Step 1: Assemble quickly

Dec. 28, 2000
Johnny was crying for a crane for Christmas. So his dad stayed up long into the night trying to piece it together the right way under the tree. You know the visual. Directions were flying every which way, at one point the top piece was put on backwards, but eventually dad got it right.

It’s not easy to put a crane together, and in the construction industry assemblage, minus the silly mistakes from the amateur, can take days to install on the job site.

Johnny was crying for a crane for Christmas. So his dad stayed up long into the night trying to piece it together the right way under the tree. You know the visual. Directions were flying every which way, at one point the top piece was put on backwards, but eventually dad got it right.

It’s not easy to put a crane together, and in the construction industry assemblage, minus the silly mistakes from the amateur, can take days to install on the job site. At a time when the "hit ’em hard and hit ’em fast" idealogy of the design-build process is taking hold, time to spare is a valuable commodity.

But companies like Manitowoc Cranes Inc., Manitowoc, Wis., have read the directions of the market carefully, and came up with an innovation-cranes that can be raised at the drop of a hard hat.

"Everybody talks about the assembly time to get the crane into a job," Larry Weyers, vice president of sales and marketing for Manitowoc, told ROADS & BRIDGES. "In the past where a conventional crane may have taken five days to put together, our newer cranes, the 230-ton machines, can be put together in less than a day."

The cost also can come tumbling down, another positive for a contractor trying to save time and money. Instead of having to buy or rent a number of cranes to cover a large project, purchasing just one that requires a few hours of building can be moved to different areas. Also, if a contractor suddenly needs a specific crane for a particular task he can rent one and have it returned later in the week.

"We kinda cut that corner of the mobilization issue," said Weyers.

With money from the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century flowing through, few are trying to cut costs, producing a boom in the crane market.

"It’s hard to see down the road, but the way it looks right now for the next 12 to 24 months it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down a whole lot," Jason Klatt, national sales manager for central and west regions for Maintainer, told ROADS & BRIDGES. "With a lot of the road work funded for three, four, five years there’s a lot of things that are going to happen."

"On our big cranes a lot of times we’ll discuss the project and the scope of the requirements of the crane, and then book the order up to maybe a year or six months before they need the crane," said Weyers. "As that money really starts to come to them, we’re capitalizing to a point where we’re actually building some cranes in anticipation of that volume."

A friend of Cat

ARVA Industries Inc., St. Thomas, Ontario, has become a Caterpillar follower. Its ARA3000 telescopic hydraulic crane is designed to match 235 and 245 Cat excavators.

The crane provides 20 tons of capacity and 40 ft of telescopic reach on a Cat 235 excavator and 30 tons of capacity and 60 ft of reach on a Cat 245. The lifter also offers 360° of continuous rotation, as well as lifting and side load capacity.

Taking route 66

Serving as the lifting partner to Auto Crane’s new 11,006H telescopic crane is a 66K crane service body carrying a 66,000-lb crane capacity. The Tulsa, Okla.-based company designed the 11,006H crane to produce a maximum lifting capacity of 11,000 lb at 6 ft.

The boom extends from 12 to 20 ft with a manual extension to 25 ft, and includes 360° non-continuous power rotation, automatic overload protection, 30-ft remote control pendant, OPTI-FLOW hydraulic control system with manual override and OPTI-METER proportional crane control.

All-terrain vehicle

The GMK5210, produced by Grove Worldwide, Shady Grove, Pa., may not be able to take you wherever you’d like to go, but it’s dubbed as a "Mega Machine" prepared to handle the toughest of job sites.

The crane is equipped with a newly designed 197-ft boom with a 175-ft working radius and has a nominal capacity of 210 tons.

The six-section boom incorporates Grove’s "Twin-Lock" boom telescoping system, which allows the operator to pre-select the boom extension mode for strength and stability. Powered by a Mercedes OM502LA 571-hp engine, the standard fixed and luffing jibs on the machine extend maximum tip height to 3211/2 ft and maximum working radius to 255 ft.

Grove’s EKS4 LMI system helps the operator maximize the crane’s lift capacities by allowing the operator to select the best crane configuration to accomplish the job.

Day crawlers

Product introductions haven’t slowed to a crawler at Hitachi, Houston. The company has not one, but five new CX model hydraulic crawler-mounted lattice boom cranes. The machines range in load capacity from 70 to 200 metric tons.

Independent main and auxiliary hoist drums provide lifting control and precision, and drum rotation sensors on each drum allow the operator to feel when the drum begins to move, according to Hitachi. Hydraulic servo system friction band brakes on the drums allow free-fall lowering.

A slow boom hoisting/lowering stop mechanism kicks in when the boom overhoist or overload protection devices activate.

