Eight miles high

Not quite, but crane and lift manufacturers reach for the sky

Bridges Article December 28, 2000
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Whether used to hoist people or products, cranes and lifts are used for a variety of aerial applications including bridge work, traffic light and sign maintenance and general construction work to name just a few.

The number of applications for which cranes and lifts are being used seem to be increasing as quickly as the amount of construction projects being planned around the country. With the status of the construction market on the rise, sales and rental figures for the cranes and lifts are expected to increase, as well.

While we are in the midst of a construction boom, the manufacturers of crane and lift equipment are maintaining high quality standards for craftsmanship, ensuring that the user is provided the safest, most effective equipment possible.

As a service to our audience, ROADS & BRIDGES provides the following review of cranes and lifts, including accessories, which are available on the market today.

Elliott Equipment Co.

The ECI-3-60 Hi-Reach from Elliott Equipment Co., Omaha, Neb., offers a rotating work platform with a 600-lb capacity that features a 2-ton crane capacity and a digger. The unit’s platform is outfitted with hydraulic power to run the worker’s tools and it is designed to work 180 degrees in either direction with only a 12-ft outrigger spread, giving approximately 48 ft of side reach. Available with a 65-ft working height, the unit offers a crane capacity of 3,650 lb.

“We took the time to listen to our customer’s needs and developed a machine that not only met those needs, but exceeded expectations,” said Richard Glazer, president.

According to the company, the unit is currently being used by a majority of the DOTs around the country, most recently, on a Kansas DOT project.

Grove Worldwide

A rough-terrain crane specifically configured for rental fleet service has been introduced by Grove Worldwide, Shady Grove, Pa.

The 22-ton capacity RT522B offers a three-section, 78-ft full-power boom and a 25-ft fixed swing-away boom extension that extends maximum tip height to 109 ft.

According to Grove, a grooved drum hoist provides a permissible line pull of 9,080 lb and a maximum single line speed of 287,297 fpm. An integral rotation indicator, cable follower and hoist mirror are standard on the machine while a quick reeve boom nose, permanently lubricated sheave wheels and remote upper wear pad lubrication lines help reduce set-up time and routine maintenance.

A 130-hp Cummins diesel engine provides the power for negotiating tough job site conditions. The full powershift transmission offers six speeds forward and reverse and a top maximum speed of 22 mph. The machine offers a minimum turning radius of 16 ft 5 in. produced by a standard four-mode steering system.

Ingersoll-Rand

The VR-90C, a variable-reach material handler from Ingersoll-Rand, Bethlehem, Pa., has a maximum lift-load capacity of 9,000 lb and maximum lift height of 40 ft, 2 in. At the full-forward reach of 25 ft, 3 in., the unit can handle 1,900 lb when using an extended boom.

“We were determined to improve this machine in ways that would be important to our customers, therefore we surveyed and interviewed many of them for their input,” said Mike Reilly, marketing manager.

The unit incorporates an auxiliary package with all hoses stored inside the boom while wear shoes, boom cylinders and extension chains may be removed without boom disassembly. It also offers a boom lockout feature, which safely locks the boom in place for service and maintenance.

The unit contains a frame-leveling system that allows for lifting or traveling on grades up to 21% Additionally, a quick attach system enables a wide variety of carriages and attachments to be utilized, while an A-frame boom mount design allows for clear sight lines to the right side and rear of the unit.

Iowa Mold and Tooling

Available with a 38,000 ft-lb rating, the model 3816 from Iowa Mold and Tooling Co. Inc. is the largest telescoping crane offered by the company for installation on a 15,000 gvw chassis. Corner mounted, the crane offers a variety of features to accommodate various customer requirements, providing from 3,500 lb of lift at 11 ft to 1,840 lb of lift at 20 ft. To achieve the 20-ft reach, boom configurations include two extensions, a 60-in. hydraulic extension and a 48-in. manual extension. A fixed sheave boom tip is standard and for added lift height in tight quarters, a flip sheave boom tip is available.

“The 3816 represents the beginning of a new family of IMT telescopic cranes,” said Mark Whaley vice president, sales and marketing. “Several new customer-driven features have been incorporated into the design of this product, in addition to the incredible lifting capacity and winch speed.”

Liebherr Crawler Crane Co.

Based in Houston and established in February 1998, the Liebherr Crawler Crane Co., a subsidiary of Liebherr America Inc., provides sales and service of lattice boom crawler cranes ranging from 40 to 250 tons.

