Trimble's construction technology vice president cites a growing crane market as a reason behind its Aug. 21 purchase of Load Systems International Inc., Quebec City, Canada, a crane-safety instrumentation firm.

"In a world that has experienced scores of major crane accidents in recent years and thousands of smaller incidents that hold up construction projects, LSI's crane-avoidance and load-management solutions certainly match Trimble's focus," says Bryn Fosburgh, Trimble vice president of construction technology. Fosburgh would not comment on the cost of the acquisition.

Fosburgh says that, globally, Trimble sees crane use rapidly expanding—nearly 25% over a few years—particularly in emerging markets such as Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. LSI will help Trimble further capitalize on this growth, he adds.

LSI offers advanced radio, instrumentation and sensing technologies to monitor crane load and predict overload and possible collisions. "You can think of these as the eyes and ears that maximize crane safety," says Fosburgh.

The company isn't without competition, but it is a leader, says David Smith, LSI president and CEO. LSI crane sensors extend to a range of 4,000 ft and have two years of battery life; all its newest sensors feature up to one mile of radio range and up to four years of battery life, he adds.

"We're the only crane instrumentation manufacturer to design our radio technology in-house. Our people are in complete control of our radio functionality," says Smith.

He adds that, early on, the firm saw the advantages wireless technology could bring to the crane and lifting industry, such as lower cost of calibration and field installation and the elimination of both cables.