10 Questions with a Director at JT Cranes: Russ Taylor

Tina Jones / 24th May 2021 / Articles

Russ Taylor with text "interview with Russ Taylor"

Established in 1981, JT Cranes has experienced a wealth of growth and development. In 2006, we became local specialists in the remarkable and versatile new technology of mini cranes, offering crane hire, contract lifting and sales. Russ Taylor has been a director at JT Cranes for over 30 years and has been a part of the company’s journey for most of its existence.

To get to know Russ’ thoughts and understand the changes he’s seen while being part of the team, we asked him a few questions about his experience and time at JT Cranes, past, present, and future.

What differentiates Jekko Cranes and their competitors?

Our mini crane focus began in 2006 when Russ recognised the potential of these versatile little crawler cranes. Ranging from 600mm to 1600mm wide, our fleet of mini cranes offer an ideal solution to many lifting problems – not only those where access is difficult. In 2016, J T Cranes were appointed to become the sole dealer for the Jekko range of mini cranes in the UK.

Russ says that the key differentiator between Jekko and their competitors is that Jekko have always been very forward-thinking. Many of their competitors haven’t updated their technology over the years, but you can be sure that with Jekko you’ll get the latest tech available to crane designers.

What is JT Crane’s most popular crane?

Russ says, “I would say the SPX 1275, but the new SPX 532 and 650 are shaping up to be even more popular.”

The SPX range is telescopic spider cranes and mini crawler cranes with outriggers designed for easy transport and utmost handiness. These machines can work in very different places – slopes, stairs, passageways and difficult-to-reach places – and do not require long set-up.

Each Jekko model is small and can travel through a standard single door or on a lift or elevator hoist, and it can work in a confined area.

Find out more about the SPX 650 or click here for more information on the new SPX 532.

Why should businesses/industry professionals work with JT Cranes?

Established in the early 1980s, JT Cranes is a family firm based on the Beds/Cambs border. Since 2006 we’ve been the local specialists in the remarkable and versatile new technology of mini cranes, offering crane hire, contract lifting and sales.

In the beginning, our core business was roadside repair and servicing, handled by our founder John Taylor. But in recent years we have expanded and now offer a full range of mini crane hire and sales, contract lifting, accident recovery, servicing, testing, and major repairs.

Russ confirms “We have experience of over 40 years in the crane industry and are always ready to embrace new tech.”

Have you seen any significant changes in crane industry trends over the last 5 years?

Russ explains how the biggest changes have come within the safety of the cranes. Britain is a world leader when it comes to safety and during his time at JT Cranes, Russ has seen some major advancements in the sector.

Which Jekko crane would you recommend for the steel construction industry and why?

Jekko Cranes are ideal for work across all sectors including glass pane handling, industrial maintenance, mining, oil, gas, military and of course, construction. Russ discloses, “the crane I’d recommend for the steel construction industry would definitely be the new SPX 650. It’s really compact and versatile while retaining excellent duties. It just has no comparison on the market at the moment.”

Discover everything you need to know about the new SPX 650

Aside from size, what are the differences between cranes and mini cranes?

“Mini cranes share all the features that their larger cousins have, but just on a smaller scale” Russ explains. “With my history in heavy cranes, I don’t think there is any difference in whether you’re lifting one or one thousand tones. The procedure is basically the same, it’s just the scale that changes.”

That isn’t to say that mini cranes don’t have some added awesome features though, like their radio controllers and plug and play jibs. They’re also environmentally conscious, as they’re battery powered.

Find out more about what makes Jekko Cranes unique.

What has been JT Cranes’ best mini crane job to date?

Russ says, “Personally, I think the best mini crane job we worked on was the first JF 545 job working at the Lower Padworth Locks. We were contracted to lift and replace 3.5-tonne lock gates at a 10m radius in 2018.”

Are Jekko cranes a more environmentally sustainable option?

“Jekko Cranes are definitely a more environmentally sustainable option for your lifting needs. Jekko as a brand is an environmentally conscious company. They’ve led the way for years in battery technology on cranes and use the latest and cleanest engines as well.” says Russ.

Which Jekko crane would you recommend for glass pane handling and why?

“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I still have to say the new SPX 650,” Russ admits. “It’s just so versatile and its fine control is the best in class, which is obviously a key aspect of glass handling. When millimetre precision is required, there’s just nothing that you can rely on more than the SPX 650.”

Jekko invests more than 10% of its personnel costs into R&D and prototyping. How is this reflected in their products?

Russ says, “this is an easy one. Jekko is at the cutting edge of crane tech in every department and are always thriving to provide the customer with the safest and best cranes available”. It seems the proof is in the pudding.


JT Cranes has witnessed huge changes in crane technology over the past 40 years. Russ has been a massive part of this journey and, overall, is very excited to see what the next few years hold. If you’d like to find out more about our team, be sure to visit the About Us section of our website. And for more information on our cranes, go to www.jekko.co.uk.