The German overhead crane industry is vast and varied, with manufacturers of complete hoists alongside producers of consumables and components. Daniel Searle travelled through the west of the country to learn more. Germany is famous for the scope of its industry, which ironically makes planning a week-long tour of the country’s overhead crane sector more difficult, as there is so much to potentially visit. In the end, I aimed for a circular route starting at Stuttgart, travelling north through the regions of Baden-Württemberg and Hesse to North Rhine-Westphalia, to base myself in Düsseldorf, before returning south back to Stuttgart for my return flight, via Künzelsau en route. As one might expect for a country with Germany’s reputation for industrial strength, the industry members I spoke to concurred on the current solidity of the domestic market. The consensus was that whilst the market may not be growing dramatically, there is steady growth from a very good initial position. And, due to the respected quality of German equipment, companies can rely on the export markets to bolster sales. My first port of call was SWF Krantechnik in Mannheim, where I spoke with managing directo...