Pumping up the brakes

Kobelco, Stafford, Texas, has applied its brake technology to its CK1000 crane. The mechanism now has forced-circulation, oil-cooled, wet-type multi-disc brakes installed in each drum. The forced-circulation of oil through the brake’s discs maintains the brakes’ efficiency and keeps temperatures down during continuous operations, according to the company, and drum capacity also is increased.

Totally tubular

Liebherr cranes continue to gain strength. Equipped with booms that are tubular, the LR 1250 lift crane is capable of lifting capacities up to 250 tons. The machine also comes with two main winches, offering high line speeds, according to the company.

The LR 1250 can be quickly transported behind the Liebherr Self Erection System. Without the use of an auxiliary crane, the model can disassemble itself into small units and load them for transportation.

The Liebherr lift crane LR 853 has a lifting capacity of 100 tons and comes with almost identical features found on the LR 1250.

Another product of the German manufacturer is the HS 883 HD, which has a 27-m main boom and 5.5-cu-yd dragline bucket. The bucket has been enlarged to 6-cu-yd capacity.

A big body

Sacrificing a body isn’t in the mindset of Maintainer, Sheldon, Iowa. The company is now offering a service body with an 8,000-lb crane. Maintainer believes the higher GVW rating of F-550 chassis allows for greater crane lifting capacity.

The body is fabricated from double galvanized steel and features 52-in.-tall by 23-in.-deep compartments.

Maintainer’s 8,000-lb crane (Series 4516-20) carries a 45,000 ft/lb crane rating and 615° of rotation. It’s hydraulically extended from 10 to 16 ft.

"The crane/body combination for us had kinda taken off," said Klatt. "It has filled a niche that was an open niche there. In the market we’re in, you can never get enough crane."

Dealing a 21

Wanting a hit, Manitowoc, Manitowoc, Wis., has launched its Model 21000 crane. It has a 1,000-ton capacity with Manitowoc’s MAX-ER attachment. The base crane has a 400-ft boom reach, with the MAX-ER measuring out at 380 ft.

Powered by a 600-hp diesel engine and closed-loop hydraulics, the 21000 can operate in a wide stance (47 ft, 6 in.) or a narrow stance (30 ft) for increased versatility and maximum utilization, according to the company.

FACT and H-FACT connectors, modules equipped with lifting lugs and strap-type boom rigging permit a 20-hour setup time.

Manitowoc’s 777T was built with the ability to self-assemble without any assist equipment. The crane’s 220-ton rating comes to an 11-ft radius on 25 ft of boom. Equipped with a 60 ft basic boom, the 777T can lift 182 tons at a 13-ft radius, and the maximum boom length with heavy-lift top is 270 ft.

Fixed and luffing jibs also are available on the model, which has a 500-hp engine matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. Maximum combinations are 258 ft of boom plus 80 ft of fixed jib, and 180 ft of boom plus 170 ft of luffing jib.

National importance

National Crane, Waverly, Neb., wants people to start ordering extra large. The company claims the Series 1800 telescopic crane and capacity is among the industry’s largest. Rated with a maximum capacity of 40 tons, the crane has a 142-ft, five-section hydraulic boom and an optional 26-ft manual jib. That gives the 1800 a maximum vertical reach of 168 ft and a maximum hydraulic reach of 149 ft.

Two cross-frame hydraulic outriggers, each spanning 24 ft, 8 in., and a single front stabilizer provide support. The crane mounts on a standard commerical tandem rear-axle truck equipped with either a pusher or a tag axle.

A synchronous boom extension system distributes boom weight and maximizes reach by telescoping proportionally, and a load-sensing, pressure-compensated hydraulic system offers control with minimal horsepower requirements, according to National Crane. The crane also comes with a Load Moment Indicator, which provides the operator with a continuous reading of available capacity during a lift.

The Series 1500 is rated with a maximum capacity of 36 tons. Behind its 127-ft, five-section hydraulic boom and optional 31-ft manual jib, the 1500 has a maximum vertical reach of 168 ft and maximum hydraulic reach of 137 ft.

Watching closely

Constantly making eye contact with the load was of particular importance to Pioneer Crane, Hutchinson, Kan. The revolving control center on the X4000-RCC allows the operator to face the load at any boom position.

The truck-mounted crane also comes with the "X" outrigger design. The crane is designed with four outriggers, all of which remain on the ground during maximum reach and capacity. The overall outrigger spread is 19 ft.

The X4000-RCC has a 28.8-ton capacity, a four-section, 92-ft proportional boom and 102-ft, 8-in. main boom maximum sheave height. A two-stage, 44-ft jib gives it a 146-ft maximum sheave height.

Yo, taxi

Tadano America Corp., Houston, is hoping more contractors will be calling for a taxi—the ATF650XL two engine design "taxi crane."

