety Measures and Procedures related to work at height - Mobile cranes

The guideline is available through:

  VDMA Webshop

ESTA's new supporters drive

ESTA has changed its rules to allow individual companies to become official supporters and be directly involved in its work.

Download full report here

Concern about new engine emissions rules

In an open letter, Søren Jansen, ESTA Director, sets out the organisation’s worries about the EU Commission’s “Directive 97/68/EC – Draft” on Stage V engine emissions, and planned to become mandatory by January 1, 2019. 

Download the full report here

Upcoming events

  • 26th of April 2018 ESTA Users Night And Awards Dinner

    The “ESTA's Users Night 2018” – will take place at the Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
    An excellent opportunity for all your members to present their companies at a European platform.

     Read more

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