Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Dec. 28, 2000
There is a lot of activity in the crane and aerial work platform industry these days. The construction market is strong and crane usage is at its highest levels since the 1970s. Sales are up and the market is expected to remain strong through 2000. Recent activity among manufacturers reflects this growing strength.

For instance Link-Belt is planning to expand its engineering facility at its headquarters in Lexington, Ky. The new 25,000-sq-ft facility will provide needed space for new product design and production engineering growth.

There is a lot of activity in the crane and aerial work platform industry these days. The construction market is strong and crane usage is at its highest levels since the 1970s. Sales are up and the market is expected to remain strong through 2000. Recent activity among manufacturers reflects this growing strength.

For instance Link-Belt is planning to expand its engineering facility at its headquarters in Lexington, Ky. The new 25,000-sq-ft facility will provide needed space for new product design and production engineering growth. Link-Belt also held Crane Fest in October where the company unveiled four new models and demonstrated other existing models as well.

IMT has formed an alliance with AutoGru PM Cranes of Modena, Italy. The company hopes this move will combine the benefits of European crane technology with IMT's distributor organization and market application knowledge. The alliance creates the IMT/PM Material Handling crane line that includes five new models of articulating cranes with capacities from 16 to 42 ton-meters. This will bring IMT's complete line of articulating cranes to 14 models with ratings from 22,000 to 306,000 ft-lb.

Mark Whaley, vice president of sales and marketing, IMT, said, "It's important to understand that we will continue to produce and support our existing line of figure-four articulating cranes used generally in more rugged service applications. We view this alliance as our first step in developing a line of IMT material handling systems."

The following is a brief roundup of some of the aerial work platforms and cranes available.

Auto Crane Co.

The company's latest model, the 6006EH has a lifting capacity of 36,000 ft lb, and is equipped with a self-contained 24-volt DC electric/ hydraulic power unit. The power telescoping boom extends from 10 to 16 ft, and is available with a manual extension to 20 ft for greater versatility. The design includes a bail type anti-two block to protect against possible cable or crane tip damage. A non-tipping mini-block minimizes crown-to-hook distance for additional lifting height in confined spaces.

Other features include 370-deg power rotation with 10-deg overlap around the truck minus 5-deg to 75-deg hydraulically powered boom elevation, automatic overload protection system, a 24-ft remote control pendant, and 95 ft of 3/8-in. cable.


The company offers a range of aerial lift platforms, including truck-mounted telescoping and articulating boom lifts reaching 90 to 210 ft, vertical lifts reaching 14 to 42 ft and self-propelled telescoping and articulating booms reaching 40 to 80 ft. The truck-mounted models have an unrestricted platform capacity in any position from 1,000 to 2,000 lb and a horizontal reach of 35 to 77 ft. The vertical lifts have an unrestricted platform capacity in any position from 500 to 2,000 lb. The self- propelled booms have an unrestricted platform capacity in any position from 500 to 800 lb.


Demag Material Handling Equipment Corp. has introduced a new all-terrain model, the 200-ton AC535. It is available in either a 5- or 6-axle configuration and is equipped with a 550-hp Daimler-Benz OM 442 LA water-cooled, 8-cylinder diesel carrier engine. The crane's superstructure is powered by a 170-hp Daimler-Benz OM 904 LA water-cooled, 4-cylinder diesel engine. Optional Cummins carrier and superstructure engines also are available.

With an 197-ft five-section, full-powered main boom and optional 190-ft self-erecting luffing jib boom, the crane offers a combined main and jib boom tip height of 320 ft. A lattice-type swing-away jib is offered for an additional reach of 32 to 48 ft and may be lengthened with inserts for jib lengths up to 126 ft.

Genie Industries

The company's S-85 self-propelled telescopic boom includes a 5-ft jib boom. The jib has a range of 135 deg--plus 75 deg above horizontal and minus 60 deg below horizontal. This allows the operator to go out-and-down, and out-and-over as well as out-and-up. it will reach from 85 ft above ground level to 14 ft below, with a working height of 91 ft, and is available in either 2WD or 4WD.

Genie also has introduced a new line of self-propelled scissor lifts. The initial introduction includes three models with platform heights from 21 ft to 26 ft. All include a large platform with easy roll-out extension and tight-space maneuverability. Other features include a built-in self-diagnostic system, steel guardrails and a variable speed motor that extends battery and motor life.

