Searching for a boom

Nov. 28, 2001
The general economy continues to be the prime mover in the construction equipment market

The general economy continues to be the prime mover in the construction equipment market.

The general economy continues to be the prime mover in the construction equipment market

The general economy continues to be the prime mover in the construction equipment market. The slowdown may have been bottoming out in early September, according to many experts, but the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington seem to have extended the downturn for a while.

Pat Collins, senior product manager for lattice cranes at Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co., Lexington, Ky., expressed one note of optimism about the market for construction machinery.

"With interest rates as low as they are, money will move around," he told Roads & Bridges. "Interest rates are so low now, people looking beyond the next 60 or 90 days, the more long-term players are going, ‘This is a great time to do something with my money.’"

Link-Belt’s crane sales have declined with the general economy, but maybe not quite as much.

"While the numbers are down overall in the market," said Collins, "the good news is our market shares have grown."

Link-Belt’s latest lattice boom crane could well contribute to the company’s success. The LS-308H II is a 110-ton machine designed for versatility, with plenty of power dedicated to operating auxiliary attachments. Possible applications include pile driving, drag line, clamshell, duty cycle and demolition.

"It’s kind of a Swiss army knife approach," Collins commented. "We’ve got a lift crane that would do very well in the foundation or pile driving business as well as demolition and, of course, clam and drag line, so it’s very adapted and versatile for any application."

The LS-308H II sports a 332-hp engine, and the total horsepower control feature allows the auxiliary hydraulic pump to have horsepower priority. That means the engine supplies power first to the hydraulic circuit for auxiliary attachments.

The front and rear drums are outfitted with 1.125-in. wire rope, and the power plant provides 37,100 lb of allowable line pull and 55,000 lb of available line pull. The crane also is available with optional third and fourth drums.

To safeguard the hydraulic system, the LS-308H II has an abundant supply of cooling capacity: "We have a hydraulic-driven, remote-mounted fan that cools our hydraulic oil separate from our engine coolant." By separating the cooling units for the engine and the hydraulic oil, Link-Belt improved cooling of both systems.

As a duty-cycle machine, the LS-308H II has a clamshell and drag line rating of 32,250 lb with 120 ft of boom. In addition, the boom top sections are outfitted with universal top section connecting lugs for auxiliary sheaves and a pile driving adapter. To make the LS-308H II even more versatile, "blocked-over-end" capacities are available.

Assembly, disassembly and transport of the LS-308H II is quick and easy, according to the company, because lifting sheaves are mounted in the base section. Quick track disconnects can attach in minutes without the need for tools. The 50,496-lb counterweight is a seven-piece design consisting of one base counterweight and six wing counterweights allowing greater load-out flexibility

Triple nickels lift crane

Manitowoc Cranes Inc., Manitowoc, Wis., introduced four crawler-mounted lattice boom cranes at the Bauma trade show earlier this year: Models 555, 915, 1015 and 19000.

Models 555, 915 and 1015 have the same basic upperworks, EPIC controls, CAN-BUS technology and closed-loop hydraulics. The 150-ton 555 is designed for lift-crane and limited duty-cycle work. The 110-ton 915 is designed for dedicated duty-cycle applications. And the 110-ton 1015 is designed to meet the specialized needs of foundation contractors.

Model 19000, with 500-ton capacity, is designed for high-capacity, maximum versatility and easy mobilization.

Model 555 features a Manitowoc lowerworks that offers easy mobilization in convenient modules and fast self-assembly with the company’s FACT connectors.

The 555’s boom-and-jib combinations include 240 ft of boom; up to 280 ft of boom and fixed jib; up to 330 ft of boom and luffing jib; and up to 390 ft of boom, luffing jib and fixed jib.

Its other key features include a 385-hp diesel engine, 33,000-lb standard line pull, 425-ft-per-minute standard line speed, 3 rpm swing speed, optional hoisting drums and fully independent functions.

New and improved

The redesigned Series 400B telescoping crane from National Crane Corp., Waverly, Neb., simplifies rigging changes, improves the machine’s serviceability and offers plenty of features.

The Series 400B is rated with a maximum capacity of 20,000 lb and features a vertical reach of 95 ft. The crane mounts on a standard commercial tandem rear axle truck and can be equipped with a variety of accessories. Wider 19-ft 11-in. hydraulic outriggers provide stable leveling. A range of nine three-section booms are available.

Up in the air

The latest model in the line of hydraulic lattice boom crawler cranes from Terex Cranes Inc., Conway, S.C., has a reach of 230 ft of main boom. With a jib, the HC 110 stretches to 270 ft. The new model has a maximum lift capacity of 110 tons.

Maximum single line pull is 40,640 lb with a maximum line speed of 565 ft per minute. There is power up/down and free fall on the main and auxiliary drums. A shockless stop system gradually retards operating speed to reduce shocks when the crane approaches lifting load or boom limits.

Six-sided boom

The latest truck-mounted crane from Stellar Industries Inc., Garner, Iowa, has a boom with a hexagonal cross section, which gives it more strength and durability, according to the company. The Model 5728 telescopic crane has a 28-ft hydraulic extension. It has a capacity of 36,000 ft-lb and can lift a maximum of 2,900 lb at 12 ft 4 in. It uses a planetary winch system which operates at speeds of 60 ft per minute.

The 5728 is available by itself or in a complete turnkey package with a choice of chassis, a heavy-duty steel body, an air compressor and a portable welding system.

More of a good thing

The GMK4090, scheduled for release this year, is the latest addition to the line of all-terrain cranes from Grove Worldwide, Shady Grove, Pa. It is projected to have a five-section, 142-ft main boom and a 33/56-ft bi-fold swingaway luffing jib. With the boom extended to 142 ft, at a radius of 25 ft, the GMK4090 can lift 25,400 lb.

