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

Gunnar Mardon – a “true rock” and friend of ESTA 

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 where his support and expertise was of great assistance in helping up take our ECOL project to the verge of being launched.

He had over 25 years of national and international senior management and board-level experience in industry, and served as an advisor to a number of organizations regarding standards and accreditation systems applicable across national and international frameworks. Gunnar was also a partner and co-founder of SkillRecord Systems Inc., supporting skilled occupations and trades in Canada.

Fraser Cocks, Executive Director of the British Columbia Association for Crane Safety and also a member of the ECOL working group, said: “Gunnar was a true rock for all of us. He was a solid presence, always there, always willing to be of service, sharing his reasonable, balanced Gunnar views on situations.”

ESTA Director Ton Klijn added: “I have come to know Gunnar as a loyal and committed member of our ECOL workgroup who strongly advanced our project with the Canadian authorities. His contributions in our workgroup meetings will be dearly missed. 

“Our thoughts go out to his family, especially his partner Diane and their two children.”

ESTA “cautiously optimistic” on crane rental workload prospects after latest forecasts

September 20, 2018

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.

When Liebherr is ECOL “approved”, it will be able to train and test operators for the ECOL-licence and can use the ECOL logo. In addition, Liebherr’s respected crane operator course can be credited to the ECOL licence.

Liebherr will have to make some small adjustments to its current training schemes to bring them into line with ECOL`s standards. This means that a current Liebherr- certified operator will probably have to carry out some extra training to gain an ECOL certificate although the exact details have yet to be agreed.

ECOL will also be able to use part of Liebherr’s certified e-learning system for Training and re-training purposes.

Christoph Behmüller of the Training Department at Liebherr-Werk Ehingen said that ECOL has long been supported by Liebherr and the crane manufacturers through FEM.  “ECOL is another important step towards more safety in crane operation. It is a great concern of ours to support and promote this project,” he said. 

The agreement means that any operator that passes the future “aligned” Liebherr training will also be eligible to receive an ECOL licence - provided the operator registers with ECOL and the organisation’s SkillRecord system that logs his or her experience

The issue of the acceptance of foreign ECOL licences by Liebherr for use in Germany will be covered by a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) as it’s currently arranged with other organisations across Europe.

“This is a great vote of confidence in ECOL from one of the world’s leading manufacturers,” said ESTA Director Ton Klijn. “I am very pleased with the outcome of our talks.”

He added: “This is just another example of the tremendous support that ECOL has throughout the industry, and how the project can be a major force for good – by raising standards, improving safety and making us more efficient.” 


n the meantime, ESTA is repeating its call for 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.

“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.”

To date, ESTA has run one ECOL “test” pilot project at Mammoet’s training centre in Rotterdam. The next pilot project will take place in Denmark on September 17 and will be followed by two more, in the Netherlands and Italy, before the scheme goes live early in 2019. 

September 7, 2018

ESTA is “cautiously optimistic” about workload prospects in the European crane rental sector as public finances continue to improve after the 2008 crash. 

Serious concerns remain about the impact of Brexit and the growing climate of protectionism - along with the unnecessary bureaucracy and petty local regulations - prevailing in several European markets.

But recent European construction industry forecasts have been positive for almost all sectors from housing and commercial building through to the energy, water, transport and telcomms markets, and that bodes well for the sector’s workload in the short and medium terms.

ESTA’s Section Cranes President Wouter van Noort said: “The day rental sector is very busy throughout Europe and there is good demand for mobile cranes, especially at the smaller end of the market.

“The market in bigger projects is really challenging at the moment – but it is beginning to come back and I am optimistic that by the second half of  2019 and into 2020 the European market will be stronger.”

Van Noort, who is Managing Director of Mammoet Europe, said that despite the major project slowdown, there is still a fair amount of maintenance and upgrade work in power stations, refineries and the wider oil and gas industry. 

The decommissioning of nuclear power stations and wind energy – both on- and off-shore – are also reasonably strong markets.

He added: “Geographically, there are not huge differences across Europe. Of course, workload is stronger in some countries than others, but the variation is not too great, especially now that the southern European countries that were hit hardest by the 2008 crash are seeing a solid recovery.”

The latest construction forecasts were published recently by Euroconstruct, a body that brings together construction market consultants and economists from 19 European countries.

The organization said that the market was growing well on the back of low interest rates, good economic performance and pent-up demand. 

It added that increasing tax revenues across Europe are allowing for greater investment in public construction, transport networks and other infrastructure, with the market’s strength  increasingly focused on civil engineering while housing weakens. 

As a result it is predicting that the construction sector as a whole will grow by 6.25 per cent in real terms by the end of 2020 with growth in road and bridge construction – a key civil engineering indicator – forecast to expand by over 16 per cent in the same period. 

ESTA Director Ton Klijn added: “If these forecasts prove correct, we are cautiously optimistic that ESTA’s European crane rental and heavy transport members can expect reasonably stable workloads between now and the end of 2020.

“But we have to bear in mind that workload on its own does not solve the problems of protectionism, unnecessary bureaucracy and unsustainably low prices.”