The 65-ton capacity all-terrain crane has a five-section, 131-ft, 9-in. full power main boom with telescopic system. Its maximum tip height is 190 ft and maximum working radius is 150 ft.

The machine comes with a Mercedes Benz 4-cylinder, 121-hp diesel engine, and has a large boom elevation range of -2° to 82°.

A Mercedes Benz 6-cylinder, 349-hp diesel engine powers the carrier, which features 8-wheel steering.

The ATF-1500XL taxi crane offers a 150-ton lifting capacity and a 270-ft tip height. The carrier receives its kick from an 8-cylinder, 503-hp Mercedes Benz diesel engine. A five-section telescopic main boom reaches to 160 ft, 9 in., and a boom elevation from -2° to 82° "can be achieved in 50 seconds."

Additional reach and versatility is obtained with the two-stage swing around 31-ft, 2-in. to 53-ft, 2-in. telescopic lattice type boom extension consisting of a 22-ft lattice section extending from a 31-ft, 2-in. lattice base section when mounted to the main boom at offsets of 5°, 17° or 30°. Including the 24-ft, 7-in. lattice singer and 19-ft, 8-in. lattice intermediate section increases maximum sheave height to 270 ft and maximum load radius to 200 ft.


Genie release

Entering a restricted area is what Genie Industries, Redmond, Wash., had in mind when creating the S-65 self-propelled telescopic boom. The addition of a 5-ft jib gives workers access to areas which were previously restricted, according to the company.

The lift is suitable for applications requiring a 71 ft working height and a 56 ft, 4 in. horizontal reach. The S-65 offers 75° above horizontal and 60° below horizontal due to the 135° of jib working range.

Another feature is a terrain tracking oscillation system that automatically senses the terrain, adjusting the axle position based on ground conditions.

A full-time positive traction drive system is available on both the two-wheel and four-wheel drive models.

Genie’s Z-45/25 articulating boom is a product of the Z-45/22. Performance improvements include an increased outreach to 25 ft and an up-and-over clearance to 22 ft.

An optional 5-ft jib with end mount platform provides a 135° range of motion, and a full-time oscillating axle sense uneven terrain and hydraulically adjusts the oscillating axle to maintain four wheel contact.

A compact making impact

The 534C6-42 material handler from Gradall, New Philadelphia, Ohio, is just 94 in. tall and has a 126-in. wheelbase, but comes with a lift weight capacity of 6,000 lb, a maximum lift height of 42 ft and a maximum reach of 26 ft.

Powered by a 76-hp Cummins diesel engine, the material handler has 90° rear pivot steering and a 168-in. outside turning radius.

A 45-ft lift height is one of the main highlights on the 534D10-45. Standard outriggers give the machine a 10,000-lb capacity, 7,000 lb at the full 45-ft height. The model also has a 31-ft reach and 90° rear pivot steering.

Friendly cells

Calling it "the world’s first fuel cell-powered boom lift," JLG, McConnellsburg, Pa., has a lot riding on its Concept 2000 lift, which uses environmentally friendly Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell technology to provide electrical power for applications where AC power is not convenient for recharging batteries.

The machine offers a vertical height of 45 ft and a horizontal outreach of 22 ft, 8 in. JLG’s 800 Series of CE-approved articulating boom lifts provides 80 ft of reach, 30 ft of up-and-over clearance and more than 50 ft of horizontal outreach. The QuikStik boom allows the platform to be lowered to the ground while the tower boom is fully raised.

Working with scissors

The MEC 3072-4WD is the first model manufactured by Mayville Engineering Co. Inc. for construction applications on either slab or rough-terrain surfaces with the Powerlift2 elevating system.

The lift has a 5-ft x 9-ft platform and a 4 ft extension, and is equipped with 20-hp liquid-cooled Kawasaki engine. The maximum working height is 36 ft.

Mayville’s RT Series includes the MEC 4191RT, the MEC 3391RT and MEC 2591RT with working heights of 47, 39 and 31 ft, respectively. All have platforms measuring 74 in. x 132 in. including a standard roll-out deck. Platform capacity ranges from 1,000 to 1,750 lb. The models are powered by a liquid-cooled, dual-free engine ranging from 33 to 23 hp.

More accessible

Skyjack, Guelph, Ontario, came up with the SJB-TB Series telescopic boom to further enhance high-reach access requirements in various areas, including construction, utility and rental markets.

The lift is designed for both slab-type and rough terrain construction applications, is driveable at full height and features a 500-lb platform capacity.

The SJB-TB Series also has "Continuous Drive & Steer Directional Sensing" which ensures that drive and steer directions remain constant regardless of the position of the turret and elevating assembly.

Other standard features are a 6- or 8-foot platform, a 5-ft boom and continuous 360° turret rotation.