The 100-ton capacity LR 853 crane offers a high single-line pull, wear and maintenance-free multi-disc brakes and the strong tubular boom, all of which enhance the crane’s versatility, according to Liebherr.

Additionally, the LR 1250 crane, with a 250 metric ton capacity, offers a self-erection system for easy set-up, along with low transportation weights and dimensions. A main boom configuration of 314 ft or a combination of 208 ft main and 206 ft lifting jib and advanced electronic-over-hydraulic system allows the crane to be used in a number of applications.

Link-Belt Construction Equipment

The HC-248H HYLAB hydraulic lattice boom 200-ton capacity crane designed by the Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co. offers the operator strength, stability and accuracy according to the manufacturer.

The tube boom has a maximum length of 280 ft or a 240-ft tube boom plus an additional 100-ft jib when used in combination provides an even longer reach.

The crane itself is mounted on a deep channel, triple-box carrier designed to provide maximum-lift strength lightweight wheel-axle load, necessary to meet highway regulations.

The crane’s inching control minimizes the hydraulic pump flow, allowing the operator to place a heavy load, using either the main or auxiliary drum, accurately. The carrier cab provides a quiet and safe environment for the driver with noise absorbing insulation, reducing sound levels.

Manitex Inc.

The M38100S from Manitex Inc., Georgetown, Texas, is a 38-ton capacity rear-mounted truck crane with a 100-ft main boom and 56 ft of jib that offers intermediate outrigger spreads which allow for three capacity charts.

“The machine offers more versatility for lifting in confined spaces,” said Jay Shiffler, director of sales and marketing. “It offers three different capacity charts. One with the outriggers fully retracted, one with them spread half-way out and one with the outriggers fully extended.”

A “turret-mounted” operator’s platform allows the operator to “ride around” with the crane, offering clear visibility of the load. Standard on the crane is the DS50 load moment indicator which provides the operator with pertinent information relative to the crane’s configuration and load.

“The crane has superb lifting capacity,” said Dave Moravec, vice president of engineering. “It’s the first machine in the S-series line to have a counterweight, which provides outstanding lifting capacity. Even with its size, the M38100S is still roadable on a 52,000 gvw truck.”

National Crane Corp.

The heavy-duty series 1300 truck-mounted telescoping crane from National Crane Corp., Waverly, Neb., features a 28-ton rating and a 16.85-ton capacity at a 10-ft radius with a 95-ft boom. Maximum hydraulic reach is 105 ft, extending to 144 ft with the proportional boom extension and a maximum total reach, including the jib, of 162 ft. Two-stage “H”-style outriggers extend fully to 20 ft and feature a mid-span spread of 14 ft.

According to National, the crane mounts on a standard commercial tandem rear axle truck and can be equipped with a variety of accessories, including personnel baskets to accommodate two people with tools while the Easy Glide boom wear pads and specially-formulated polymer paint provide boom performance with minimal lubrications and the hydraulic system offers direct linkage to control valves for responsive performance and meterability.

The crane also features a three-pump hydraulic system that provides independent swing function, rotating seated controls and 14 ft of clear deck space while ladders on the side and rear provide access.

Paxton-Mitchell Co.

Omaha, Neb.-based Paxton-Mitchell Co. now offers the 100 year anniversary edition of their Snooper series 260 underbridge inspection crane. Formerly known as the Mark IV, the crane has two turrets and four booms and is designed for inspection and maintenance of extra-wide, multi-lane bridges.

According to Paxton-Mitchell, the scoping and articulation of booms provide horizontal extensions from the edge of the bridge deck, under and across, up to 61 ft. Tilting the booms downward, the vertical reach is approximately 70 ft below bridge deck while overhead capabilities allow positioning of the basket 48 ft above the grade.

The crane is available with basket, platform or combination configurations.

Snorkel

The ATB 50 lift from Snorkel, St. Joseph, Mo., is designed for off-slab, rough terrain maneuverability with a standard front axle and tight turning radius. Available with 4-wheel drive and 4-wheel steering with crab steering available as options, the lift features a 56 ft working height, 500 lb unrestricted platform capacity and 28 ft horizontal reach at a 24 ft platform elevation.