Grove’s GMK all-terrain cranes feature the Megatrak independent suspension and all-wheel steering system; Megaform Twin-Lock pinning system on the U-shaped boom; and the ECOS electronic crane operating system. The GMK4090 is equipped with a 422-hp engine and has a gross vehicle weight of almost 87,000 lb.

Ergonomic crawler crane

The latest cranes from Hitachi Construction Machinery (America) Corp., Houston, are the CX hydraulic crawler-mounted lattice boom cranes introduced last September. The CX cranes are available in five models with load capacities ranging from 77 to 220 tons.

The cranes are equipped with independent main and auxiliary hoist drums. Drum rotation sensors on each drum let the operator feel when the drum begins to move.

To provide more operator comfort, the CX cranes have an easily adjustable ergonomic seat, conveniently placed operating controls, high-speed swing motors that are easily controllable from zero to maximum with a single lever and an easy-to-read moment limiter.

King crane

The CK850 from Kobelco America Inc., Stafford, Texas, has an 85-ton lifting capacity and a 213-hp, six-cylinder engine with a displacement of 460 cu in. The engine is water-cooled, fuel-injected, intercooled and turbo-charged.

The CK850, introduced last August, also features a computer-controlled Engine Speed Sensing system that reduces engine speed changes during simultaneous operations for smoother, more efficient performance.

The crane’s maximum lifting capacity is 85 tons with a base boom of 40 ft and a working radius of 11 ft. The maximum boom length is 200 ft, with a maximum boom-plus-jib length of 240 ft.

Grab a tiger by the crane

Tiger lift cranes are designed by Service Trucks International, Sioux Center, Iowa, for trouble-free operation in demanding workloads. The truck cranes are available in a variety of sizes with lifting capacities of 2,000 to 10,000 lb. Standard features include overload protection, continuous planetary drive rotation and full-function, detachable remotes.

The Model 2252 heavy-duty service body is designed for the Ford F-550 Super-Duty chassis and is structurally designed to accommodate up to an 8,000-lb crane.


The Favco Model 40T is a 40-ton-rated telescoping boom crane mounted on an excavator base including undercarriage, engine and cab. Made by Favelle Favco USA Inc., Harlingen, Texas, the Model 40T is capable of 360û lifting on slopes as much as 5û, and its four-section boom is fully powered to 100 ft.

Along with a 55-ft telescopic jib extension and auxiliary hoist options, the Model 40T also can be equipped with an auger for power line installation and a hydraulic tool circuit for operation of auxiliary tools. Another option is the wireless anti-two block device.

1,000-lb lifting

The Model 1640X crane from Liftmoore Inc., Houston, features hydraulically powered boom elevation, boom extension, crane rotation and hoist winch. The maximum lifting capacity of the 1640X is 1,000 lb. The crane rotation system is driven by a worm gear assembly for positive locking. The hydraulic planetary gear winch is equipped with 70 ft of 1/4-in. wire rope.

Bodies built to serve

Cranes with capacities ranging from 2,000 to 14,000 lb are available from Maintainer Corp. of Iowa, Sheldon, Iowa. The cranes are structurally integrated with the body subframe and feature closed center load sensing hydraulics. The service bodies attached to the cranes have plenty of storage space and D-ring stainless steel handles on the recessed storage doors. Optional equipment includes a manual jib crane extension.


Articulated lifts

The 450 Series II articulating boom lifts from JLG Industries Inc., McConnellsburg, Pa., are in the 45-ft class. Jib and non-jib models are available. The Model 450A Series II is an articulated boom lift; the Model 450AJ Series II adds a 4-ft 1-in. jib.

Field tested gradeability is 30% in the two-wheel-drive machines and has been increased to 45% on the four-wheel-drive machines. Both Series I models have an unrestricted platform capacity of 500 lb. The horizontal reach is now 24 ft 6 in. on both models, and the up-and-over reach has been extended to 25 ft 2 in.

Compact scissor

The SJ 7034 is part of the 600 Series of RT compact scissor lifts from SkyJack Inc., Guelph, Ontario. The SJ 7034 has a platform height of 34 ft and a 1,000-lb platform capacity. Popular optional equipment includes a 56-in. roll-out or powered deck extension, four-wheel drive and independently leveling hydraulic outriggers.

Geometry in motion

The Double Parallelogram work platform from Flannegan Western, Emmetsburg, Iowa, lifts crews to 26 ft and offers optional radio remote control. The platform may be mounted on medium-duty trucks over 19,000 GVWR and is rated at 600 lb. The leveling arms move up and down simultaneously to permit smooth and uniform operations. The two-stage lift measures 21 ft to the platform deck, telescopes out 11 ft 5 in. and has a stowed travel height of about 11 ft 4 in.


The DL Series Dynalift telescopic handler line from Gehl Co., West Bend, Wis., now includes a personnel work platform system as standard equipment. This system allows the use of an ANSI/ASME-compliant work platform with a Dynalift telescopic handler to elevate personnel to the work area. Gehl DL Series Dynalift telescopic handlers range from 7,000 to 12,000 lb lift capacity with boom lengths ranging from 40 to 55 ft.

Suspended crane-imation

Crane- or derrick-suspended personnel work platforms are offered by Lifting Technologies Inc., Missoula, Mont. They feature high-strength steel pipe construction, with a four-leg sling assembly, a 42-in.-high guardrail, a full-perimeter inner grab rail, perforated steel sides from toeboard to mid-rail, an inward-opening access gate and optional overhead protection.

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