Grove Worldwide

The company's new MZ46C, telescoping boom lift, features a horizontal reach of 34 ft and a working range of 766 sq ft. In addition the superstructure rotates continuously through 360 deg. Maximum working height is 46 ft, and platform capacity is 500 lb. Standard platform size is 36 x 72 in., and an optional 36 x 96-in. platform is available. Standard platform features include 110-volt AC wiring and a hydraulic-powered platform rotator that turns the platform up to 155 deg. Platform options include 2,000-watt self-contained AC power; 120-psi air power, a weld lead, and an oxygen/acetylene line.

The MZ46CXT comes with four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering to improve mobility and to provide an outside turning radius of 15 ft. The company also offers the new TMS640, 40-ton capacity carrier-mounted crane, with a boom length of 105 ft and a maximum tip height of 112 ft. An optional 29-ft fixed length swingway provides a maximum tip height of 141 ft.


IMT has added Model 3816, with a 38,000 ft-lb rating, to its telescopic crane line. The crane provides from 3,500 lb of lift at 11 ft to 1,840 lb 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. For added lift height in tight quarters, a flip sheave boom tip is available.

The crane is designed for installation on a 15,000 gvw chassis and can be corner mounted for maximum horizontal reach.

Liebherr America

During the late 1970s, Liebherr started to build its first hydraulic crawler cranes in its plant in Nenzing, Austria. About a year ago Liebherr Nenzing began to market its cranes in the U.S. with the help of Liebherr America. Recent modifications on existing models created the LR 843 and the LR 853, rated at 80 and 100 tons, respectively.

Features include an electronic control system to monitor the crane's function, thus relieving the operator from that task and allowing him to concentrate on his work. The cranes also come with Lamella disc-free fall brakes in an oil bath. This design allows operation at any weather condition, with free fall as well as with power down. The winches are hydraulically driven, with variable flow oil motors providing full line pull at all times as well as with power down. There is a choice of different winches from 17,000 lb up to 66,000 lb. Diesel engine power available ranges from 180 hp up to 820 hp depending on choice of engine.


The company recently introduced and demonstrated new crane models at its CraneFest held in Lexington, Ky. One model introduced was the HTC-8650 hydraulic truck crane, which features a Detroit Diesel series 50 8.5 liter engine. It has a 35 1/2-ft to 110-ft four-section full-power boom and when combined with an optional 34-ft to 56-ft off-settable two-piece fly offers a tip height of 172 ft. Also introduced was the HC-238H hydraulic lattice boom truck crane with a 150-ton capacity. It can be equipped with a maximum of 240 ft of main boom or a combination of 210 ft of boom plus 70 ft of jib. It is designed to be self-erecting and self-stripping.

Another model featured at the demonstration was the LS-248H II 200-ton hydraulic lattice boom crawler crane. This crane can be equipped with a maximum of 280 ft of main boom or a combination of 240 ft of boom plus 100 ft of jib. A luffing jib attachment also is available to optimize the up-and-over capability of the crane.

The final crane introduced was the 300-ton HC-278H lattice boom truck crane. It can be equipped with a maximum of 330 ft of main boom or a combination of 300 ft of boom plus 100 ft of jib. Equipped with an optional luffing boom attachment, it can handle 250 ft of luffing boom plus 200 ft of luffing jib plus 30 ft of fixed jib for a total reach of 530 ft.


Manitex has introduced four new models; the M2177S, M2277S and M2892S have been added to the Millennium S-Series and the M2277 was added to the conventional Millennium Series. The M2177S and the M2277S feature a 77-ft, full-powered boom and a two-piece jib and have a maximum tip height of 138 ft. Both models feature 540-deg non-continuous rotation and a full 360-deg area of operation without requiring a front-bumper stabilizer.

The M2892S is a 28-ton crane with a full-powered 28- to 92-ft boom and a two-piece jib. It has a maximum tip height of 147 ft. Other features include an anti-two block system with shutdown as well as a load-moment indicator that provides the operator with pertinent information relative to the crane's configuration and load.

