Doing it Right
On Thursday, May 12, Liebherr USA Co. hosted about 650 guests from around the world at the headquarters of its North American operations in Newport News, Virginia.
Customer Day was the first event Liebherr USA has hosted at the huge facility since completing a major expansion and upgrading in April 2020.
Customer day was followed by an open house for recruiters and school counselors on Friday, and then by an employees’ family day on Saturday.
“After two years of anticipation, we are honored to present our newly expanded facilities and products on such a momentous day,” said Tim Gerhardt. “This opportunity allows us to showcase Liebherr’s growth and dedication to our U.S. partners and customers.”
Gerhardt and Kai Friedrich are the co-managing directors who lead Liebherr USA.
During the day, customers and the trade press were treated to plant tours, a meal, refreshments, new-product demonstrations, and 32 exhibits.
The new or new-to-North-America products unveiled at the event included five mobile or crawler cranes: the LTM 1110-5.2 and LTM 1300-6.3 all-terrain cranes, and the LR 1700-1.0, LR 1400 SX, and LR 1250.1 unplugged lattice-boom crawler cranes.
Other cranes on display included the 125 K fast-erecting tower crane, the LR 1100.1 lattice-boom crawler crane, and the LRT 1100-2.1 rough-terrain crane, which was hoisted high by the big LR 1700-1.0 lattice-boom crawler. Besides cranes, the company rolled out an articulated dump truck, a piling and drilling rig, a truck-mounted concrete pump, a line pump, and a dozer. In addition, many existing models of earthmoving equipment were on display.
Liebherr’s operations expansion and enhancement represents a $60 million investment in its commitment to serve North American customers.
Completed in April 2020, the expansion includes a four-story, 60,000-sq.-ft. administration building; an 82,000-sq.-ft. workshop and training facility; a 92,000-sq.-ft. parts distribution warehouse, including retail operations; a one-story, 7,500-sq.-ft wash bay building; and a guard house.
In all, the expansion added 251,000 sq. ft. to the existing 560,000-sq.-ft. plant, for a new total area of 811,000 sq. ft.
The new facility significantly increases repair capacity for mobile cranes, crawler cranes, and construction equipment, as well as production capacity for concrete pumps.
Liebherr has some 1,200 employees in North America, including 550 in Newport News.
The company has been in the U.S. since 1970, and saw North American revenue of $1.2 billion in 2021, 4% more than in 2020.
One stop on the plant tour was the expanded training center, where about 90 classes per year train technicians who maintain and repair all types of Liebherr equipment, including cranes.
Each class lasts a few days, has eight students and two instructors, and teaches using classroom work, simulators, and hands-on experience with real machinery.
Another stop on the tour was the parts distribution center, which was enlarged by 50% and modernized in the expansion. It stocks about 35,000 line items ranging from O rings to diesel engines, and fills about 300 orders a day with an accuracy rate of 99.75%.
Customer day was a first-rate event with lots of exciting new products and developments. Read more about them in upcoming editions of Crane Hot Line.