Conclusions

Tower cranes are used extensively within the construction industry, particularly on large building projects. There are around 2,000 tower cranes in the UK, with the majority owned by large leasing companies. Typically these will be replaced every 10 to 15 years, due to safety considerations which also strongly influence the purchase of second hand or remanufactured cranes. There is no market of note within the UK, and it is unlikely that a crane would be considered 'as new' by the industry. This attitude is unlikely to change in the short term due to the industry's concerns about public perception.

Despite the lack of reuse the industry is not necessarily wasteful, especially when the safety requirements are taken into consideration. Within the UK, tower cranes are well maintained and used until local safety and maintenance factors mean it is not viable to do so. Many parts are replaced on a regular basis to ensure the crane continues to function over an extended period. There may be potential for encouraging reuse and remanufacturing of items such as the electronic motors in the future as it appears there is some activity occurring in this area already. However, it seems unlikely that the complete remanufacture of tower cranes is viable at present.