This spring, I received an interesting email from Markus Golder, of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. As well as lecturing at the institute, Golder is an engineer for Stahl CraneSystems, and a member of the ISO committee responsible for crane design principles.

Golder had recently written a paper on how to convert from a time-based classification of cranes and their components, to a more accurate cycle-based classification. The principles covered in the paper are a key topic for standards bodies, both internationally and in regions like the EU.

I could see it was an important topic to cover, but that the paper was not something that I, as a humanities graduate, felt competent to edit. I also felt that for our broad audience, made up of crane dealers and installers, engineers at end users and factory owners, and many others, the paper would also be too technical.

The approach we came up with was to have one of our writers, Bernadette Ballantyne, interview Golder and his peers on some of the ISO committees for a series of articles looking at the issue of classification. We have a PDF of Golder’s paper here, which I would be happy to send to anyone who requests it. You can also download the paper directly from

We open this extended section with an interview with Golder, explaining his paper, and giving an example of how to convert a time-based classification into a cyclebased classification.

Next, Bernadette talks to Eberhard Becker, of Terex’s Demag overhead cranes arm. Becker describes the work being done to implement cycle-based classifications by the many standards bodies working on cranes and their components. As Bernadette concludes, the harmonization of standards remains a work in progress but that the direction of travel is clear. We conclude the standards question with an interview with Oliver Kempkes, who gives us both an ISO committee member’s view of how standards are developed, and a business owner’s perspective on how this will affect crane manufacturing.

It is a new approach for us to dedicate this depth of coverage to a technical issue like this. On the other magazine I edit, Cranes Today, we frequently see interventions from government into how the construction crane sector is regulated. That leads to a lot of coverage of standards and regulations.

We don’t see as much public interest or involvement in the overhead crane sector. I am sure though that there are issues, both of engineering and of workplace safety, that we should be looking at in more detail. I’d welcome your comments on the regulations and standards that affect how you manufacture, sell, or use cranes. I’d also welcome any feedback you have on how we have covered classifcation in this issue.

Would you have prefered to have read Golder’s paper in the magazine in something close to its original form? Or were we right to discuss the topic, and direct our readers to the original paper?