Low crane rental rates risk long-term harm

August 31, 2018

Current low crane rental rates in Europe are unsustainable and risk doing the industry and its clients long term damage by limiting investment in technology and skills, ESTA Director Ton Klijn has warned.

He called on the industry to consider moving away from traditional rental work an increasing the number of contract lifts – where the rental company takes responsibility for managing, planning and supervising the lift, as well as providing the crane and operator. 

Such an arrangement allows the crane rental company to use its knowledge and expertise to take more responsibility from the client – and of course to charge more as a result

Speaking this week, Klijn said: “The European crane rental market is in reasonable shape in terms of workload although there is a declining number of very big projects 

“But the main problem from our members’ point of view is that rental rates are at a historically low level and in my view are unsustainable.

“In real terms they are lower than they were in the 1970s and even a successful company with full utilization can’t make any money.”

He added: “In the short term, clients might benefit from such low prices. But in the long term they affect investment at all levels in the industry from those in new technologies and equipment through to training and skills. 

“Ultimately in the future our industry’s clients will pay a price in terms of lower quality, reduced efficiency and poorer performance.”

Certainly, as an industry, we need to raise rates to give us the room to make a reasonable return and to invest in the future. 

ESTA to increase standards work

August 21, 2018

ESTA is planning to increase its involvement in the on-going work of developing European standards for mobile cranes.

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.

The CEN/TC 147 committee works on the development and maintenance of safety standards affecting the design, manufacture and information relating to cranes. This means ESTA will have a voice in determining new norms for the construction of mobile cranes according to the European standard EN 13000. Previously, ESTA could only attend the meetings as an observer. 

CEN – the European Committee for Standardization – has thirty four national members who work together across different industrial sectors to develop European standards to support the single market. 

ESTA to relaunch SERT campaign

July 20, 2018

ESTA Director Ton Klijn is to start lobbying European national governments in a fresh attempt to persuade them to adopt the European Best Practice Guidelines for Abnormal Road Transport, first published in a European Commission Transport Directive back in 2005. 

The directive contains SERT, the Special European Registration for Trucks and Trailers, intended to reduce the paperwork and bureaucracy faced by the industry.

The worsening problem of obtaining permits in many countries was the subject of a passionate debate at the most recent meeting of ESTA’s Section Transport where some members referred to the “ever increasing web of bureaucracy” that is hampering the heavy transport industry.

Ton Klijn said: “We will be knocking on as many doors as we can and directly lobbying national governments. In particular, we will be talking to our new members and contacts in eastern Europe, some of whom are facing particular difficulties.”

To date only the Dutch road traffic authority RDW issues SERT documents with new vehicles, and it is accepted as an information document by the Belgian, Swedish and English road traffic authorities.

But ESTA hopes that with authorities throughout Europe under on-going financial pressure, they will see that an agreed Europe-wide registration system – as part of accepted best practice guidelines -  will save time and money as well as making an important industry safer and more efficient.  

New wind turbine guidelines by end of year

New best practice guidelines for the safe transportation and erection of onshore wind turbines could be published before the end of the year, according to ESTA, the European association for abnormal road transport and mobile cranes. 

The news follows the latest round of discussions between ESTA and the wind turbine manufacturers in Hamburg.

“We have agreed the overall scope and content of the document, and we are now working on the detail,” said ESTA Director Ton Klijn.  “There is still a lot to do and we will need several more meetings of the working group yet, but we are optimistic that the new guidelines will be published by the end of this year.”

The guidelines are expected to include subjects such as common dimensions and standards for access roads and the methods of calculating the ground bearing pressure for crane pads. Talks have been on-going for over a year as part of ESTA’s attempts to improve safety standards and onsite efficiency.

The discussions are being lead by ESTA with the support of German association BSK, the crane manufacturers and VDMA Power Systems, the part of the German Engineering Federation whose members include the major turbine manufacturers.

Safety concerns have been growing with the development of new, bigger turbines with greater hub heights, downward pressure on costs along the supply chain and the increasing use of hard-to-access sites with difficult ground conditions.

ESTA, FEM and VDMA Power Systems plan to produce a core best practice document, backed up by other more detailed technical guidance documents such as the FEM 5.016 Guideline – Safety Issues in Wind Turbine Installation and Transportation (EN – 2017).

Bulgaria’s NSPIT joins ESTA

July 12, 2018

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

NSPIT hopes that joining will increase ESTA’s influence in the Balkans and also make ESTA itself stronger “The more countries that are represented in ESTA, the better our concerns will be heard, both in Brussels and by our national governments, ” said Mladen Ganchev, chairman of NSPIT’s board and manager of Bulgarian heavy transport company Holleman. 

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First ECOL trials completed successfully

May 31, 2018

The first trial of the new European Crane Operators Licence scheme has been successfully completed at Mammoet’s training centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Four crane operators were processed through the ECOL system which involved 240 hours of training split evenly between theory and practice. So far, three have passed – one at the second attempt – and one failed, although he will have the chance to retake the test in the near future.