According to Snorkel, the lift is available with a articulated jib boom and can position the platform 45 degrees above horizontal and 75 degrees below horizontal with smooth variable speed control for maximum versatility. The jib’s range combined with the 180 degrees hydraulically powered platform rotation and 360 degrees continuous turntable rotation with zero tail swing when the booms are elevated, provides an expanded work envelope for job site access.

Standard equipment includes an hour meter, ammeter, coolant gauges in addition to a high-engine temperature and low-oil pressure shut-down system.

Tadano America Corp.

Getting to a jobsite is not a problem for the mobile and compact all-terrain ATF-1500XL taxi-crane from Tadano America Corp., Houston. The crane, which offers a 150-ton lifting capacity and 270-ft tip height, is also capable of positioning into tight and congested areas.

In position for work, a stable lifting base is provided by the torsion and bend resistant rigid box-type high tensile steel chassis frame and the wide-based fully hydraulic double telescopic outriggers which are controlled from the crane cab or either side of the carrier.

Ergonomically positioned crane controls and instrumentation include two fingertip response pilot controlled joysticks mounted in the armrests of the spring suspended seat and one single axis pilot operated control level allows for independent simultaneous operation of all crane functions.

According to Tadano, the crane’s 169-ft, 9-in. five section full telescopic main boom employs a telescopic system consisting of three cylinders and a cable crowd that will allow all four telescopic sections to extended synchronously or the first two sections to extend synchronously followed by the outer two sections extending synchronously. Additionally, the crane is supplied with both main and auxiliary hoists as standard equipment. The main hoist provides line pulls up to 18,650 lb and two speed ranges offer maximum line speed of 240 ft per minute or 420 ft per minute The auxiliary hoist provides up to 18,650 lb line pull and 240 ft per minute speed.

West Manitowoc

The model 111 75-ton capacity crawler crane from West Manitowoc Inc., Manitowoc, Wis., can fully assemble or disassemble itself in less than three hours, including the boom and jib. Weighing 86,700 lb with crawlers, boom and gantry intact, the crane is capable of OTR transportability on a maximum of three trailer loads.

“The model 111 offers the crane rental industry a 75-ton capacity crawler crane that provides the transport and performance features needed in today’s general construction projects,” said John Wessel, vice president of sales and marketing.

The crane is designed for crane rental fleets and small to mid-size contractors whose projects require equipment that’s easy to transport, quick to erect and provides pick-and-carry capabilities for various types of job sites. Equipped with a fully independent hydraulic system that provides power for boom, load hoist, travel and swing functions, the crane provides up to a 220-ft reach on a 160 x 60 ft lattice-boom and jib combination while delivering line speeds of up to 700 fpm, line pulls of 25,000 lb and ground-bearing pressure of 1,365 lb sq ft.

“The model 111 offers a value-priced lifting system that meets the needs of the rental and general construction industries,” added Wessel.

Accessories

Crane Institute of America Inc.

As with all construction equipment, safety of the operator and those around the machinery is a priority. The Crane Institute of America Inc. produces hand signal charts which satisfy OSHA and ANSI requirements for crane operations. Available for mobile crane and overhead cranes, the charts are made of top-coated vinyl with a strong adhesive backing, these charts can be easily affixed to the outside of a crane or posted conspicuously at the jobsite to ensure compliance with ANSI and OSHA requirements.

Industrial Hoist Services

Pneumatic chains hoists supplied for rent by Industrial Hoist Services, Brazoria, Texas, provide lifting capacities up to 100 tons. The hoists use a low number of chain strands for the various rated capacities.

According to Mark Atnip, operations manager, rigging specialists appreciate using as few strands as possible. “The 50-ton and 100-ton capacity hoists use only four strands of chain each,” said Atnip.

The bottom hook on the hoist swivels under the load while a variable speed can be used for precise load positioning.

Lifting Technologies

Available in 2- 3- and 4-person sizes, crane-suspended personnel platforms from Lifting Technologies Inc., Missoula, Mont., offer access to high and hard to reach places. Safety and work performance enhancing features include perforated steel side enclosure from toe board to mid-rail, a patented and detachable test weight complying to the OSHA’s Final Rule, full perimeter inner grab rail and equalizing suspension system of nylon/velcro protected wire rope.

According to Paul D. Johnson, operations manager, the work platforms are built round, square or rectangular and feature a high-strength welded construction designed for loads of five times the rated capacity plus the platform’s actual weight.

In addition to a one-year warranty, all units include an electrostatic polyester powder coat finish.

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