The 22-ton M2277 features a three-section, full-power boom with a two-piece jib and has a maximum tip height of 139 ft. It also can be ordered with a 24-ft retracted, 62-ft extended three-section boom for tractor mounting.

Mayville Engineering Co.

Mayville offers rough-terrain scissor lifts with work heights up to 39 ft and load capacities to 1,750 lb. Two of the models, the 33RT and the 25RT, are four-wheel drive and feature front-wheel steering. They travel at speeds up to 3 mph on Super Terra Grip, 26-in.-diam tires and provide the operator a high-torque secondary power switch and proportional hydraulic control for both lift and travel speeds. Both feature a work platform with 67.8 sq ft of space, which can be enlarged by a 48-in. roll-out extension to provide an additional 23 sq ft. The platform can be raised to full height in 38 seconds and lowered in 45 seconds.

National Crane

National Crane, a Grove Worldwide Co. introduced two new articulating cranes this year, the N-160 and the N-325. The N-160 has a rating of 164,900 ft lb, a maximum lifting capacity of 9 tons, a maximum vertical reach of 65 ft 2 in., a reach below truck frame of 39 ft 8 in., and a horizontal reach of 54 ft. A five-section proportional outer boom design extends each section in equivalent lengths during the telescoping process, which enhances boom weight distribution, maximizes operational efficiency, and allows higher capacities, particularly in normal working radii. The removable hydraulic fly jib adds 18 ft of hydraulic reach to the crane.

The N-325 is the company's largest crane with a rating of 314,500 ft lb. The crane provides a maximum capacity of 13.5 tons, a maximum vertical reach above ground of 64 ft 4 in., a maximum horizontal reach of 53 ft 6 in., and a maximum hydraulic extension of 46 ft. It provides two 24-ft, two-stage hydraulic out-and-down outriggers for stability. Like the N-160, this model features a five-section proportional outer boom design. It also features a high-performance, pressure- compensated, load-sensing hydraulic system that provides smooth, precise metering of the crane's multi-function operation.


Snorkel offers a wide variety of aerial work platforms, from telescoping booms to scissor lifts. The company has re-designed its Wildcat Model SLH 3284hd rough terrain scissor lift. It is driveable at full height and features 4-wheel drive along with an articulating rear axle to traverse jobsite obstacles. Foam filled tires are standard and gradeability is 37 percent. Other features are a working height of 38 ft 4 in., 1,250-lb platform capacity and a 6 x 10-ft platform. A 4-ft roll-out deck extension also is standard. It also features a removable console with joystick and proportional controls for platform raising and driving functions.

The standard power source is a liquid-cooled gasoline engine. Duel fuel, LP only or diesel engines are options. Drive and lowering motion alarms along with built-in level sensor interlocks and built-in scissor-arm safety support are among its many safety features.

Terex Cranes

Terex has introduced its Stinger 2863 telescopic truck-mounted crane. It has a lift capacity of 28,800 lb and is rated at 33,000 lb GVW, on a two-axle chassis. According to the company, this makes it possible for end users in the U.S. to be exempt from Federal Excise Tax on new truck chassis purchases. It comes with an optional 40-ft jib, and has a maximum sheave height of 113 ft. Other features include a patented color-coded load chart and boom to assist the operator in easy identification of load angle and capacity; fully proportional, cable extension system for the three-section boom; and 360-deg full-capacity working area without counterweight on recommended chassis.

West Manitowoc

The company's 222EX 100-ton lift crane has a maximum boom and jib combination length of 240 ft. Standard features include self-handling rigging to install/remove boom and counterweights, high-visibility, climate-controlled operator's cab, engine disconnect clutch, independent, equal-width, load-hoist drums with rotation indicators, ether starting aid, fire extinguisher, travel lights, and upper and lower windshield wipers. It is powered by a Cummins M11 350 turbocharged diesel engine. The power system also includes a manual disconnect clutch for cold-weather starting, high-silencing muffler, hydraulic oil cooler, radiator and fan. The hydraulic transmission is a closed-loop power transmission featuring six variable-displacement piston pumps, one for each crane function.

The crawler assemblies are 22.365-ft-long reinforced steel fabrications with 36-in. treads and sealed low-maintenance rollers. Each crawler is powered independently by a variable-displacement hydraulic motor, driven through a right-angle planetary gearbox.

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