The operators themselves strongly backed the ECOL project, saying that they could see great value in being able to work throughout Europe without having to be retested by local regulators in every country. 

The ECOL organisers now intend to run three more pilot projects, one more in the Netherlands plus one each in Denmark and Italy. 

Call for training bodies to obtain ECOL validation

May 31, 2018

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.

Pressure grows for heavy transport corridors

May 15, 2018

Pressure is growing on the European Union and national transport authorities to agree heavy transport corridors throughout Europe in the wake of increasing concern 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 the transport section of ESTA, the European Association of Abnormal Road Transport and Mobile Cranes.

The meeting heard presentations from Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy and Poland , all of whom made the same key points – that the present systems are over-complex, expensive, reduce safety and put up costs for the industry’s clients and ultimately their customers.

The issue has been given extra impetus following the recent NATO military exercises in Europe. Sources in Brussels have said that the EU will be looking at a new plan to help military equipment to move quickly and avoid border delays and weak roads and bridges.

ESTA hopes that this work will lead to a network of routes being developed that can also be used for heavy transport as well as for military purposes.

Mammoet’s Wouter van Noort confirmed as ESTA’s new Section Cranes President

April 30, 2018

Mammoet Europe Managing Director Wouter van Noort has joined the ESTA Board as the new representative of the Dutch crane association VVT and has been confined as the new president of the ESTA Section Cranes. 

The board decision was ratified by the ESTA General Assembly meeting in Paris in April. 

Wouter van Noort succeeded Sander Splinter as Mammoet Europe Managing Director at the end of last year after Splinter resigned to become Managing Director of ERIKS Nederland, the mechanical engineering and technical services firm. Like Mammoet, ERIKS is a subsidiary of SHV, the privately-owned Dutch trading conglomerate. Splinter’s resignation meant he was no longer eligible to sit on ESTA’s board representing VVT or to serve as President of the Section Cranes.

Current Vice President of the Section Cranes is Alexandre Vernazza, President of Group Mediaco in France. He declined to become Section Cranes President for this term of office due to his workload. He has only recently taken over the ESTA Vice President’s role and has also agreed to become the new President of the French crane association, Union Francaise du Levage (UFL). 

High standards at ESTA’s 2018 Awards

April 30, 2018

Almost 400 guests attended the 2018 ESTA Awards of Excellence in Paris in April, held during the Intermat exhibition. The annual event is renowned as the largest and best crane and heavy transport party in Europe.

“All the finalists showed once again the high standards and tremendous professionalism in this industry”, said David Collett, ESTA President and Managing Director of the Collett Group. Full details of the finalists and winners are in the awards section of this website

Posthumous ESTA Award for Benny Sarens

April 30, 2018

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. 

ESTA joins IRU to boost Brussels influence

March 4, 2018

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. 

Along with ESTA and Dutch association TLN, the IRU was instrumental in obtaining European Commission support to resolve the dispute with Spain last year after the country tried to enforce new regulations that discriminated against international hauliers. 

Explaining the decision, ESTA Director Ton Klijn said: “Our clear goal is to get exceptional transport much higher up the agenda of the relevant authorities, and the IRU can help us do that.

“The IRU is a highly professional lobbying organization and by joining them, ESTA will have much more clout than we could have on our own.”

The IRU’s global headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland, and has offices worldwide, including in Brussels, Beijing, Moscow and Istanbul.

ECOL pilot schemes on track

March 3, 2018

Four organisations have agreed to take part in this month’s pilot – or test - run of the new European Crane Operators Licence scheme being launched by ESTA.

Fagioli’s Corporate Academy from Italy and EUC Lillebǣlt from Denmark have signed up as have both SOMA and the Mammoet Training Centre from the Netherlands. 

ESTA started work on a Europe-wide operator licence for mobile crane operators back in 2013 in an attempt to raise standards, improve safety and ease skills shortages.

ESTA Director Ton Klijn said: “We are making excellent progress, and we want to trial the system with selected groups to ensure that it is working effectively before it goes fully live.”

Assuming that the pilot work goes to plan, ESTA will then be in a position to request the European Qualifications Framework to have ECOL registered and recognised at EQF Level 2 across Europe. 

Currently each EU member state has its own rules for professional competence and the certification of crane operators. It is ESTA’s intention to enable every crane operator in Europe to demonstrate that he or she meets the minimum requirements of the industry.

ECOL is receiving funding under Erasmus+, the new European funding programme for education, youth and sport (2014-2020).

For more information, go to or contact ESTA directly.

Moves to harmonise marking and lighting regs

February 1, 2018

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 

December 4, 2017

The European Crane Operators Licence scheme is undergoing its final round of preparations before its trial “pilot” launch in the Spring of 2018.. 

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 - book your seat

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

logo erasmusplus nl

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

Boost for ESTA as ECOL wins Liebherr backing

Upcoming events

  • 26th of November 2018 International Rental Conference Asia

    Sheraton Grand Shanghai Pudong Hotel,
    Shanghai, China

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  • 27th of November 2018 Bauma China

    Bauma China - construction equipment exhibition
    Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre

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