Paterson Simons have been proudly associated with Grove as a dealer since our initial partnership with Coles Cranes back in 1977.
In the early 1980s, Coles experienced a surge in crane exports, especially to the Middle East and North African markets. However, despite strong sales, profits were not satisfactory, leading to a streamlining of the organization. By 1982, Coles had to close its Grantham and Glazebury factories.
In 1984, Grove acquired Coles Cranes, and for the next few years, the company operated as Grove Coles. Eventually, around 1990, the name was simplified to Grove Cranes Ltd, and all Coles models were phased out of production. Grove decided to focus solely on All Terrain cranes, discontinuing the production of truck cranes in Europe.
In 1995, Grove made another significant acquisition by purchasing the crane division from the German company Krupp Industries Ltd. This decision allowed Grove to access up-to-date crane technologies without having to develop their own. Unfortunately, this move marked the end of the original Coles factory in 1998. With manufacturing facilities in the USA and Germany, Grove decided to keep the Krupp factory in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, as it boasted the latest crane-building technology. As a result, the Sunderland factory was closed down.
In 2002, North American crane manufacturer Manitowoc acquired Grove, which further expanded Grove’s presence in the crane industry.
Below are some pictures of a Coles Octag 870 crane with additional counterweight taken in the early ’90s.
The Octag was a revolutionary crane at the time it was launched having an octagonal boom which was particularly strong. However it was relatively expensive to make and the additional material needed to construct it added weight to the boom making the charts good for heavy lift applications but less effective at reach.
Most of the Coles Cranes sold into the region at the time have now become obeslete but we still look back on the brand with some affection as it provided our initiation into the world of mobile cranes which has taken us to undreamt of levels of sales and technological sophistication.
It’s worth noting that safety standards, including personal protective equipment (PPE), have significantly improved since then!
The first photo below features Henry Lyne, Director of Group Strategy at Paterson Simons, on the left, and William Kwabena Asiedu (Willie Asiedu) on the right. (Willie Asiedu worked at Pasico for 44 years before retiring, he sadly passed away in October 2021 at the age of 74).